Today is another day. It is the day after yesterday and the day before tomorrow. For me is not some magical special day that I make resolutions, promises or goals tied to the new year. It is a just day. It is another 24 hours to be spent by me, if I am lucky followed by another It is a day in my life. Each one special and one of kind.
Each morning somewhere between the time when I wake up and when I actually start my day I reflect how do I want to use this day. During the time when I do the routine morning tasks of cleaning up, eating and getting dressed I start to think about what this day holds. I begin to organize my thoughts recognizing what things I have to do today and the things I want to do. I want to fully experience life each day, but I don’t want to get lost in all the externals that I don’t actively be me. I don’t want to feel like at the end of the day my existence did not make a difference. It is a balancing act. What I plan for each day isn’t the same every day. Many things influence my plan for the day, if I work or not, is there a commitment I need to fulfill or a deadline approaching, how do I feel, what my family needs, my friends, and so much more. Some days I have a simple wish, to walk more steps than I did yesterday or eat a healthy lunch. Recently my goal was to pray for a family who has lost a son and that I learn more about compassion and empathy because I can not imagine their pain. Some days it is to accomplish something at work, something that won’t likely change much of anything in the world. While other days it is do a random act of kindness for someone who I don’t know.
Most days I pick several things for my daily goals and other days I just aspire to accomplish one thing. I try to make it a mix of for tasks but sometimes I when I feel spent I just wish for a day for me. This weekend I gave myself the gift of nothing. Nothing for me is to allow myself the luxury of doing what is calling me at the moment. For me nothing can be to read, sew, write, play in my studio, talk to my life-time friend, pull my camera out or take a walk. My wish for the day can be a grand task impacting everyone I meet or just a single movement toward a lifetime quest that only I recognize. It changes for me each day.
It is not about a resolution I make on the first day of the year. Instead it is about my life list. All those things I want to see, do and change. My life list does include places I want to see and things that are personal goals, but it contains bigger unreachable items as well. Those big things, like world peace, I don’t serious believe I can change all by myself, nor will even see in my lifetime, but I want to be a drop in the water that sends out waves or a butterfly wing that contributed to a distant tornado that is part of that change. I want to waste one less minute than I did yesterday. Today I want to make better use of the time allotted to me than I did the previous day I was given. I fully embrace each day no matter what day of the year it is. I wish the same for each of you.
Yesterday was the first day of winter. It is the shortest day of the year , if we are talking sunshine. I went to work in the dark and after working all day I headed home in the dark. In spite of all the darkness when I got to work I found beauty in the local homes blanketed by the snow illuminated by the glow of street lights.I just had to capture what I saw and share it with you.
Today I spent the day making holiday cards to mail. I stamped and painted all my holiday cards and then stamped my envelopes as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the process though most would say I was nuts to make something handmade that will likely end up in the trash after the holiday season. But it okay for me. I enjoyed thinking about the people I knew we were sending them to.
I love to get holiday cards and yes the infamous Christmas letters. I love to hear from friends and families we have known for years and life has altered our course such that we are no longer living close by. I read them when they arrive and again once the holiday is over. I think about the people who sent them and how our paths crossed. I love to catch up if only once a year. I love to see the pictures that folks share and how they have changed. . I love it all because they took time to “say hi.”
It used to be that many more folks sent holiday cards. Folks drop you an email and that seems to be where we are going. I know it is expensive to purchase cards and the cost of postage is nothing to sneeze at. I know people’s time is often more precious than the money, so spending an evening or Sunday doing cards is hard for some folks to justify. All of these are some of the many reasons why the tradition is fading away.
In this hurry up, always on, electronic age it is fun to get a piece of happy mail on a cold snowy night and remember the people in your life. Thanks to everyone who send me a card, photo or letter this year. To everyone that I sent to I hope you enjoy.
I have taken a break now and then from my blog but never like this one. Never before for months, but I felt that this one was essential. I have always been politically active. I have always enjoyed discussion with others who do not share my point of view, trying to see how they get to the place they arrive. I have always believed that respectful discussion makes both myself and the other person more pragmatic, more empathetic, more compassionate and not so narrow minded. Unfortunately this time around it did not seem possible.
I lost social friends this election cycle because I did not support their candidate. When they asked and I felt comfortable sharing, because we had in the past, I was chastised for my choice. Screw my reasoning for my point of view. Who cared if I did research based on what the candidates said, and drew my own conclusions instead of repeating things just because I read or heard them. Promises were made by candidates and many others rang empty and false to me. People said we read it on the internet or hear it on the news it must be true. I was of the era of “question authority” and would go back and try to figure out fact a fiction, even when it seemed near impossible to do so. People were called names and things were said about them, but we were not willing to really go ferret out the truth that is at our fingertips now with the internet to get to real information, not what he said or she said, but real truths. It was disheartening to me to loose friends and feel like there was almost no truth this time in what was being said. I was saddened by the lack of civility not just by candidates but so much of our citizenry.
I also felt strongly that each of us are given a very special personal right to vote, based on our beliefs, our life experiences, where we are in the continuum of life, economics and family situation. It is yours right to vote as you see fit, not be be persuaded by me to vote the way I am, because how you got to your candidate was a different path than I had taken. It was not my right to try and attempt to influence you no matter how much I wanted to. That is why each of us have a vote, to voice our beliefs. It is the way our democracy works.
Once the election was over, and the system had worked as it was designed we had a new president. I had a lot to think about, I even thought about stating a new blog to chronicle the next four years. In the end I decided against it, because if I did so, I wanted it to be fact based and I learned preparing for this election fact checking takes lots and lots of time. In the end I would either be preaching to the choir or getting hate mail. It just did not seem like I how I wanted to spend my free time.
Now we all watch the next four years to see what happens, and then we deal with what does because that is what we do. I go back to blogging about everyday things. I share the thoughts of someone who lives in Montana as she looks out the window. I am glad to be back. I missed you all.
This week we were out and about taking photos for a retirement journal RangerSir has asked me to make for one his employees. Our daytime adventures took us to some of our favorite places in our neck of the Montana. One of those places was an out of the way place on the Wise River. Once we got there I just had to get my feet wet. The river was low as it often is this time of the year. Even though it was low the water was cold, a true mountain river. It made it easy to imagine walking out into the river because there was a log on that someone had placed in the middle of the river. RangerSir was not interested in getting his feet wet so this was a solo adventure for me. My destination was to sit on the log, enjoy the water and sunshine.
I could have laid there for hours listening to the sounds and relaxing. Too bad it is a couple of hours from our house.
I laid out there quite awhile until RangerSir and Zip reminded me we had other places to visit before the day was out and the sun would set. I was totally relaxed listening to the water, the wind and the sounds of nature. I could smell the resins of the evergreens heating up in the afternoon sun. It was a little bit of paradise.
Once I had gotten back in the truck and and we were headed on to the next place we wanted to photograph I realized I think I am more water than mountain. I suppose that is easy to say since I have a mountain front and center in my picture window, and no water near by. As a kid I spent my summers on the lake with my grandparents and spent years living in the land of 10,000 lakes. Until I moved to Montana I was always walking distance to a lake or river. Now as we start to think about where we might move to next, I think water trumps mountain. Not 100% sure but something to think about when picking our destination. Water or mountain? Mountain or water?
Today we were under a red flag warning. What that means is that conditions are right that a wildland fire if started could go wild and easily grow. Today the air is super dry, my phone says the humidity is 13% and the winds are blowing a steady 21 mph in town. The temperature here at the house is 84 degrees in the shade and the winds here are surely as strong as they are in town. Yes I am from the Midwest and know that 84 isn’t hot at all, but at our place in Montana it is darn hot.
We are starting to enter fire season around here. The Red Flag warning is a sign of the coming of the end of summer. Our grasses are all cured and getting drier by the day. The hottest days of the year should be just around the corner. I can’t remember the last time we had any moisture, but we have dry lightening at least a couple times a week. That is how many of the local wildland fires start. RangerSir had spent the last week trimming down grasses around the house and outbuildings because it is the time of the year you do that type of thing if you live here. We had a large grass fire between our house and town last week. If something gets started out here it should burn hot and fast through our property, but we should be ok. There is always the factor of what are the odds of should really means. So you do all that you can do to improve your odds.
I went out today to try and photograph rooster boy thinking I would get some good photos and would blog about the chickens. The weather was not cooperating. He is a handsome blue rooster, instead here with the wind at his back he looks like he is having a terrible hair day. Oh well what is a little wind now that we are in fire season.
Our dog, Zip, has been full of challenges. Most of them come from his previous life as a puppy companion to an older woman. He ended up in the shelter when the woman could no longer stay in her home and family could not keep her dear pets.
Zip loves laying in the lush grass over the septic field.
Read between the lines, and you know what things Zip never learned. Zip’s main purpose in life was to sit on her owner’s lap and be the center of her world. We suspect his owner wasn’t very mobile and because of that he wasn’t house trained until he learned it here. He had never experienced grass before us. To this day he likes to walk and lay in lush Iowa green grass and hates prickly cured Montana dry grasses. He isn’t crazy about snow and absolutely hates rain. He can hold it for hours rather than go outside in even a light drizzle. We have learned that we just pick him up and carry him out to a spot because he likely will never choose to go outside instead he will explode. He will go on walks, but he is the first dog that we have had that is not passionate about them. He is not a dog who loves to train with me or gets me out when I don’t want to go. We don’t tell him this out loud, but we think he is a pansy dog.
He hates walking through even a little water on the road.
Today he fooled us. His terrier instinct kicked in and he was on the hunt for some ground burrowing animal that has turned up in our yard. We have not see what is making all these holes, but Zip was out there in the hottest sun of the day digging for all he was worth. He was dirty from digging with his front feet and tossing with his rear feet. His feet were digging through not only soil but also rocks and roots. Some how I imagine that was harder on his feet than the dry grass. His head was down in the hole, snorting in a highly unimaginable fashion before today. His nose was mud caked from sniffing out his imagined prey. It was fun to see him having fun doing something outside.
This is fun and I know how to do it. How’d I know how to do this, my humans have not tried to teach me this?
So we now ask ourselves nature or nurture? When does it kick in?
It was fun to see him enjoying himself doing something so dog.