Looking out

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The cold weather and snow lined streets have meant most of my walks have been within the mill, which is okay as there are plenty of stairs and much to look at. Pompeii stained glass moved in when the top floors became studios and have placed this piece in the perfect spot. There are many new faces in the building and each floor is like a separate neighborhood, not unlike boroughs around a big city. And should you leave your “neighborhood” and move up one level it is as if you have moved to a different subway line instead of one floor up. Funny how that is, but paths tend not to cross that often as schedules change with moves. This weekend is open studios again and it seems the snowbanks have already secured many of the parking spots, but I expect we will still have a good crowd. People want to get out and about in these weeks before the spring yard work begins, but don’t want to shovel any more snow. And so I am off to frame up some piece in preparation for Saturday, wagons ho!

The edge of winter

1-17-2014_072The days are inching towards spring, even with the cold weather due this week the sun is higher in the sky and stays later each day. The icicles that had fringed the roofline all fell over the weekend when the temperature rose above freezing, and the snow receded enough that the back of the garden bench is now visible. And yet all winter there have been leaves on trees adding a bit of color to the days. They will remain until warm weather prompts the bud underneath to push them off. They rattle in the wind like dry corn husks, waiting for that wind to bring balmy spring air, the same air that will coax the snow to melt and let the crocus peek through the warming ground. Spring (and mud) will be here soon.

Words we should believe

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My mom and I send letters back and forth, because it is always a treat to see something in the mailbox that isn’t junk mail or bills. We share cartoons, unusual news pieces and the occasional obituary  that we find interesting. The column is called “A message from your hometowne”, it is signed simply as Paul and Cheryll. The opening quote is as follows:

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service.

To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

Oren Arnold

I liked all of the points Paul and Cheryll expanded on, but especially this final section:

“To yourself, respect. We often do things to ourselves that we would never dream of doing to someone we care about. (When is the last time you called a friend ugly, told them they weren’t good enough, discouraged them from following their dreams, or sabotaged their happiness?) Don’t harm yourself. Don’t insult yourself. Be honest to yourself. Like yourself. You are worth it.”

So obvious, yet difficult for many to follow. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, or trying something out of your comfort zone, or for being a good citizen. Each bit of goodness we put into ourselves and the world can only help.

 

Piling up

2-19-2014_020Under cloak of fresh snow

chiminea waits patiently

for spring days to return.

As I write this it is snowing again. It wasn’t just 10 minutes ago, I know I checked. I should stop checking to because each glance out the window shows it is snowing even harder than a couple of minutes ago! It snowed yesterday too, and between the snow-throwing yesterday and touch up  shoveling this morning I have that good tired feeling that comes from fresh air and activity. That will be repeated again tomorrow because this snow doesn’t look like it will be stopping before dark. I am not looking forward to the drive home. The debate goes: leave now or wait until after evening commute? And trying to gauge what every other driver is choosing so as to avoid clogged roads and crazy drivers as much as possible. Such is this winter’s weather, but each day is one closer to spring.

Snowy snowy snow snow

Yes snow.     I said it.

It has been a snowy stretch here in New England, but hey it is winter. Now if it were May, that’d be a perilously different matter. It is also windy, the sort of sharp wind that makes you not want to linger outside, it makes you hunch up your shoulders as you scurry to and fro. The sun however has that beguiling warmth that belies the bite in the air. Most of the trail-heads are inaccessible, locked behind massive snowbanks that I have no desire to scramble over even if there was a spot to pull off and park on the shoulder! But, at least it isn’t 1888 with no mechanized snow removal! I can barely imagine what it would have been like, un-insulated walls, no central heat, outhouses and water pumps, and little advance warning that a storm was coming. They were a much hardier breed than we are!

courtesy of :commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blizzard_of_March_1888

courtesy of: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blizzard_of_March_1888