Think I’ll float my boat.
Seeking peace, my stress should cease.
Traffic’s for the birds.
Why do humans sweat the small stuff?
I was having a winter melt down this week when my frost bitten garage door wouldn’t budge, and I needed to get to work.
It really wasn’t a big deal, but for a couple of minutes it sure seemed like it.
Once I calmed down some, I realized I didn’t have to call in ‘sick.’ I just needed to phone in ‘stuck’ for a while with a big old piece of frozen wood.
Perhaps our dogs are smarter.
Like my handsome man Rex here who amused himself grooming his spiked mohawk while I donned my dirty dog haired covered jacket for a trip to the vet this morning.
Winter hasn’t exactly been a cake walk for him either.
Rex has slipped on the ice more than I have.
And my tenacious terrier Tuck decided to pierce Rex’s left ear one dark and stormy night over a fallen people cracker.
Even though a tiny earring would look pretty cool with Rex’s renegade mohawk, the vet and I nixed the idea as his ears are paper thin.
Anyway boys will be boys, and these boys will be forever more dining alone in their crates.
After passing his annual medical exam with flying colors of dog treats and high fives, Rex and I left for a little nerf ball/football in a nearby park.
As I opened my trunk to grab his toy, I saw it was empty.
It seemed I’d dropped the ball the weekend before when we were in a different dog park.
I felt bad for my tiny quarterback as we continued back home.
But it seems Rex is more resilient than me.
He bounded right out of his car seat and jumped on down. Then he started nudging our favorite decaying pumpkin by the back door towards the yard with his nose.
We’ve been using that orange frozen door stop on our most blustery days to keep the back screen door silent.
Though one day we did try to use it for snow bowling with mixed results.
I started wondering was Rex thinking of maybe trying a game of soccer?
Even though it is Super Bowl weekend I do know football on TV does make him sleepy.
Or maybe it’s all the commercials.
Anyway, I kicked the pumpkin back towards him for a while after his little nose would nudge it over to me.
And then I think I caught Rex smile.
Oh, what a game we had!
And what a sport is he.
And to think…we didn’t even sweat.
January and I have never been the best of friends.
Or winter either, as it turns out.
I was grumpy when I read the other day that my home state of Minnesota has just won first prize for having the most miserable winters. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/01/04/uff-da-minnesota-ranks-no-1-on-most-miserable-winter-list/
But it wasn’t exactly a surprise and I didn’t need the reminder as I was about to start my third miserable commute of the week, and it was only Wednesday.
Once I arrived at the local skating rink called a freeway, I knew I needed to de-stress some.
I started by turning off Trump’s press conference on the radio in favor of classical music for a while.
Well, actually any music I could find.
I figured if I wanted to hear anger and frustration I could simply listen to the cranky drivers honking around me.
Still feeling restless an hour later, I thought I’d best compose a January mantra to chant during the rest of my prolonged commute:
“I’m thankful each night for those two frozen pumpkins glued next to my old storm door. These orange stoppers keep that door from blowing in the wind, allowing the dogs and me to snore away in heavenly peace.”
“I’m thankful for those dogs. They make for wonderful foot warmers at home and my pack takes their task seriously.”
“And I’m very thankful for my new calendar. It shows the month of January’s almost half over.”
I’m calling that progress.
That’s more than I can say for the roads, however.
“It will be fun eventually. Really!”
My sister emailed me those words last night.
I was enjoying a pity party of one while entering the final days of packing and pitching before my move.
I’d just broken a favorite French styled lamp my husband gave me years ago.
I’ve been downsizing to a smaller home, but I’ve come to realize that doesn’t mean the work is any less.
It seems I missed summer with job and home tasks, and was thinking I’ll miss fall with its brilliant orange and yellow colors as well.
But my sister kept cheering me on, acknowledging the stress and telling me how much I’ll enjoy decorating my new little place.
I sat on my rusting kitchen foot stool, a.k.a the last chair still in the house, munching on my daily move cuisine of yet another “gourmet” gas station sub.
With my back aching, and too tired to lift another box, I surrendered to my bed by 8:00.
After all, I knew by Saturday night that bed will be gone, and it’s the tile floor with a yoga mat as mattress for me.
But hey, today’s another day!
I’m up early.
Finding coffee in the house and a not too stale glazed donut, I’ve now got my fuel.
And it’s been predicted to be a beautiful autumn day.
I’ll be passing those last garbage bags like perfect ‘Hail Mary’s’ into the dumpster.
Did I mention just how much I love that dumpster?
Maybe even more than those awesome gourmet gas station subs.
And there’s absolutely no way I’m going to miss my fall orange and gold.
The first thing I’m doing after closing on my new place is buying the brightest orange pumpkin I can find for my sunny front step.
And I’m going to decorate it in a French bistro style I think.
Just the perfect match for my new little French kitchen.
Oh, it really will be fun.
Ooh la la!!!
September is a month of much change.
Stressful ones apparently.
In fact, four of my current pick hits are showing on a list of life’s top ten stressors.
“Ah, bring it on,” I said to the dogs early this morning.
But an hour later, the pen I’d been using for all those related to do lists had run dry.
And it seemed I had as well.
I drove into town to find some greatly needed lake therapy.
And I found it there on the beach as soon as I overheard a wise man speak my favorite words, “It’s all good”.
I smiled, knowing he was right.
I moved to the breezy dock and stood for a while watching the early morning sailboat regatta with my cup of coffee.
“Breathe, just breathe,” I sang softly to myself in my best Kelly Clarkson voice.
And I did, taking in as much crisp fall air as my lungs would absorb.
It was just the high octane fuel I needed to sail back home and start cleaning out my basement as part of a downsizing effort.
I discovered once there it actually can be “all good”, even below ground.
And surely will be, when the tough task’s completed.
Oh, what a glorious gift change really is.
I did a rough count this morning. There are more than 800 art books in my late husband’s office. Some are boxed. Others are aligned alphabetically on 8 sagging bookshelves.
Problem 1: I may be selling and moving out of my little house in 60 days.
Problem 2: Maybe not.
Problem 3: I may be moving into an even smaller house.
Problem 4: Maybe not.
But the biggest problem of all is I’m no wheeler dealer.
And when it comes to matters of real estate, I’m a lost lamb in the woods, running
the treadmill of offers and counter offers.
I know it will all work out.
And life will get more simple.
Because my true home’s wherever that old green knapsack takes me in life, with the canine crew at my side.
So for this day, I’ll just load up those carefully selected free boxes from the liquor store labeled ‘Le Grand Noir (Black Sheep)’ and ‘Cupcake Angel Food’.
They ought to be prime candidates for the French art books and maybe even my cookbooks.
As green as I am with real estate, this girl’s determined to make the downsizing dilemma fun.
Even if it does take one U-Haul full of Angel Food Cupcakes to keep me going.