Daily Reflections From My Window

January 6, 2022

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“Serve God, and be nice to people.”

-Lawrence Brooks the United States’ oldest living World War II veteran when asked what the secret of his long and happy life was. He died January 5, 2022 at age 112.

That’s great advice Lawrence. Two things that I’ve been slacking on. I go to church and try to be kind, but I am so out of practice. I need to be more involved.

The wind is howling this morning and there is a big weather change. Right now it’s around 12*, without factoring in the wind chill. The weather stick is up and that usually means a sunny day. This day is a blank slate, but let me tell you about yesterday. It started out cold too and I wanted to have something warm for breakfast, so I made some oatmeal and I was feeling lazy, so I made it in the microwave. You know how the directions say to microwave between 2-3 minutes and check every 15 seconds after 2 minutes and stir? Well, after 2 minutes, it was still pretty soupy, so I added a minute and forgot to check. When I went back, the bowl had overflowed and I needed to wash the oatmeal mess off of the glass microwave plate. I did and as I was lifting it out of the sink, it slipped out of my hands and broke. No more quick reheats of our coffee for a while I guess. After that, I was headed out to tend my livestock and before I did, I checked my calendar to make sure I had the rest of my day under control only to realize that my appointment was an hour earlier than I’d thought, which meant I had to leave in about 10 minutes. Livestock would have to wait until I returned and that was ok since the day was amazing. I quickly dressed and headed to my appointment.

I got there with no further incident and actually a few minutes early and had a chance to regroup. My appointment was for acupuncture and IV Immunotherapy, both necessary to treat my thyroid and Adrenal Gland Fatigue. Dr. Gerold came into the room and we chatted for a few minutes and he commented on the whole holiday atmosphere the simple observation of how everyone is so busy lately and that we just need to slow down and enjoy the moment at that time. That is so true. I often confuse being busy with being productive. That gave me something to think about during the day, except it also made it a challenge to settle my mind for the procedure. If you’ve had acupuncture, then you know that it is an ancient form of healing, using pins to open up neural pathways in your body. It’s really fascinating. It takes me a while to relax into it (but it’s still working despite that) and all at once I feel it. I knew I had yesterday, because I had this strange hormone surge and then a crazy vision of a cow’s udder all in flesh tones (I know TMI!!). Then the memory of Mrs. Hoffman who was my 80+ year old neighbor when I lived in this little 8 unit apartment building outside of Pgh. before I was married. I did dressmaking out of my apartment and worked until I had all of my projects completed. It was definitely not a 9 to 5 job and I had a hard time justifying breaks when I had so much to do. Mrs. Hoffman lived across the hall from me. About once a week she’d make lime jello with the cream cheese and pineapple chunks. If you can believe it, I never had had anything like that before! It tasted like Heaven! She would invite me over every time she made it with a cup of coffee. She knew I needed a break. I just didn’t know it. I learned to slow down and take time to enjoy the moment with her. We need to all do that. Was that memory there of Mrs. Hoffman to remind me of that again? I fall into that trap often and unfortunately think I have passed it on to my child. Take a break dear one. Enjoy your wonderful life.

I finished up and went to the waiting room while my IV spot was being prepared. I got a text from my lovely friend Louise, the sweetest and kindest person I’ve been blessed to know. Pure southern hospitality. We’d been missing each other every time we’d called each other. Here was her text:

“Hope your acupuncture works it’s best today!

I’m going to call my 94 yr friend stuck in nursing home lockdown again. So please call back if I can’t answer when you call. 😊”

Coincidence? I doubt it. I hadn’t mentioned anything to her about what I was thinking because when I talked to her, it wasn’t a thought. She was checking in on an older neighbor to be kind. We’re kind of on the same path as far as health treatments are concerned too. I quickly texted her back that I would call her on my way home and tell her about Mrs. Hoffman. I want to hear about her neighbor too. I need to call my former neighbor Rose and check in with her. She turned 100 in 2021. She took her time, walked everywhere and baked her own bread. She was also an amazing example of kindness and sharing her gift of patience and living in the moment and enjoying it.

My thoughts for today veered off the path of weather and livestock and fiber. I need to set limits on that too and focus. I’m going to pace myself and try to be more efficient. No more answering questions and texts about fiber and products beyond a certain time. I have some calls to make, and if they call me after my hours will have to wait until the next day. Should I need to post hours? I don’t think so. I’m not brick and mortar and we need to get back to limits. The internet has removed so many. As I look out at this incredible view, I wish you a day that you enjoy and appreciate. I may wait until it warms up to do my outside chores. I’m enjoying this moment right now, from inside, cuddled up on my soft seating and in my cozy bathrobe and pjs.

Thank you to all who don’t have that luxury and are already at work, dressed and have braved the cold or will be later. I hear we could have 3-6″ of snow later.

As for the mess of I-95 in Va. the other day? It’s a good reminder to those of us who DO love in snow country to be prepared. Travel with rock salt in your trunk in case you get stuck, water, or better yet, a metal coffee can and fire starter to melt snow to drink if necessary, maybe some packets of nuts or protein bars, an extra blanket, gloves, hat and mittens, and a car emergency kit. It’s a good time of year too to always travel with a full tank of gas. These tips are compliments of my late father who always made sure we were prepared. Thanks Dad!

When I heard the news story about Lawrence Brooks’ dying as the oldest WWII veteran, his advice caught my attention immediately. When everything is going well, it’s easy to be kind. I loved hearing the stories of kindness that happened to all of those stranded folks on the highway. Scared, hungry and cold, they shared what they had with each other and were kind. We need more stories like that. THAT’S how you change the world. One little act of kindness at a time.

In the meantime, do something you’ve never done before. Find your passion and explore it. Every single day is a gift. Stay warm and call a friend.

Have a blessed day!