Daily Reflections From My Window

January 11, 2022 Tuesday: Another Beautiful Day Ahead and A Story About Janet.


“Waking up this morning was an eye-opening experience.”


It looks like another cold but beautiful day. I knew that it was going to be a cold one. Is that hovering right at zero? That leads to another pun for the day. I couldn’t resist.

“To the guy who invented zero, thanks for nothing.” Also from parade.com

So what do you do on a day like today? It’s too cold to spend time out there. I suppose you admire from inside if you can. For those who can’t, bundle up. Can you see the tiny footprints beside this bush? A wren was hopping around and I wasn’t quick enough to catch her picture before she hopped into the bush. We haven’t seen many birds around at all this year. It was nice to see this one. Most of the woodland animals are probably hunkered down and relying on whatever they gathered over the fall.

As things look bleak everywhere else, the Pa Farm Show has gone on. Here is a link to the singing of the National Anthem this morning.

I’m listening to the Today Show and it’s like they’ve never had cold weather before. We live in the northeast and it’s January. Why are they shocked? Why is everything record breaking? I realize that it’s cold and I’m not even crazy about it, but when I look back at my previous posts, I see snowy pictures, below freezing temperatures and more. I guess Covid is complicating every newscast and we’re living in a made for TV movie that we all loved so much growing up. Not so much fun now when it’s not over in 2 hours and some cute couple doesn’t save the day right before the nightly local news. I just heard that schools in some cities have to leave windows open for extra ventilation due to covid? I thought they got some money from the Covid relief plan to revamp their ventilation systems, which made me wonder, with worker shortages, parts unavailable and Covid quarantine rules, how they could even hope to get that done. All the more reason to bundle up, kids.

I have to go to the grocery store today and won’t need to bring those freezer bags. Then on to Tractor Supply for some necessary items.

What should I share besides the weather report? A story about a good friend.

When we moved here, I was newly married and still had my business 2 hours away. I did custom alterations and dressmaking and was determined to keep my clients there, by going in once a week to do fittings and deliveries. It worked for a while but had drawbacks. That’s another story. When you move to a new city, one way you become part of the community and find friends is through work, school, kids, church, and maybe a gym. Because I worked for myself and by myself, and traveled, I saw people when I went to the grocery store, but not much else.

Enter Janet. Janet’s husband Leo and Jay worked together and built a friendship at work. Luckily it was back when the bank still had things like Christmas parties and gatherings to build community within the organization. I met Janet at one of these events and she was the most precious gift I could have asked for. She worked full time as a nurse, was raising 2 kids and became like a sister to me. She introduced me to a group of friends who introduced me to other friends and groups. Through her, I started skiing with a group more regularly, joined the Garden Club, got to know the area and became a part of the community. More importantly, we became a part of her family and still are. It was so simple. Why am I telling you this? I was reminded of our special friendship and how integral her welcoming spirit (which, I do confess, I have taken for granted over the years) made a difference in my life. For the first time in their lives, she and Leo have moved across the country to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They are newcomers, and in a very similar situation as I was. As retired seniors, they aren’t going to work daily, and don’t have all of the ways you normally meet people. They are both social beings but it’s a challenge to rebuild what they left-the golf groups, breakfast gatherings, casual lunches, familiar church gatherings, and my all time favorite thing? When I would call Janet at 8 AM and say something crazy like, “Hey Janet, the Farm Show is this weekend in Harrisburg. Want to go?” And we’d be on our way an hour later. She loves adventures and I miss that!

We were talking the other day and I reminded her about all of the ways that she welcomes people authentically. She said that no one has done that where she is. Well, do it for them, I suggested. They live in a small retirement community and no one seems to know how to do it. She makes some amazing pizelles and other Italian cookies. She should bake some and share them. That would surely bring smiles. She’s a natural and I really miss them. If you are in Tucson, please welcome Janet and give her a hug for me.

Here she is with the “Pile of Pugs” as we started to call these photos. Our pugs would insist on sitting on everyone’s lap when they came and we started taking pictures of it. I’m glad we did. We may need to get a new pile of pugs some day. It was fun.

So, those are my thoughts today. The temp hasn’t budged and I think when I go to the grocery store, I’ll try to smile and be friendlier. These darned masks make it harder but not impossible. I do notice that so many people avoid eye contact anymore. Well, what can you do about it? I see some movement out in the alpaca pasture. One lone muncher. Another just ambled out. I don’t blame them today. I’ll be out soon to refresh hay inside and give them a bit more grain.

In the meantime, do something you’ve never done before. Find your passion and explore it. Every single day is a gift. Bundle up!

Have a blessed day!