Thin Ice! #SOL21 Day 7/31

Thin Ice!

There’s someone skating on the lake

What? No way. It’s too thin

I know!

I can’t look

I stood there staring out the window fixed to the spot in the living room watching and not wanting to watch. He wasn’t close enough to shout at but he was close enough to see. I wanted to be responsible and stay to make sure, but I didn’t want to see someone falling in so far away that I couldn’t do anything. He skated closer to the edge where the ice had melted away and there stood open waters. How has he not fallen in yet?

He skated with such ease and joy. He truly looked like a professional skater. But professional or not it wouldn’t help him if he fell in.

Finally, after what seemed like hours of nail-biting angst, he headed to the opposite shore and sat down to unlace his skates. I began to breathe again, grateful for the reprieve from worry, and even more grateful for no emergency calls to 911.

Sometimes it’s not so fun living on a lake.

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Too Close for Comfort #SOL21 Day 6/31

Too Close For Comfort

A friend recently shared a photo memory of our yearly birthday celebration posted on a popular social media site. The photo was taken last year when a patron at a local restaurant heard it was our birthdays so he took it upon himself to sing to us. The photo shows us sitting close together with this “stranger” singing at the top of his lungs. I said to my friend, does this photo make you squirm as we sat with no masks and him singing so close to us?

Later that week the exterminator showed up at my house to check the foundation for termites and ants. While I was in the basement he knocked on the outside window to say hello. He waved and asked how I was doing and went on his way. The exterminator should have been wearing a mask, but he was outside and a glass window separated us. Still, I felt unsafe, exposed, worried.

From my notebooking journal: little sketch of my exterminator peeking in my window

Our lives have changed. Thinking of both of these scenarios make me squirm. People standing too close, and not wearing a mask. I back up to move away. I tighten my mask and search for gaps. I wave and blow kisses instead of hugs.

When will we feel safe again? When will we judge that we aren’t standing too close to each other? When will we really feel safe to go mask-less?

Maybe we will need time to heal and get back to normal.

Maybe this is the new normal.

Maybe.

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Homeowner’s Joys and Jokes #SOL21 Day 5/31

The excavator and crew arrived around 9am to finally fix the problem. What problem you ask? Well, that stinking crappy problem you get when the underground pipe breaks away from the sewer pump and liquid oozes onto the grass. Near that one little patch of snow that mysteriously melted on Sunday. And of course underneath a few feet of snow too! Yes! I had a broken sewer pipe deep underground in need of a fix.

In the meantime the jokes poured in from my many well-wishing friends and family. Do you know how many jokes you hear while waiting for your broken sewer pipe to get fixed? TOO MANY! Here’s a few of the ones that came my way while waiting for the excavator to leave my yard.

Oh! What a bummer

Such a S#*$$* problem to have

That stinks!

Urine deep doodoo

Ha!ha! They all meant well. And the jokes did keep me smiling. So now I’m good to go (pun intended). Just a few days of inconvenience, and worry, and concern. Besides, I now know more about sewer lines than I ever care to admit.

Oh the joys of homeownership! At least my grass will be green in the spring!

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Welcome Back Birds #SOL21 Day 4/31

Welcome Back Birds

I was gifted with a small bird feeder for my birthday last month and I finally got around to hanging it on my tree. Ever since the squirrel incident of “aught-19” I have been afraid to hang feeders on the trees for fear of another invasion. But I missed my fine feathered friends so I decided to take a chance. Beside, I just had to use this gift!

It’s been about a week since I hung the suet cakes and the birds have finally reappeared. I’ve seen those harbingers of spring, robins, the upside down climber, the nuthatch, downy woodpeckers tapping their way along the bark, and my favorite bluebirds.

As I sit at my desk working I can look out of the window to admire and observe. I notice them chirping, flitting, nibbling, and I think even smiling. Possibly saying thanks for feeding me again.

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Little Birdie on My Shoulder #SOL21 Day 3/31

I noticed the yaktrax sitting on the floor while I was getting dressed to head out on the trail. I don’t think I need them today as I think the snow is soft and not so icy today. But the little birdie on my shoulder persisted telling me to put them on. I chose not to listen thinking that the little cleats would just get in the way, and I didn’t want to risk losing them in the snow. The little birdie on my shoulder chirped again. Are you sure you want to go out without them? I opened the door and headed out with just the boots on my feet.

The trail was certainly softer than the day prior thanks to a few warm days and nights. I headed easily down the path and started down the hill towards the little bridge.

Wooosh… down I went, sliding all the way on my bottom to the base of the bridge. Fortunately the snow was soft and the only thing I bruised was my ego. I stood up and looked around to see if anyone was nearby. I was relieved to see no one in sight until I started walking and looked back to notice sitting right there on my shoulder that little birdie saying, I told you to wear those little yaktrax!

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Not Here Today #SOL21 Day 2/31

Not Here Today

The grandchildren stopped by for a visit yesterday.

“Where are the ducks?” they asked.

“Not here today,” I replied.

“Where are the geese?” they asked.

“Not here today,” I replied.

“Where are the swan?” they asked.

“Not here today,” I replied.

Sigh….

Today I spot the geese swim by.

“Where are the grandchildren?” I ask.

“Not here today,” I reply.

Then along come the ducks.

“Where are the grandchildren?” I ask.

“Not here today,” I reply.

Finally, the swan swim by.

“Where are the grandchildren?” I asked.

“Not here today,” I replied.

Sigh…

I guess a picture will have to suffice.

Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Working Out Before Working Out #SOL21 Day 1/31

Today is day one of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day throughout the month of March I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!

Work Out Before Work Out!

When the pandemic hit full force last March, my workout class moved from inside the beautiful facility at the local arts center, to my basement spare room via Zoom. We needed to stay safe. While I missed the comradery of the community that I stretched and sweated with, it was quite convenient to have the class a few steps away. I could now enjoy a few extra sips of coffee and that one last news story. I had my morning routine down to the minute always leaving time to log in early so that I could chat and say hello to our instructor prior to class.

This morning was no different, or so I thought. I climbed the stairs and headed to my bedroom to gather my clothes. It was then that I realized my leggings were no where to be found. I had just emptied the laundry basket and put away a few loads on Saturday morning so not finding them in the bureau drawer where I usually placed them left me stumped. I checked the dirty clothes basket and came up empty. I re-searched a few other drawers in case and still no pants to be found. It was then I realized the clothes were still on the rack, line drying near the washer, two floors down. Time was ticking away.

I flew down the two flights of stairs in record time and promptly gathered up my workout clothes. Arms full, I raced back up the two floors to my bedroom and proceeded to get dressed. I hustled back down the two sets of stairs, grabbing my laptop, water, and gear as a pit stop along the way. Once I reached the spare room in the basement I was already out of breathe. I quickly connected the computer to zoom, attached the laptop to the TV screen, set up my equipment, with less than one minute to spare.

I sat on my mat exhausted, feeling as if I had just run a marathon, and judging I had already had my exercise for the day. Ok, maybe not quite, but it sure felt like a workout in my mind! Does that count for anything?

Where We Bid Frosty Adieu

The state of Frosty last Tuesday, February 16, 2012

We pick up the story where we left off last week with Frosty slowly melting on our dock. He has been a good and faithful companion during these snowy pandemic days of February, and a delight to observe as the sun beats down and the temperatures rise and fall. But as we faced the inevitable demise of Frosty an idea popped into my head.

A contest! Let’s guess when Frosty will fall.

I know, it may sound rather odd to guess when this ill-fated snow-being will tumble and fall but this is what it’s come to with lack of social contact and our typical means of fun. I quickly penned a text to the family chain telling them of my offer.

Place your bets – when will Frosty fall? Or will he? Winner gets a batch of our family favorite butterball cookies.

The times trickled in throughout the day

Frosty sat rather content on the dock from Wednesday until Saturday when the sun came out in full force early in the morning. I started to notice he was beginning to lilt to the right, and was actually lifting off the ground by about 6 inches on his bottom left. I texted the family and noted that today may be the day. I began taking pictures to document the event.

At 9:44 I texted the family to say that he was leaning even more to the right. My son got very excited as he started to think abut his butterball winnings.

At 9:53am I heard a very loud bang. Looking up I saw that Frosty had completely tipped over on his side. I notified the family and could almost hear Jon’s screams of delight from 60 miles away.

While some disgruntled family members cried foul and claimed photoshopped pictures, my son focused on making sure the cookie delivery would happen sooner rather than later. We settled on making the trip up on Sunday afternoon and combining it with an outdoor visit while sledding with the grandkids. So it looks like we had winners all around. My son and his family won the cookies and I got an unexpected outdoor visit with the grandchildren! As well as a few leftover cookies while baking.

The progression of Frosty’s downfall

NB:

My daughter did lift Frosty up Saturday afternoon. He was a rather large chunk of solid ice. His head has since melted off and today’s 45 degree temperatures will surely do him in! Thank you again Frosty for providing a distraction from these grey pandemic days.

I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my Tuesday slice of life story post today. Please consider joining in!

Frosty

He’s looking at little droopy with his nose falling flat and his hair starting to freeze and fall out. The shell buttons are on the ground, and he only has one stick for an arm. He’s leaning slightly to the right and his smile is no where to be found.

This is the life of a snowman in Massachusetts.

Frosty, as he was named by my granddaughter, came to life ten days ago. The adults had to roll three hard packed snowballs across the snow before lifting them onto the dock, but the rest was done by the kids. There might have been some adult help in the securing of materials but it really was the kids crafting the design and placement of the features. Regardless he has been joyfully gracing his lakeside abode and adding contentment to my view each morning. He has changed a little with the weather, melting ever so slightly with the daytime sunshine, and freezing up with the nighttime air. And he has been repaired a few times over these days too: touching up his hairdo, replacing the dropped buttons, and even picking up his smile. Yet he stands with pride and honor at the ready to give our neighbors a smile.

On this rainy Tuesday he looks vulnerable, defenseless, and exposed. Yet his presence still brings a smile to my face as I recall the delight and smiles of bringing Frosty to life.

Please, oh please Frosty, stay a little longer. We all need a little more happiness!

It’s Tuesday and I’m sharing my post with the wonderful writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in!

Snow Fun

I had just finished clearing the driveway with the snow blower FINALLY cooperating, (see last week’s post) and the sunny blue sky was calling me to stay outside. I had a yearning to bring my writing tools out to marvel at the wintery wonderland. My daughter handed me my writing tools at the front door and still dressed in my snow pants, hat, mittens, and boots I trudged through the snow covered path to the awaiting table. My new picnic table was covered in snow, but since it was light and fluffy I could readily brush it off and sit by the snow covered lake and admire the view.

I sat and listened to the sounds that surrounded me:

  • the drip, drip, dripping of the melting snow from the roof
  • the barking of the neighbor’s dog, hoping his owner would let him out to join me in the snow,
  • the scraping of a snow shovel against a nearby driveway.

There was a sense of serenity listening to the sounds of the day as I wrote in my journal, not wanting to pause my pen, yet not wanting to miss the sights and sounds of this peace-filled day. I sat and took it all in until…

SPLAT

My back was hit with a snowball. I looked to my right to find the culprit, thinking my daughter had snuck down to surprise me, but nothing. I turned to the left, maybe a neighbor playing a funny trick on me, but again no one. I sat silently searching and waiting for the offender to appear but alas no such person ever showed their face.

I looked one last time and saw a chunk of snow fall from the roof and land nearby. Hmmm – so it was my dear friend Mother Nature tossing snow from the roof at me, playing her little tricks and giving me an additional reasons to smile on this glorious winter day.

It’s Tuesday and I am joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my slice of life story. Won’t you join in?