When You Gotta Stay Indoors

December 21 – have been so tied up with other things that just must be done right away, that I haven’t had a chance to write an overdue blog. Speaking of blogs, that’s part of the reason that I haven’t been writing as often as I did when I first started this program over two years ago. Way back then I could send one out just about every day!

161221_washerdryer

[ Ye olde washer and dryer ]

One of those inside jobs that now takes longer is laundry. Where I used to hang out all of the clothes to dry on the line outside at one time, now I have to use the dryer and do several loads. And I’ll have to continue doing that till next March!

When we were working outside in the bright sunshine for several hours every day, we found a lot more to write about than we do when we are, as my mom used to say, “cooped up for the duration.”

As I think about that sage statement, I well remember how she truly was surrounded by kids who would much rather have been outside before the temperatures dropped so low, rather than huddling around the big stove in the living room, the only source of warmth in the house during those below zero temperatures every year. We are the same way as you must have noticed if you have read any of our blogs. Yes, there’s always plenty to do inside, but who wants to do it?!

Thus far this winter I have sorted through a number of boxes of books, keeping back what we have always enjoyed, while giving the rest to the Thrift Store or to some young kids we know. Nothing in the world like books for kids to hold in their hands, or to sit near their mom while she reads, especially if she uses good expression and even acts out bits of the story. Sure, it’s nice to be able to turn on the TV if you can’t do anything else to keep yourself busy. But there is so much to learn and enjoy from books we read that it’s a lot better to keep the set turned off except for the news, nature shows, and outstanding, really good music.

161221_postmarks

[ Ugly postmarks ]

We have been devoting a lot of time to writing cards and letters to friends and family all across the country. This year, Dale has been doing most of the writing by far. I get a few tinges of guilt when I see him at the computer for so many hours, but I try to make myself remember that I usually take on that job myself, so I need a little vacation from that activity. Looking behind me right now, I see a stack of cards and letters just waiting to be answered. Then just to my left atop the file cabinet, there’s more.

Just behind me near the window there’s quite a few used stamps taken from the envelopes, just waiting to be trimmed for my collection. Sad, though when I can hardly see the stamp as it is covered with a really big “Season’s Greetings” placed right atop the stamp! Not a very neat job. In fact, those words are so dark that I can’t tell for sure whether the sender used a stamp with the nativity scene on it, or some other picture is shown.

No more raking or gathering leaves outdoors, no more trimming and pruning of shrubs and bushes, no more working in the garden or trimming along the fences. No more cleaning of the garden shed and putting the tools in order. Those jobs were taken care of over a month ago.

161221_puzzles

[ Puzzles and games for wintertime ]

So now I’ll just have to enjoy the warmth and glow of the fireplace, sitting in front of the flames as they shoot upward. I’ll work crossword puzzles and cryptograms, and continue to play Rummi-kub with Dale, even during the day sometimes, instead of just planning for those games just about the time we go off to bed. I’ve noticed lately that he has his seed catalogs with him as he sits reading through all of those pages, remembering that “if winter come, can spring be far behind?” Since winter has just arrived officially today, he will have a long wait, unfortunately! – CHRIS

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