Saturday, February 13, 2016

Musings with hot coffee on a chilly winter morning

One day this week, I woke up before dawn feeling stronger than I have in – well, I don’t know how long.  I got a REAL workout, not once but twice the day before--and I can feel a different energy today.

This winter in the northeast corner of Ohio has been unpredictable.  Lake Erie is only 1% frozen this year, compared to 97% on this date last year.  And that puts the snow machine in overdrive when an arctic front drops into the area.  So it’s about 10 degrees, and we got about a foot of snow yesterday.  Beautiful, but our little house hasn’t a garage.  What it DOES have is a knee-high drift at the end of the drive, up against an equally impassible mount of plowed crud from the street. 

Seems all the usual plow guys, who swarmed the neighborhood last winter due to record snowfall, have gone South this year in despair, thanks to very mild temps and very little snow.  Not a one to be seen all day.  So with some fear, thanks to media warnings about “older” people’s risks, I bundled up and shoveled.  In the morning, the deck, walk, and one side of the drive.   Later, so that my hardworking hubby could park in the drive, I shoveled his side.  It was even deeper and took a lot more effort.  Two 45-minute sessions in one day!

My best thinking understands the importance of exercise; I know the benefits of cardio for heart health; most days I eat healthy proteins, grains, veggies and fruit; and my arthritis screams back at me if I don’t MOVE.   My daily habits are often a lot more sedentary than my intentions, though.  

Funny how one big day of stretching my limits actually overcomes fear and produces the motivation to do more.  I’m auditioning simple movements—either at home or in the gym—to enhance that feeling of wellness I have.   Healthy habits start with repeating small actions every day.  

Creativity is the same.   I completed an online class assignment, thinking that one small sketch wasn’t anything that special.  It involved watercolor rendition of "lunch"... in this case, omelet ingredients.  I had a great time doing it, and I'm generally pleased with not only the learning that took place but also with my assessment of a “pretty good” result.   I posted the thing on the Facebook page for the class; and within 24 hours, got over 100 “likes”.   

Artists in social media are generous in their support of each other—especially in “closed” groups like the one associated with this class.  Seems our joy in creating makes us more inclined to offer positive, constructive feedback.  In this way, we celebrate our successes, share our struggles, and motivate each other to take another creative leap in our work.  Kind of like another fellowship I belong to.  It takes one with the experience to communicate effectively with others sharing similar situations.

So, on this frigid winter morning, I look out at the dark sky from every available window as I drink my morning coffee.  Stars are winking out everywhere, from behind scattered cotton-candy wisps of clouds blowing around off the lake.  Grandmother Moon shines brightly, setting to the West.   I am so grateful for the lessons learned when I stretch beyond my comfort zone and share in the encouragement of others.  

It’s always an “inside job” finding peace, happiness and love.  Why not share the heck out of that?!


  1. Hi Karen!

    This is Carol Dekle-Foss of Love My Art Jewelry. I am TRYING to give away a Belle Armoire jewelry magazine, but the first person never responded to me and you are second in line to win! Please contact me via email so we can go over how you can get the free magazine! Here is your comment that you left "These days, I am most grateful for the gift of TIME! Now retired, I am free to explore my world creatively and mindfully. What more can I want?!" Thanks Karen, and Congrats! Carol