Sunday, February 24, 2008

Calm before the storm

Gosh, so many posts in just a few short days! All because I am avoiding doing my taxes. David is hell bent on getting them organized but I don't seem to see him here helping. He's out extending the "mine" in the back yard. With 5 ft plus drifts outside, it's the perfect time to be a child around here-excuses for not doing the real work and going out to play in the snow. The "mine" is huge-both Dad and Daughter are having fun with the snow tunnel. I hear it's reached the 20 ft mark. Sorry to say that as of tomorrow, it might need to be re dug. Winter storm warnings, again.

Each and every season has it's storms. Every event in our lives seems to have some sort of rotten weather forecast. We tend to panic-not truly a calm before the storm but yet a build up of anxieties that lead us to believe it will always be worse then it is. I knew someone once, who at the slightest hint of thunder, prepared for the worse. Huddling around the radio or tv, emergency rations packed, ready to hit the cellar if the wind picked up just the slightest. Never could get that person to learn to enjoy it, never will. Some people just worry, worry their lives away.

We live out on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere. Love to call it the black hole-one city's phone #, one city's address, three different school districts and long term forecast for broadband or digital hookups for the house is 5 years. I hear the noon and 6 o'clock whistle from the burg to the west-seems the dogs know that too. This winter has been especially hard being one of the least traveled roads in the county, last to be plowed. So in that calm before the storm, we prepare with extra milk, bread, munchies and sweets. What ever we might need to hunker in for a few days. I'm starting to appreciate being self sufficient. The ducks are laying right now so I have 3 dozen eggs on stand by. I have loaves of bread in the freezer from a previous baking day. And no, I am not getting a milk cow. Though I won't be any where near as good as our dear friends in West Virginia. They figure they can go for a whole year without having to buy anything-living off what they preserve, freeze, dry and hunt.

Of the calms before the storms, there are always those times when we have an honest sense of something being off. I have over the years had what is called a gut feeling. Mom likes to call it my guardian angel pinching me. I think I must agree. The times that he's gotten me out of trouble are too numerous to count. Let's take our relationships. I've had people over the years who I considered dear friends, but something just told me that it wasn't right. I must also say that I tend to be a very forgiving person-accepting a person's faults, idiosyncrasies and odd behavior as just who they are. Not as a warning sign that I should step back a little and be on the look out for the storm. After the last year, I don't want to seem bitter, but as soon as the G.A. pinches me, I tend to listen a little closer, be a little more of a skeptic. Though, I have to laugh as I got a few I told you so's in the last year or two. I don't mind those, but I also made mention that a good swift kick in the butt before the eye of the storm overcame me would have been helpful. Though one thing I will say is regret is not something in my world. Each and every event regardless of it's outcome, has shaped me and will continue to. I would never redo something if given the chance, though I have learned a lot about what not to do. Extra batteries, fill the water jugs, just to name a few.

It's the aftermath that we need to worry about more so then the actual storm. We love to sit out in the yard and watch the storms roll by. The crack of thunder, the light show. I can always remember growing up and Dad never stayed in the cellar, he always stood out on the hill and watched it go through. I never learned to appreciate it until I got older. We need to learn to enjoy the storm, look at the beauty of it all. A storm hides nothing, but opens up the gates for all to flow through, the true nature of the beast is revealed.

Over the last year I've had to clean up after many a storm. The summer was full of high winds, downpours and destructive forces, none of which I could control. But I went along behind it and cleaned up the mud slung, the branches thrown down in our path and collecting the ever present junk left behind that the wind tried to take with it. Not only this summer, but the winter storms, and I might add, ones in my personal life too. Ending relationships and fighting the storms that ensued. Beauty of it all was seeing the real person, seeing the true nature and opening my eyes to what I had brushed off as nothing more then just their odd personality traits. I've taken a deeper look at myself and learned what it is that I really want. I hope that I have become a better friend to those around me. Sharing in their storms, not concerned about getting rained on a little. Doing clean up as needed and above all, seeing the rainbow at the end of the journey.

Later gators....

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