Bright Monday blessings!!!

I have been feeling glum, blue, and that feeling of claustrophobia is strong. When you live in a snow state as far north as we do, there are so many different things about winter people in the lower 48 never have to even contemplate. For example, you have to decide it is cold enough that you probably will not be opening any windows any time soon. So, you remove and wash your window screens and store them wherever it is you store them, for the winter. We keep ours in the rafters of our shed in the back yard. It’s where all the summer things go each year to die until Spring. LOL. And you just never open your windows all winter long. Mostly because it’s -25 outside with blowing snow. And who wants that in their living room? We can stay this way from late September through May. Yeah. That’s a LONG TIME without opening a window. My diffuser works overtime in winter. I try to freshen the air and mostly, it works. Today it is almost 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I can still smell breakfast in the air. One of the downsides of winter.

We are now moving into “break up,’ “Spring thaw,” “slush season,” call it what you will. Some people romanticize living in the far north. I know I did. I’m kind of over it. Why? It is raining. It started yesterday and we had “chunky rain.” It was rain mixed with snow. The snow melted right away because it was 35-degrees. Not cold enough to stick. And it is making a glorious mess. We have a large portion of our back yard that is basically a muddy lake with its own iceberg. It’s own glacier. Floating in the midst of dead grass and mud. (That is it, above, and is almost the same angel of the photo below). And, I have this:

He is our very energetic, 1-year-old Standard Poodle puppy, Kolbe. He loves the snow. He will run and play and chase snowflakes. He will stay outside in a snowstorm until he is white with snow all over himself. He will run and dive into snow banks. He turned 1 on January 2nd and weighed in at 71.5 pounds. We have not weighed him since, but I know he has grown a lot. And guess what? He discovered rain. And mud. And sticks from last year that have been buried in snow. And running through the yard at break-neck speed. And running into the house, avoiding our flailing arms with towels…right onto my white carpeting. Yeah. I inherited that designer choice when we bought this house three years ago in June. Hopefully this year it will become hardwood floors. Because I am so over white carpeting. I have two dogs. I have a husband who sneaks into the bathroom without removing his boots “real quick.” And a son, although he has been gone for over 6 weeks on a remote job site, who always forgets we have a mud room with a bench for a reason. A mud room that is tiled, no less. A mud room you walk into when you enter the house through the garage. Sigh. White carpet in Alaska. Who does that???

So we are keeping our distance. Social distancing. Six feet at least. Ugh. We have been watching/streaming some old TV shows. Some blew me away. (Captain Kirk has always been a lecherous man, by the way. We started with Episode 1, Season 1. And dang, some of those female character outfits! Wow. And all those poor guys in red shirts. I totally ignore them now). We started new ones, like the Mandalorian (which we love). We have pretty much kept to ourselves. And now we have this stupid rain and thaw thingy, that is making staying home annoying. But being out in the rain is no fun, either, because wherever you go, they make you line up, on the red “x” and wait. And wait. Only 1 customer at a time. Where is your mask? Frankly, I am over it. And the funny part? I’m a stay-at-home housewife and mom. It’s not like I am out and about. But I miss being able to, if I want or need to be. I broke a tooth and have been waiting for a crown for over a month. It doesn’t hurt so it is not an emergency. So I wait on that. And try not to smile real big. (Even if I do smile, who is going to see it???). My poor hubby. Maybe I need chocolate! LOL.

And this was the first time in our married life we did not spend Easter/Pascha in Church. The only thing that saved my sanity was that our previous pastor, who moved to a parish in Alabama, is live-streaming the Divine Liturgy! It sounded like heaven. Their choir is amazing. Their reader is so very good. The sounds of the prayers and the movement of the Liturgy felt like home, and I miss it very much. This Easter was sort of empty for us. No real celebration. I miss the fasting/feasting aspect of the Church. The rhythms of the Church. It is so hard, being separated from our faith communities. But we lit candles. We had our icons out. We anointed our home with holy oil (so handy having an ordained deacon as a husband). We said prayers. Even mini-processions in our little house are reminders of those processions we had in community. Nevertheless, this Lenten season was so empty because it was apart from our community. I did participate in a Lenten Study and I cannot even begin to share how important that has been for my faith, and my sanity, in these crazy days. So, Happy Easter! He is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!!

There is much to be grateful for. We have not contracted the virus, that we know of (although we suspect I had it in January). No one in the family, or nearby friends, are ill, either. Most of our family and friends are still able to work – thanks be to God. And with this nasty part of the year, the “slush season,” we will get more sunny days. We will get higher temperatures, and eventually, that mud will turn into a wonderfully grassy and beautiful back yard. The earth is renewing itself, just like it does every year. The orb we live on is turning and tilting. The Church in her wisdom, is moving us along this week, which we call Bright Week. No fasting. No sour faces. The Lord has come. We are a redeemed people.

Happy Bright Week!


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