Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Early winter

The past couple of weeks, I've been living one of my worst nightmares: winter has come early here in Minnesota.
Early snow and way-below average temps.
Why do I hate it so much?
A lot has to do with fear. I remember sliding down a snowy hill, driving the minivan, out of control.
I remember getting the van stuck in ice in a parking lot and 4 men had to help me push it out.
I remember not being able to drive the van up our driveway because it was so slick with ice.
I remember slipping and sliding and falling on the ice many times.
I remember earlier this year Cupid straining /spraining something in one of her rear legs while tromping thru a bank of snow. There was no one to call for a ride; somehow she managed to limp all the way home. Followed by an expensive trip to the emergency vet.
I remember - on less painful walks with Cupid - my face feeling frozen, icy tears being whipped from my eyes, my fingers numb with cold despite wearing gloves.

To cope, I've learned that it's vital that I get out of the house at least daily during winter. Having such unpleasant memories makes that difficult, but it's high on my list of survival tools. Another tool that I started using last year is to list things for which I'm grateful, also daily. At least two a day. In my fowlest moods, that tough to do; other days they come easily.
Today I'm feeling especially grateful for my group. They're a wonderful bunch, some of whom have become friends in addition to being support people. I have a feeling I'll be relying on them heavily this winter.
Another thing I am grateful for is the beauty of nature. I took this photo of a baby maple tree last fall. It was growing up thru the center of a shrub (dogwood?) and couldn't have been more than 15" tall. Just adorable.

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