Archive for January, 2018

Snowflakes

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Click here for 25k movie

We humans live most of our lives indoors. If Alice and I wanted to improve our inside experiences, we’d probably not live where we are. A second rate apartment on 5th Avenue in New York contains more luxury that we could ever hope to achieve in our humble home, no matter how hard we worked at it. We understand and acknowledge this. But the outsides…

Our two German Shepherds have done something for me that I can’t imagine anything else doing… they’ve gotten me outside at times of the day that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Tonight, for instance. Franco needed his evening walk, so I dutifully donned boots, jacket, mitts, and hat, and headed out the door. Oh yes, it was 8:00 and long dark this time of year, so I also put on my headlamp.

I would not have known that the perfect snow was falling had it not been for Franco’s bladder. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I were to suggest that I have to be careful about getting too interested in the snowflakes tumbling into the beam of my headlamp. With my head tilted back so I’m looking straight up, I fear that if I let myself go, I could lose my vertical orientation and tumble to the ground. There is nothing in my life experiences that seems even remotely like these snowflakes on a perfect evening. The movie I’ve added to this post gives a small idea what it’s like, but really, I wish I could take you all outside on a night like this, strap on a headlamp, and allow you to behold the wonders of a snow fall.

The Glade

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

I was waiting in line at Econo Foods the other day. The fellow in front of me put down a $20 and ordered some Powerball and Mega tickets. He got $4 change. It is entirely possible I was reading something into this, but I pretty firmly believe that I saw this fellow smiling with anticipation when the clerk handed him his tickets.

The news lately has had a story each night about how high the powerball and mega-millions jackpots were. One article I saw said the odds of any one ticket being a winner were about 300 million to one. To give you a sense of proportion, the odds of any one of us being killed by a meteorite are estimated to be 1 in 1.6 million. Yet when we read a story about someone buying the winning ticket at a 7-11 ™ somewhere in rural Florida, we can just imagine ourselves in the story. All our troubles would be over!

As I was walking Franco the other day, I snapped the picture at the top of this post. It is a row of trees I planted some decades ago. My idea was to separate the pond from the road with a screen of trees. Each of the little guys I planted came from somewhere on our property. They were dug by me with a shovel, hauled to their new home in the wheelbarrow, planted, and given their first drink of pond water. They were watered regularly during the dry years, but their roots are now deep enough they can go it alone.

The story of me planting these trees is not as interesting as the powerball winner in Florida, but I would suggest it is more true to life. So many of us want to write a best selling novel, a hit song, star in a high grossing movie, or yes, win the powerball. Few of us will be able to enjoy any of these fantasies, but it doesn’t stop us from dreaming.

If I could take a young person aside and get them to listen to me for a sentence or two, I’d suggest to them that it is the good habits that you cultivate, and the little things you do and then regularly reinforce in your life that will pay the best dividends. It is tempting to wish upon a star, but planting and watering a little tree will likely pay off better in the long run.