Christmas tree decorations
Once a year

The biggest snowstorm in two years happened yesterday. Those of us who like to ski can laugh about that stat: last year was not a good snow year.

There were several reasons that I came to Minnesota in 1987, and snow on my doorstep was one of the big ones. I LOVE IT. So it’s with sad irony that I debate its impact on my day and season, presently. I went to bed feeling satisfied, which is a surprise for a weekend when I got far less exercise and fresh air than I usually do. Am I … evolving? Or at least, adapting to the situation? Winter’s great for self-reflection.

What’s convenient about this Sunday snowstorm?

    • Our only travel commitment was a show at the Guthrie, The Servant of Two Masters
    • …and the theater allowed us to exchange them for a later date
    • I needed to do Christmas shopping and/or wrapping, and I’ve already decided to do both from home, this year
    • …the above is partly because I have a foot injury, and need to skip all optional opportunities to be on my feet
    • Stuck inside, I got a good look at our bare living room. This persuaded me to do a little holiday decorating (pictured above: a dolled-up Norfolk Pine houseplant). I’d forgotten how cheering a little sparkle in the house can be. I continued decking until…
    • I realized that I was doing it on my feet. Then I planted into the couch and dug into the knitting project that I have vowed to myself and to Becky to finish by January 1. Six rows done, 24 more to go!
    • I watched the third of three movies this weekend. War Horse was great, if a bit over-produced & over-dramatic. Coriolanus took awhile to get an enjoyable rhythm, but it’s one of the better Shakespeare film adaptations I’ve seen (as usual, the sublime Ralph Fiennes nails the intensity). Still on a Shakespeare kick, I lastly viewed the only commendable and available-on-Netflix streaming Henry V. Rhythm was similarly elusive for this film (i.e. one hour into it I had to peek at the Roku menu to see how much time was left), but this picture was also enjoyable, and not just because Christian Bale’s character ended up dead. Also: it was a great way to keep me off my feet for another two hours.
    • This isn’t “convenient,” but it’s amazing. The snow is beautiful13 inches were recorded in downtown St. Paul!
fruit nut biscotti
Using up the nuts
  • Being on my feet for the brief baking duration was worth it: I refilled our cookie jar with Bursting-with-Fruit Cantucci. The result is something darn close to the fruit cake recipe that has eluded me for years. Special bonus: it’s helping me achieve my goal to use up all the nuts in the freezer by year’s end.

What’s not so convenient about the recent dumpage?

  • I love being out in snow, but have to avoid it to let my foot heal
  • There was lots of shoveling to do, and I was unable to help Steve do it
  • I’m signed up for a late February ski race and yet shouldn’t get on those skis until mid-January
  • Stuck indoors, my mind drifted to some of the planning for our annual party in January. This ended up in some exasperation due to the high number of people either not responding, or responding with a “maybe.” Some of the maybes are with viable reasons, but well… this pattern is just plain rude. Every year I look forward to cooking up a storm and seeing some friends that we don’t see often, and yet each year this RSVP issue seems to get worse. One of the dreams I had for this adult, home-owning life was to entertain people in our home. It’s disappointing to discover that the reality isn’t as rosy as it looked in 1970s & 80s television, or that life in the 21st century is just too complicated to bother with such an affair.
  • Mini-rant over. Also: I vow to respond with truth and alacrity, to invites that come my way in the future. If I’m guilty of the same iffy behavior in the past, I plan to fix that.
  • I really, really want to refill the birdfeeders and get the birdbath heater going, but balancing on a step in 13″ of snow and messing around water in 13˚ temps when you have a fractured heel bone isn’t a great idea. The cardinals, finches and chickadees will need to wait a bit.

So, it appears I’m back to the serendipity topic. I’d love to hear from you: has winter (or injury) downtime dealt you a hand that allows for some surprising satisfaction?

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