Happy first day of March! Spring is on its way, as well as Daylight Savings Time on the 10th, so it's time to look back at what I learned this Winter. Obviously, I haven't written a blog in three months, since the last time I posted on SJL was at the end of Autumn.
Here are five things I learned:
1. Having my baby granddaughter lock eyes with me and then smile brings SUCH joy!
Little Gracie is three months old and is quite a happy baby. Unless she's "hangry" Her smiles and giggles are adorable and because her parents are still living in our lower level, I get to enjoy them every day!
2. If the term "spark joy" makes you think of tidying and all things Marie Kondo, then believe me when I say that her technique of totally emptying out your closet and making a mountain pile on the bed does makes a difference.
I have attempted organizing my wardrobe many times over the years but a couple weeks ago I did it "Marie's way." I emptied my closet rods and shelves and all my dresser drawers onto my bed. It took about five hours, but three garbage sacks got filled with all the clothes, shoes, coats, PJ's and accessories that I haven't worn in the last year, all items that didn't fit or didn't "spark joy." I was pretty ruthless and my minimalist daughter gave her opinion if I wasn't sure about something. I'm slowly working my way around the house. On a side note, the "Kondo effect" has given all Thrift stores a huge increase in donations. Have you watched the new show on Netflix based on the book The Magic Art of Tidying Up?
3. It is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one and grief is a process.
The last time I posted, I mentioned that my Mom had been on hospice since August. A week after her 92nd birthday, she passed away on Pearl Harbor Day. Even though I knew her passing was imminent, it has still been so very hard. In early January my husband and I and our two oldest children flew back to Indiana to join my sisters and extended family at my Mom's celebration of life. Her memorial was such a testimony of how many lives she'd touched; in addition to her family, there were former students, former teaching co-workers, friends, and the residents and staff of her retirement home.
A few weeks later I learned of the unexpected death of a friend. Liz and I used to live across the street from each other and our sons were great friends. She was one of the sweetest women I've ever known, and it's hard to fathom that she passed away suddenly. Now that both my parents are gone and I've lost two girlfriends in the last three years I've definitely been contemplating my mortality. I am thankful for my faith and the hope I can claim in life-everlasting with Jesus.
Grief comes whether we have time to prepare for a loss or no time at all...My Mama's church sent me a little book on grief. It's reminding me how important it is to go through the process surrounded by the love and care of others.
4. The middle lanes are fastest.
My oldest daughter was driving us up to Seattle one rainy day and she was staying in the middle lane of the highway. When I noticed that traffic was going faster than most of the surrounding lanes, she compared it to swimming lanes. (She was on the swim team one year in high school.) The best swimmers are always given the honor of being in the middle lanes of the pool. This has to do with the wake, etc. If you want to learn more, check out this article.
5. Even though I've never excelled in math, I do know the answer to this:
Heavy snow and/or wind + tall Evergreen & Cedar trees = destruction
The weather has been crazy all over our country, but February here in the Pacific Northwest broke records. We had more snow here than we've had in 30 years.
Schools and businesses were closed, power was off for many, and basically, no one could drive anywhere. One of the biggest problems was the heavy snow caused branches to snap and knocked down trees across roads. One of our trees dropped three huge branches onto our neighbor's deck which will have to be rebuilt. When the wind blew our power out the other night it also flipped our tall gas heat lamp off our upper deck to the yard below. It did not survive. The snow was beautiful though, for a time...
I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman and other bloggers sharing what they've learned. (I LOVE Emily's podcast The Next Right Thing and I'm excited for her newest book by the same name to come out this Spring.)
What did YOU learn over the Winter?
In His grip and grateful for grace,