15% of all purchases made at our local Wendy’s until 8pm tonight would go to Isaac’s school. So it was a no-brainer choosing to eat out there and opt for a night off of cooking. I’m all about any opportunity to support our son’s education. Plus, Frosties.
Where January was dreary and almost constantly gray, February has seen ample sun, filled mostly with bright blue skies. Who knows what March and April will hold as the days hopefully warm up. Some years, they’ve been the dreariest of all. But I’m not going to borrow gray skies when today’s are blue and bright for me. Tomorrow will worry about itself.
A once common (daily) treat is more of a treat (by definition) these days when I make a rare stop at the Starbucks drive-through on my way to work for my favorite green tea latte. I worked late the night before. So my morning commute seemed to deserve something a little extra special. I’d tried to cut out coffee a day earlier, too. Green tea was the perfect break-it-to-me-gently antidote to coffee withdrawl. My coworkers probably didn’t realize it, but they should have thanked me for stopping for tea… lest my coffeeless mood/state be a sour one.
I’m finally sitting down tonight to do what I’ve wanted to do all day… listen to one of my favorite CDs with the music of my favorite composer (whose birthday it is today). It’s a recording of Mendelssohn’s Third and Fourth Symphonies, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir George Solti. It’s such a flawless performance that it has ruined me when it comes to listening to any other recording of either of these symphonies… none other seem to compare. Anyway, while it’s a favorite, it has probably been a good three or four years since I have listened to this CD. I suppose I’m dating myself by admitting I even own CDs, but I’m looking forward to kicking back next to the fire and closing my eyes to just listen and breathe out this week. (This is one of those recordings that need to be turned up as loud as the ears and neighborhood will allow.)
Today was a mixed bag. It was so precious, or rather, I held precious all that I have, especially my son. Today I discovered the sad news of a local family who lost their three-year-old boy to an unexplained illness that took his life so quickly and unexpectedly. After speaking to the woman at work who shared the story with me, I barely made it back to the elevators without breaking down in tears. My heart was broken for this family, and it stirred up so much emotion in me in regards to our loss three years ago.
But in the process of hearing of this sad story and getting a card to the coworker who knows this family to give to them from us (because we know too well a taste of what they’ll be facing over these next several months, and I remember the comfort I found when even complete strangers sent words of comfort to us), I made a new friend. She was kind, and she too was emotional over this sad news. And though we work in separate buildings, we both agreed that we hope our paths will cross again.
Also, I had meaningful conversation with a friend who’s not new where I was able to give some appreciated advice that I would hope someone would give to me if I were in the same confusing situation. It was good to feel that my advice was appreciated.
There were small blessings, too. Like 1) blue sky in every direction (not a cloud in sight), 2) Friday/end-of-the-work-week, and 3) I got to leave work early. 4) It was light when I woke up and light when I left work, and that meant I had the opportunity to stop on my drive home to capture this little scene of a golden field, half shadowed from the trees, and half glowing in the setting sun… against that blue, blue sky. 5) Leaving early meant I was home in time to make it to the WinterFest Fun Night at a local school for students from Isaac’s school and all the other grade schools in town. We danced in the gym to the tunes the DJ played (think all the best stuff from a wedding reception) until we couldn’t dance anymore.
I know things look rather different for one family tonight… and so many others whose situations I’m not even aware of. So I count even the smallest of blessings, because we never know when they’ll be taken from us.
And after I do, it adds up to one good day. Now for Mendelssohn’s Scottish and Italian Symphonies. (Happy birthday, Mendelssohn!)
Look! I see three seasons in one here. Fallen leaves from last autumn’s shedding, snow freshly fallen overnight, and green grass that did not succumb to death, ready to shoot up at spring’s cue. Only summer seems veiled here. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it’s in the bright sun, not shown, but which is clearly illuminating what is seen.
This is a proper start to February.
Today was a chill end to January, whose cloud-wrapped sky threatened to shut out the sun… once again. But then there was this… a serendipitous heart-shaped patch of blue that formed up above me while I was at lunch. There were several tiny patches of blue in all directions throughout the cluttered sky, some of which I had been photographing (prior to seeing this one) in an attempt to specifically capture proof of blue for my daily photo… just to show how grateful I was to see any blue at all (no matter how small), which we’ve seen so little of this month. Truly… it has been a record January in terms of the streak of gray days we’ve had… the longest in 25 years (so says The Weather Channel)!
So imagine how broad a smile this patch gave me. It didn’t last but a few seconds before the winds reshaped its 💙-shaped border, only to close it up completely. But I looked up at just the right moment to notice it, and my camera was good and ready because I’d already been shooting all around it.
It made me think… Maybe when we look for what’s good among a sky-full of dark, our gratitude bounces right back our way with a wink, reminding us that streaks are just that… only streaks. Not permanent circumstances. And just as clouds do, streaks break up, too. And the sun WILL be out again.
Some people love cloudy weather. Me… I’m a sun person. So, ironically, I’m waving this January on in anticipation for February almost as eagerly as I did 2016 in anticipation for 2017. I took today’s heart as a sign for a sunnier month to come.