My emotions have been sliding downhill for over a month. The frigid temps and two feet of snow keeping us housebound haven't helped. We haven't been out to exercise. Both Hubby and I have been feeling under-the-weather as a consequence. He has a rotten cold and I've just been "off" -- you know the feeling, things aren't right and you can't find the energy to actually accomplish anything of note.
This morning while I was walking Luie, the blind pup, around the snow covered streets, trying to help him find a good place to do "his stuff," it occurred to me that I had been able for the past two mornings to get out of bed, get dressed in massive amounts of woolen materials, and head outside with a minimum of "unhappiness and displeasure." Surely that was a blessing. Luie did his "thing" with a lot of pleasure and joy in the outside activity and then it was Gussie's turn. Walking him is more of a sedentary exercise since he's considerably older and a lot less spry. He doesn't take the same pleasure in bounding into ice-packed snow drifts and being a lot smaller, he has more trouble finding spots that are shallow enough to make "doing your business outside" a reasonable activity. Still he gamely keeps plodding forward until we eventually get our goals accomplished. Both dogs enjoy our walks even though we are still unable to find park land that is not totally encased in several feet of snow. I have to walk each separately so it takes a lot longer and Gussie is required to wear his leash, while in the park he can run free and determine his own pace and destination. The blessing is that each dog understands the current difficulty and does his best to make sure our daily tasks are accomplished outside -- and not in the house.
We were blessed that during these two terrible storms we didn't lose any tree limbs, our heat and power stayed on, and our roof did not cave in. Many people in our city were not so fortunate. Also we did NOT have to go anywhere during the storms, we were eventually able to get someone to shovel us out, but until then, we were able to cocoon in our house with our DISH network offering up over 100 channels, our computers operational, and our Kindles and Fires fully charged.
Last night we had another wonderful blessing when we met with friends at the local soul food restaurant. Huge platters of liver and onions, friend chicken, and chicken fried steak with cream gravy filled our table along with mixed greens, cabbage, mashed potatoes, fried green beans, candied yams, and corn bread. Dessert was the requisite sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. The conversation flowed, the laughs were many, the hugs were sweet. The five of us make up a group of friends of similar ages and tastes who live fairly close together in our city and meet on a regular basis to share our lives, offering support, understanding, and love. For me these people are a grounding force that helps revitalize me each time we meet. If we haven't been together is over a month, I find myself yearning for their companionship, wanting to know how they are doing, how their lives are progressing. And I want to share my life with them. We hadn't all been together in more than three months, so the effort we put into meeting last night (one member drove from Salina, KS to be with us) really lifted my spirits.
Hubby is getting over his cold and though it's taking a long, long time he has not gone into congestive heart failure -- which happened every other time he got sick. He still is not his usual self but he is not getting sicker and slowly we are making progress toward a more active life. This is a blessing beyond measure.
Hubby also keeps trying to make his C-pap machine work. The "snotty" cold made wearing the C-pap hose which fits in his nostrils difficult -- and sneezing with the machine on full blast caused phlegm to run down his throat and nearly coke him. He's never made a full night of wearing it but at least he keeps trying.
We've had a rough patch financially and have had to watch the budget pretty closely simply because of all the medical bills (both canine and human) and the taxes that needed to be paid. It's a blessing we can afford the meds that are needed to keep us both functioning, as well as meet the doctor and hospital bills. Also the utilities are paid, the larder is full, and the car is still running. I don't need to go out and find a part time job yet -- and this is HUGE accomplishment. I love retirement and to have the means to actually afford to continue not working is the second best blessing of all -- Hubby's striving for health being number one.
It's still very cold outside and the snow is knee deep, but slowly the drifts are sinking and the melting is progressing. Though our trash hasn't been picked up in over a week and everybody on our block now has dog-bitten plastic bags strewn around their curbs, we hope that tomorrow (our normal trash pick-up day) we may actually get some of our refuse removed. Wednesday I'm going to venture out on my own to meet the "Ladies Who Lunch" from Wyandotte High School and we're going to have the best Chinese food in the city in mid-town -- we'd postponed our February meeting due to the weather. Then on Thursday and Friday the temperatures are really supposed to warm up and we might actually feel like we should be "springing forward" with daylight savings this weekend -- and the first day of spring actually is coming this month (the 20th!).
Blessings all around. You just have to lift up your spirits and count them.