Unscrooging Myself!


Winter is here and light from the sun will be begin to increase every day now until June 21st, when the days will start to grow shorter once again. But you’d never know it from the temperatures we’ve been experiencing.  A week or so ago we broke records here in Virginia with temperatures in the mid 70s.  It will happen again on Christmas Eve when it’s supposed to rain and temperatures will be unseasonably warm. In between, the record highs we have had fairly warm days with only a few in the lower 40s with even colder frosty nights.

DSC00575.JPGWhile in other portions of our country people are experiencing intense rain, early snowfalls and freezing temperatures, everyone I meet here in Central Virginia, is talking about this “Crazy Weather.”  A few weeks ago most comments were, “I love it. I’ll take all I can get.”  This week with Christmas upon us, people are beginning to complain.  “It’s not Christmas if it isn’t cold.”  Or, ” I’d love a little snow for the holidays. Is that asking too much?”

If that’s not enough there’s the way the world is looking right now. Politics in this country stink, while wars, mass shootings, and terrorism are claiming lives. The darkness seems tenfold more than it usually does.

The Knock-Out Roses in my garden were continuing to bloom until just a few nights ago when temperatures dropped into the 20s.  Last week on one of my walks I noticed forsythia blooming.  In Washington, DC, just a few hours north of us, the cherry blossoms have been blooming. Usually our lawn gets a year end mowing in early to mid-November, but last week the gang was back giving our very green grass another trim.

I’m just as confused as the trees and plants. In the fall I always welcome the beginning of the dark months. For me theyDSC00497.JPG represent a time of slowing down. I go to bed earlier and rise with the sun, as it peeks out over the horizon. And while I’ve been noticing all kinds of weeds growing in my garden during the last week or so and have wanted to go out and pull them, my body is fighting for what it wants more of … REST. My desire for naps has increased as it usually does at this time of year, along with a lapse in energy. While part of me wants to go out and clean up the garden, or walk without having to wear a heavy coat, my body is resisting.

This could all have something to do with aging, I suppose. But I have a feeling that most of what is bothering me is due to human nature and my not being happy with what is. I complain if it’s too cold, too hot, too dry, too wet, or whatever else I’m not happy with. And knowing I’ll never be able to control things like the weather, I’m working on just giving in and letting it all be. There isn’t much I can control, but perhaps I can try to change the way I react to the way things are. So I’m going back to an old prayer I often use when I find my world lacking in what I want or expect:

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

May the spirit of Christmas shine upon you and yours.
And may all of your wishes come true.
Just remember
if things don’t work out as you want them to,
there are flowers blooming and butterflies flitting about somewhere
on this beautiful blue planet of ours, and the weather is perfect!

Boston …

IMG_0677Yesterday was once again a day of terror and violence.  I took in the scenes on CNN of the attack on Boston and could only shrug my shoulders in disbelief. Today is the 6th anniversary of the massacre at Virginia Tech, and every day it only seems to get worse. Will every day become the anniversary of a shooting or a bombing?

What has surprised me most is my own reaction.  Breaking news of the sort we received yesterday doesn’t seem to be news any more. I didn’t cry as I usually do for the victims of the other attacks. I thought, “It’s just what happens in our world.”  That scares me. It is not how I want to be.

I’ve lived seventy long years and was living a good life, the day JFK was assassinated … also when his brother, Bobby, was killed and let’s not forget Martin Luther King, Jr.

I cried for those who died at Kent State … young people simply protesting the actions of a President, who the day before launched a campaign on Cambodia, during a war that few supported.

There was Rodney King, in 1991 who asked, “Can’t we all just get along,”  after a horribly cruel beating by police officers who acted out of prejudice.

9/11 took us all by surprise. We never believed we’d see an attack of that magnitude on our homeland … home of free and land of the brave. But there have been other shootings, bombings, and wars all around the world, in places where people fear for their lives if they leave their homes, or go about their lives without noticing what is happening around them.  It’s just the way it is.  And I’m afraid there will be much more to come.

For me, the straw that finally broke my spirit altogether was the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Connecticut.  It was a complete shock to my nervous system that even innocent children are not spared.  Now, I simply have no more tears. But I have the hope that the parents and spouses of those who were murdered that day, can lead this confused nation back to the reality before us and bring a stop to much of the violence. But they cannot do it alone.

All of us, who believe in peace at home and abroad must stand up to stop the violence. That includes our lawmakers, many of who are afraid of not being re-elected if they back the gun control laws they are now considering. The events in Newtown could bring us to a New Country, and maybe even a New World, where all people can live free without fear of going out in public.

If we do nothing, I fear we will become a complacent society barely noticing what is happening around us. We can’t let that happen. Please make your feeling known to those who can make new laws, and stand tall for peace.

Please note that I will be taking a blog break until April 27th, so that I can deal with the mess on my desk, write a few letters, and plant flowers in my garden. I wish you all a glorious spring through which we can hopefully bring our country back to a life without fear.