That Which Thou Must Leave Ere Long…

cat in the snowI’ve been watching the social media posts this past week and wondering if some people have forgotten how to read a calendar. It’s February, which is squarely in the cold part of the year for half the planet. People are complaining that they’re so done with winter, over snow, and sick-of-this-weather.

I’m not sick of this weather. Granted, as fifteen inches of snow fell, my power stayed on, but my woodstove was primed and I know to stockpile water for when the power does drop. In anticipation of a storm that hit Wednesday night, I did my banking, bought my groceries, did the laundry, and then enjoyed several days of solitude and productivity.

cat and dog cuddled upI’m am still loving winter, very much.

I’m still glad there are no bugs. REALLY glad.

I still love how quiet a snowy day is, and the snow ploughs sound like jingle bells to me.

I love how bold the birds become–they’re snitching from the cat feeder on my porch these days.

I like hanging out with my cats. In warm weather, they tend to leave for the barn, the yard, the stream. In cold weather, they take turns hogging the heat exhaust on my computer or napping on top of the fridge.

I love snow days. Love staying home to work on books instead of going to the office or the courtroom.

fresh breadI love spending the day in my jammies.

In summer… fuzzy socks and flannel sweats just don’t have the same appeal. Hot tea doesn’t comfort the same way, and my lambswool/angora blend purple scarf (from Scotland!) must be tucked away with lavender sachets rather than worn perpetually around my neck. In summer, the dogs are miserable and even though the days are longer, the leaves on all the trees make the house darker inside.

hot chocolateFresh, homemade bread tastes better in cold weather, hot chocolate does too.

When the season changes, I’ll find things to love about spring and summer, but for now, I’m ‘loving well that which I must leave ‘ere long.’

What do you handle easily that seems to flummox other people? What challenges have you sailed through, to your own surprise, or to the surprise of others?

Scottish Comfort basketTo one commenter, I’ll send a $25 Amazon gift card AND The Scottish Comfort Basket from The Scottish Gourmet (shortbread, clotted cream fudge, tablet–no haggis).


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98 comments on “That Which Thou Must Leave Ere Long…

  1. Thank you, Grace. You’ve put a very positive spin on this winter. Or, as I call it, the Little Ice Age, Part Two.

    What do I handle well that many others don’t? This might sound strange on the blog of a romance writer. But it’s being alone. Going without love.

    It’ll be interesting to see how other commenters respond. Keep up the good work!

    • Mary Anne, I’m also singular. I was briefly married in my late thirties/early forties, though himself never lived with me and my daughter. I’m occasionally lonely, but never as lonely by myself as I was when a relationship would go widdershins. I like my privacy now, like my independence, but I’m open to the notion that some fine day, I might have company as well as privacy and independence. The longer I’m unescorted in life, the more I respect how much work it is to maintain a healthy relationship, too.

      • Grace, I love the phrase “unescorted in life” — it sounds so much more gracious than “single” and doesn’t imply that one is any less for not having a partner. Thanks for that (from another “unescorted” lady)!

  2. For some reason, most people think I am (A) completely out of my mind and (B) extraordinarily disciplined to get up at 2 AM on a regular basis. I found it was easier just to get up and start baking so that most of my work was done before the heat of the day (in summer) or before other people were heading in to work. But I also really enjoy the quiet and the solitude of having those hours all to myself with no interruptions (save for the kitchen timer).

    I suppose it is a matter of self-discipline in a way, but I like to think of it as getting my ME time first before I have to face the rest of the world.

    • Jennifer, I’ve written a LOT of great scenes between 2 and 4 am. The insomnia of menopause has had some backhanded gifts. And in summer, the middle of the night is a spectacularly centered time. Love it.

  3. Years ago I was working as a secretary in Human Resources for a large company. Our main office was located off site so we seldom had direct contact with employees. We did however, have a satellite office in the main campus that was manned by several people from our department. The powers that be (my boss) decided that I should assume the secretarial position there.

    I was HORRIFIED. I had heard stories about how employees and managers who are unhappy about something (usually involving paychecks) would come in all day long yelling at you for something that you had no control over. I’m a very introverted person and certainly no “Susie Sunshine” type. I brushed up my resume because I just couldn’t see this working out.

    Sure enough, there were people coming in all day complaining about one thing or another. But surprisingly I handled them very well. I realized right away that they weren’t really angry with me – they were angry about the situation. So I didn’t take it personally. And I found that if I remained calm and civil they calmed down quickly. I came to really enjoy helping them as much as I could. Often this involved nothing more than offering them a sympathetic ear.

    I guess my boss saw something in me that I didn’t realize was there. When I left the job several years later for a promotion I frequently heard from employees about how much they missed me.

    Who knew that simply treating people the way you would want to be treated would be so rewarding?

    • Some of us have the internal groceries to view problem solving as a challenge, others collapse in the face of an attack on their sense of competence. I do OK, as long everybody’s civil. Don’t get me started on mean book reviews…

  4. Going back to school at 47 was quite a challenge. Culinary school was harder than I thought it would be!! Graduating with
    A 4.0 tasked my older brain to the extreme. No one is more surprised than me that I pulled this off. It may have looked like sailed through it, but that was hard! I continue to surprise myself everyday by what I do in the bakery.
    I am also unescorted (love that) but I choose to let that make my victory sweet.

    • I have also heard the term Sophisticated Luscious Unclaimed Treasure (SLUT). It has some appeal.

      I’m thinking about going back to school (again), and figure what I now lack in retention and processing speed, I make up for in self-understanding. I know how I work, and that makes the material less intimidating.

      I have a friend who graduated law school at 47. She’s been in practice for 20 years now. They’ve been her highest earning years, and she’s also packed more passion and zealous advocacy in those twenty years than many other attorneys do into fifty years.

      Better late, sometimes. Not better late than never, simply better late.

    • Tracey S. I want to congratulate you on your going through culinary school with such a high GPA. I tried going back and taking Culinary classes in ’02 but since I’d just been diagnosed with RA I didn’t know just what I was getting into. When it took me 2 hours to put out 24 place settings at the beginning of my second semester I dropped out. I’m seriously considering going back once I turn 65, I hope to start next January, as I’ll no longer have to pay tuition and some fees, all I’ll need to do is cough up for uniforms, books, and supplies. I need to see if I can go without aiming to get a degree, I just want the practical culinary classes, not the ones required for obtaining a degree. I won’t be looking for work in the field but I want the knowledge offered as I love to cook.

      • DO IT!! Doing that which satifies something in the soul is the very best thing ever. Good luck to you.

  5. Nice post about finding the good in winter. I struggle with this because I am NOT an indoor person but I hate feeling cold when I do go outside. I did, however, write a post for my library’s blog about Finding the Good in Winter. I’ll keep trying!
    As for what I sail through that others struggle with? I’d have to say discipline: with being vegan, saving money, being organized, and taking care of my health.

    • Being vegan is hard. I’m a humane certified ovo/lacto these days, and that’s an effort, but vegan… yow. I have read though, that a conscientious vegan will take in more nutrients than a carnivore or many vegetarians. Good for you, good for the planet.

      • Grace what does “humane certified ovo/lacto” mean exactly? Sounds like it might help me health wise. If I can dig up some self discipline that is.

      • that’s what i do too – i eat dairy and eggs, but only from humane certified sources. actually, i eat eggs only if they are from pasture raised humane certified chickens (such as vital farms), and dairy only from pasture raised humane certified cows. and i’m vegetarian – have been for over two years. i’m loving it!!! it took me way too long, because the sanctimoniousness of some vegetarians i knew got under my skin. but i outgrew that and realized they were right. anyway, vegetarians live longer, and vegans live longest!! i have to admit – your books make me hungry. all the mention of creme cakes and sandwiches. i think i eat more when i read your books! i definitely bake more!! do you have a favorite recipe for chocolate creme cakes?? πŸ˜€

  6. I’m not sure if I have an answer for that. Maybe it’s being able to handle the realities of raising four boys and three of them that need a little extra time and care. Or maybe it’s doing that while not being healthy or not having help from someone I should I have help from. Though my life is full of stress I try to muddle through with a genuine smile on my face and a kind word for those I come in contact with throughout my day. There might be some days that I wish I could curl up in bed all day and ignore the world around me, but I know that won’t help anything so using my favorite line from the wonderful movie WALL-E I choose to say “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.”

    PS. I changed my email on the newsletter subscription, I don’t want to miss out on any news or contest.

    • And live joyously. I liken your situation to having three and a half newborns who weigh a lot more than newborns, plus a couple of toddlers. YIKES!

      I don’t want merely survive either, though there are times in life when that’s the definition of success. I want to live joyously.

  7. I never really saw myself as a leader, but I did get a promotion at work that let me be the one in charge of my department. I am not really outspoken or take charge, so this was a surprise. Turns out that I handle things well under pressure and I don’t get stressed out about things. Anyway, they saw something in me and took a chance and I am glad they did. It helped my self esteem and I learned how to handle problem customers and employees.
    Great post about dealing with winter, we really don’t get a harsh winter here in South MS. I am ready for Spring and my 70 degree weather, it’s 65 here today and sunny so I feel it’s on it’s way and that makes me happy.

    • If that’s your definition of winter then I might ask Spring to hold off for a while.

      I never aspired to be a courtroom attorney, I thought my deal would be contracts, very much absorbed in the documents. After twenty years in the courtroom, I’m very comfortable with public speaking. If RWA needs a panel moderator, I’m happy to oblige.

      And yet, I’m a Warp Nine introvert. Hmm.

  8. I handle cold easier because I’m well-padded… this is Florida and people are lightweights. And I handle pain extremely well. I’ve broken bones and never shed a tear on more than one occasion. Don’t know why that is…

    • Good lord… Broken BONES? Some people are just tough. I asked my dad if having a ruptured appendix was uncomfortable, and he sorta shrugged. “Not so bad…”

      I’m well insulated too, but I also have thyroid disease, and that means my body temperature is habitually lower to start with, and I do manage to feel cold a lot. Need me some steamy books, maybe…

  9. I’ve not sailed through anything – just to stubborn to give up – my parents seem proud of me though I’ve not accomplished what I’ve wanted to do with my life

    • I’m not where I thought I’d end up either, Vickie. I thought I’d have twelve kids (some adopted), and be married to a farmer. I had visions of reading to my kids on the porch swings (we’d need at least two), and growing most of what we ate.

      Which strikes me now as a brutal lot of work (and bugs–nothing attracts flies like canning peaches).

      And yet, I’m happy. I hope you are too, and if your superpower is endurance, then for laps coming up, you’re the kind who will move to the front. Yes, you will.

  10. I agree with you completely, I love the clean, fresh look of things covered with white, and if one prepares properly, as you pointed out, there are wonderful days to enjoy. However, I do enjoy the sunshine and warm weather also. That just confirms our need of the many different seasons. Love your writing, your books are most precious to me. Keep up your wonderful work.

    • Linda, thank you. I have a LOT of books still to write. I love the seasons, but I’m glad my nonagenarian parents are in San Diego, where the seasons no longer plague them. They get different kinds of sunsets at different times of year (over the ocean), and that’s season enough for them.

  11. I love your uplifting view on winter Grace! I’m from Arizona, so winter is an unusually foreign concept here. Snow is a rarity, while cold weather will usually only last for about a month.

    Before I met my husband, I was a single-mother raising my son on my own, working a full-time job and going to college as well. It was rough to say the least. My parents were wonderfully supportive, and I was happy with my little life. Despite my happiness with my son, in public I would inevitably receive the kind of looks from people who judged me. I was too young to have a kid, what was I thinking, it was easy to see the judgment in their eyes. Despite the occasional naysayer and doubter, I rose above their expectations. I met and married my husband nearly 4 years ago. My son is now about to be a 5 year old kindergartner, we have a 2 year old daughter, and I’m a stay-at-home-mom and a respite care provider for my deaf niece.

    I surprised not only myself, but many people by overcoming the “young-mom statistic.” In my opinion, I’m a success and nothing will ever change that.

    Thanks for blog post Grace, it was a great read, and that basket looks amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Arizona, most people on the blog know I’m an unwed mother, and was before it was popular. I was in my last year of night law school and working full time when Herself came along. I managed to graduate and take the bar, but as I embarked on the merry adventure of single parenting, I wondered, “I have two college degrees, a law degree, and I’m nearly thirty. How do people DO this who had to drop out of high school, have mental health or cognitive problems, are cast out by their families for getting in trouble, and have no work experience?”

      Somehow, they cope. Maybe not well, but they endure. I’m so glad you had your family’s backing, and that you stuck with your education and didn’t lose faith in yourself. There really are happily ever afters, aren’t there?

  12. I love the way you think. I, too, enjoy the cooler (or, at times, colder) weather. I love not being hot and sweaty and not being able to sleep because the nights stay hot. I love being able to cuddle under my nice, fluffy comforter and having sweet dreams. Even though I do enjoy the warmer months, being able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, the cooler-weather months are still my favorite.

    • If I’m ever going to perk up and bustle around, it’s in the fall, when summer has baked me to a frazzle, and cool nights bring me back to life. I haven’t used this in a book yet, but I really must.

  13. New England weather can be challenging. We have had three snowstorms this week and I expect to have a few more in the next month or so.

    My husband and I have been trying to go to lunch for the past three weekends. Friday night, we watched the weather forecast , and learned that the snow was expected to start Saturday afternoon. My husband suggested going out to lunch Saturday and save the shoveling for Sunday.

    We went out yesterday to a local restaurant and it was packed. We were not the only adventurous ones! Great food and conversation and a nice break from the mid-winter blues!

    I try not to let the snow and my 45 minute commute get to me during the winter. I get up early, shovel and head out to work. I try to be a role model for the others in my department. Many people call in sick when it storms. I drive in. My supervisor has noticed my efforts and complimented me.

    I agree with you that winter has many blessings. Looking out my kitchen window, I see my corgis running, playing and barking in the snow. Irish, my almost 13 y/o corgi , does not let the snow get in the way of her fun! She is outside chasing and barking even though she has arthritis. The yard looks beautiful covered in the white, fluffy snow and the dogs love going out to play.

    This is the perfect day to make beef stew, watch movies, read and enjoy a bottle of wine with my husband. We are snowed in and will enjoy it!

    • I have four-wheel drive, and that helps a lot. I wonder though, how people coped before we had meteorology. You just has to ALWAYS be ready for another snow storm, or deluge, or drought. How tough our ancestors must have been, and yet, those successive snow storms aren’t any easier to endure when you know you’re going to get smacked again. Here’s to an early spring in New England, and a lovely summer!

  14. Thank you Grace!! I normally love the winter, but this one has just beaten me down. Me and my Maggie (shih tzu) are feeling house bound. At least I can see over the 5 ft piles of snow. She can’t and has to walk through tunnels around the house. On the good side, the sun is out today and will be 50 by the end of the week. I can’t wait!

    What do I handle better than other people? Most of my family and friends are amazed that I have gone back to school again at 52…I love it!! I think as an adult you appreciate it more than someone out of high school. I chose to do this, got my bachelors in history and now am becoming a certified medical coder.

    Love your books, and I too am an “unescourted” lady. I love that term. I think the only time it really bothers me is when I have a wedding to go too, but I am hopeful that Mr. Right is out there somewhere. If not, maybe in my next life.

    Thank you for writing the Lonely Lords, which is my favorite. My TBR pile is just getting larger and larger. LOL

    • I love those Lonelys. They’re the guys who kept me company through some really scary, hard years. Many of them are half the size of the original manuscripts, and oh, the heartache of having to cut scene after scene…
      Some nice long winter, maybe I’ll assemble deleted scene montages for the website. Might have to have some help…

      And hats off to you for going back to school. I’m thinking of doing the same myself, if I ever get out of that courtroom.

  15. You’re right Grace, it is nice to have that ‘excuse’ to stay in my PJ’s all day – Sundays are the best for that. But I really am tired of the snow – my front walk got so frozen a few weeks ago that I couldn’t clear it & then more snow fell on top. So I’ve been putting out a cardboard box with ‘Mail’ written on it. Hopefully the rising temps predicted for the end of next week will allow me to get thru the icebergs.

    I surprised myself (& probably others) when I took on the major project of a house addition with a new kitchen – turned out great and I certainly learned a lot. Tho I don’t think I handles it without a lot of internal angst, but I didn’t show that to others too much.

    Also, when my parents were each at the end of their lives and I had to make the decisions, I did get thru it, but only because I just had to.

    • The elder care challenge is enormous and there are no road maps. You want to respect them and keep them safe, just as they tried to do for you when you were young and thought you knew everything, and yet, the finish line will not be an independent adulthood for them.

      Takes a lot of courage to deal with the elders’ end game, but it also inspires us to make every day, week, month and year count. The sun will set for each of us.

  16. 6 years ago I went back to work after a 20 year hiatus raising four children. It was scary going back for interviews, acting confident and happy about returning to the work force world.

    I found that I liked going back to work. I get along well with my supervisors and fellow workers. I also enjoy most of the customers and they seem to like me.

    • What could be a bigger challenge than parenting four children? The parent manning the turrets at home has to be resilient, creative, organized, healthy, good-humored, resourceful… of course you’re a champ at the job!

  17. Working in the customer service industry has lead to some surprises about myself I never realized. In the face of an irate-hotel-guest-storm, I can be the calm anchor that both other employees and guests trust to pull us through with a smile on my face. Never would I have expected to be that person until I was out in the situation and surprised myself.

    • Daniela, your story is the stuff of a heroine on the page. The Little Engine That Could for big girls. I hope you’re keeping some sort of journal, because you should be training others in the skills you’re using so successfully.

  18. February it is! Snow, cold, wind and ice, all to be expected during winter, especially this winter!
    Sometimes when we are in the midst of a difficult situation, it seems like we will never get through to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  19. Snow, cold, wind and ice, all to be expected during winter, especially this winter!
    Sometimes when we are in the midst of a difficult situation, it seems like we will never get through to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  20. Grace as I read the basket contents description I snickered when I came to the “no haggis” comment tacked onto the end.

    A few years back I decided I would just quit living to please other people and “do my own thing” as the phrase used to go. It’s surprising how little stress I now deal with and I’ve also noticed that most of my stress is pretty much self created.

    I’ve decided that since I have chronic health problems, two different types of arthritis, I need to just learn to live with my aches and pains, maybe take a few ibuprophen, and if worse comes to worse, pull out my heating pad.

    I was told about a month ago that my cholesterol is up and I was given 6 months to get it and my weight down. Instead of moaning and groaning as I would have at one time in my life, or asking for pills to bring it down, I’ve made up my mind to try and bring it down using better eating, exercise, and lifestyle changes. I’ve been walking for exercise and if it’s at least in the 40’s I get out, catch a bus, and walk around inside Walmart for 30 minutes to an hour each day. I’m also planning to start going to the Y at least 3 days a week to do some exercising so I can get rid of about 20-40 more pounds.

    • Molly, make the nice doctor test your thyroid. In most older women the thyroid is under-functional, and the two most common results are weight gain and high cholesterol. You’d think before they start scolding us, they’d try figure out where the change in our health came from.

      My money’s on you. Neither ran, nor snow, nor gloom of night… and soon it will be warm enough to walk outside.

  21. I admit it, I’m guilty. I’m one of those people whining about all the snow. More falling today, more to come tomorrow. The problem is that I can’t stay cuddled up at home unless it’s a genuine blizzard, though I’d dearly love to. My virtues are few, but people continually tell me that I’m very patient and a good listener. (Not so patient with this weather anymore, though.) I’ll pass on the Scottish goodies, as I’m well stocked up with shortbread. πŸ™‚

  22. I have always handled ‘worry’ well. My husband tends to stress out and starting worrying from the very first moment we have knowledge of something happening. I on the other hand tend to wait, why worry when I don’t know if it’s really something worthy of my worry. I am not going to freak out, yes I will think about it, but I am not going to let it rule my life. One of my my favorite quotes comes from Corrie Ten Boom, β€œWorry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

    • What I love about your comment is that you and your spouse have found a way to make your complimentary traits works together. Looming circumstances will never catch you flat-footed, because he’s On It, from Jump Street. They will also never overwhelm you, because while husband is marching out smartly with the planning, you’re keeping a lid on the anxiety, and making sure no rose is left un-smelled. Team work!

  23. I don’t know of any challenge I have sailed through but when I do make it through to the end I feel like I have accomplished something that has made me stronger for the next challenge that I have to face.

  24. The weather doesn’t bother me. I know it will be broiling in the summer. It will even out. I handle noise better than my family. I was brought up in a loud house: eight people, a dog, and one bath. I learned to tune it out. Your unescorted in life reminded me of my great uncle. He referred to his unmarried sisters as unclaimed jewels.

  25. I’ve been through cancer twice, two different kinds, seven years apart. I sometimes feel like it didn’t really happen and that I sailed easily through (until I see all the scars). Other times I wonder if I’ve ever really dealt with it all. But I had great support in family and friends, great books to read and surprisingly, music was a great equalizer, soother and healer of my mind and spirit. And now I go on living life as best I can.

    • We have nine people and two bathrooms, but the half bath in the back hall was formerly part of the garage, and so cold your backside would stick to the throne… well. Cold, anyway.

      If you want to get my family going, ask them about the time nine people were trying to get out the door to work and school, and Grace locked herself in the bathroom to try to figure out how to weigh her head. I think it was my mom who suggested using the hand mirror to read the scale while the goods were in position…

      I don’t deal well with noise or stink, but I’m OK with clutter. I can see where eight people would create a LOT of noise.

  26. I do income taxes (for self, family members & others who need help–most are pro-bono) so once the Christmas decorations are put away, I start sorting through paperwork,etc. while watching a movie or something I have DVRed earlier. I, too, do my banking, shopping, errands ahead of storms & relish the time inside (bug-free–lol) to catch up on things & become “Turbo Mom” as my grown kids call me since I began using Turbo Tax & doing theirs for free–lol. I catch up on laundry & do some cooking (homemade sauce & soups) & as long as power stays on, I am contented to stay inside (once my shoveling or snow blowing is done). BTW, when we do lose power in upstate NY, hubby & I often play Scrabble by lantern light. I remember the words of my Mom “Each day of Winter is one more day closer to Spring!”…Ev

    • One of my brothers is wicked good at Scrabble. We’d play hearts and cribbage, or spoons, which some people know as pig, and usually generates into two-hand tackle in the dining room.

      Good memories. I can’t recall us being quite so together in the warmer months. Interesting.

  27. Managed the trilals of loan applications for nursing school without the bat of an eye. Made he actual schooling seems little more conquer able.

    • Colleen, I just had to do some loan application stuff for my kid’s matriculation at the University of Denver. Good gracious, I said bad words. This wasn’t the FAFSA, it was worse than FASA, wanting to know all about the business return, and geesh…

      Hats off to you, and if you think nursing school is easy, then you’ve found the right profession.

    • Donna, I too re-read Graces books!. She is a keeper right along with Mary Balogh. I read the Heir,commented on great book, then re-read it, and found all kinds of new things I missed the first time. How Grace can come up with such moving stories and characters while doing law at the same time, is beyond me! I am just so happy I found her. Now can anyone tell me how to print out her e-books? They are going to be keepers too I just know it!

      • Kathleen, EVERY book I’ve written is available in print–you can order them from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The novellas aren’t available in print commercially, but I have a few copies of Morgan and Archer, Duke, and Courtship. Email me if you’d like some.

  28. My partner is dying…(in truth aren’t we all?) But knowing what we know about the time left makes what’s left precious. We’re HOME together; I reduced my workload; We’ve had wonderful hospice nurses stopping by to support us; Sometimes, people at work get this sad look on their faces when they see me. I want to tell them… don’t be so sad I’ve been given 6 months (which could become more) to make sure of the more important things! When the end actually comes I may fall apart(I hope not…) But for now, we try to recognize each day of life as the true miracle it is.

    • Miss B, I’m sorry this challenge has befallen you and yours, though you’re right: Nobody gets out of this alive. As old as my parents are, I can see that they regard Death as a friend, the one who comes around to free them from bodies that no longer work, and lives they can no longer manage.

      I doubt you’ve arrived to this situation without traveling down a long road of hope, despair, more hope, and more despair. You’ve earned the strength to regard the future with peace and a determination to savor the light while it lasts.

      I will keep you and yours in my prayers. I don’t think you will fall apart. The body dies, the love is forever.

  29. My daughter calls me a “Delicate Flower” meaning I don’t do extremes in temperatures very well. When it’s cold and damp my creaky joints ache and I walk like I’m in my 90’s rather than my 50’s. When it’s too hot, I turn tomato red and get dizzy because I don’t sweat. One thing this delicate flower did that surprised everyone (me most of all!) was change careers in my mid-40’s. I went from office administrative work to being a blood collection technician. I went through school without a single absence and graduated at the top of my class. I had a job the day I got my license and have worked ever since. I feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I save lives every day. πŸ™‚

    • A delicate, DETERMINED flower. I have a sister like you, and a daughter like you. They’re the sweetest people you’d ever want to meet, shy, retiring, kind… and when they fix on a goal, they are human buzz saws, so look out!

  30. You are such a positive person. The only reason that I can tolerate winter is because of Christmas and my 2 daughters’ bdays are in winter.

    Hmm… I don’t think I am especially accomplished or different. I have managed to exercise regularly for 10 yrs now… My husband thinks it’s an accomplishment…

    • May, I think that’s a significant accomplishment! It’s so easy to fall into that, “I’m getting older, I have less energy… I’m very busy, who has time to exercise with all this running around?” mindset. But exercise shows a dedication to looking after yourself that always, always pays off.

      Go, YOU!

  31. I’m not sure I have one, because I’m the person to think so much and trying to be the contrary, just say I’m not the simple person but too conflict sometimes my cousin is confuse with me and advise not to think so much and take an easy about mylife, I don’t have so much bear anymore but still why it’s so hard πŸ™

    • One of my friends told me that her tendency to fret and worry was greatly reduced when she stopped watching the news. Much to worry about, much to ponder if you are so inclined.

      Maybe your cousin should try giving you some good books instead of lecturing you?

    • That is not a super-power I have, though my mom does. It makes such a difference to come home to a comfortable, sparkly clean house. I know this, and still, weekend after weekend, I’m writing instead of scrubbing counters…. Shame on me.

  32. Ah…Grace, you just described a perfect winter’s day of comfort! Although, I would wear men’s cotton pajamas, a pair of knitted wool socks and a Hot cup of Mexican Chocolate milk…don’t forget a couple of books!…And why no-haggis?

    • Traditional haggis is made with lung, and USDA doesn’t allow that as an ingredient in human food… so, no haggis. There are recipes that don’t include the organ meat at all.

      I wear guy’s sweats–sturdier than women’s, and they hold up longer.

  33. I’m not sure that I handle many things better than a lot of people… I did discover this month that there really are different types of cold. The coldest temps I experienced in Colorado (with wind and snow) seemed less cold than the wetter cold down home in Texas.

    I’ve been told at work that I am very patient with customers and that I should have been a psychologist because people always come to me with their problems (customers and coworkers). But all I really do is give them someone to talk to (or vent at) and, when possible, help offer a solution to the simple problems. πŸ™‚

    I really enjoyed stalking you following your blog tour!

    • Glenda, that was the most fun blog tour I can recall. Must do something like it again this summer.

      I’m not so aware of different kinds of cold as I am that we acclimate. The temperatures that had us all shivery and bundled up in November are welcome relief now.

      And if your super-power is listening, you will always be much loved and needed.

  34. I love making hot cocoa and baking fresh bread πŸ™‚ Alas, I live in Albuquerque, NM, where winter is more chilly than snow covered. It does snow heavily here once every few years, setting off a mad scramble for snow shovels and the like. This year I am grateful NOT to be participating in the nationwide blizzard!

    • My brother lives up in Galisteo, and I love it there. It can be five degrees at dawn, but early afternoon will still be comfortable and sunny. He says Sante Fe has never had a 100 degree day, and my, if only you had more water, I might hafta live a lot closer.

  35. Probably caring for animals although I know there are others like me. I have no problem spending time feeding and caring for my pets and ferals/strays. Messes and accidents don’t bother me. I can spend hours sitting on the floor with a stray to give them some time to warm up and for some companionship. Most people think I’m nuts, but that’s okay. I’m also fine with clutter, in fact I prefer it to sterile homes and environments lol. My house use to be covered with toys and games when the children were young, now it’s cat toys and, of course, books lol.

    • I have a half dozen cats who will come into the house, but under my porch lives the occasional guest kitty. They will allow me to SEE them, and FEED them, but I do not have petting privileges. I like knowing they’re there, like the sense that the house is home to more than just me.

      I think I grew up with a sense from my mother that we always had room for one more at the table, and this is the best I can do to keep that ethic moving forward.

  36. I seem to usually astound those around me by handling tough situations with a smile and that’s even when I feel just horrible. When the horses on the farm get sick even as a young girl I didn’t panic I knew just what to do and to this day I still watch my families farm because I can handle any livestock emergency with ease and calm even when I am terrified on the inside. I have helped with a choking horse, many a colic, a lamb that was attacked by a dog, chicken injuries, treating wounds on horses, saving kitties and even the odd dog need or two.

    • Kittens are the worst, I think. They need such frequent attention because they’re so little. The horses in distress are hard, too, because they can hurt you without meaning to when you’re trying to help, and the vets take FOREVER when the horse is in trouble.

      I’ve deal with a few cast horses, but nothing as bad as what you’ve put up with. Those animals are lucky to have you!

  37. Taxes. They flummox 90% of Americans, but I find a great deal of humor–and satire–in the 200+ pages of the 1040 instructions.

    It is February, and the dwindling number of us who must file a tax return are grateful to Chione, the Goddess of Snow, for giving us a few days off in the middle of the week to pull together all those receipts we have been keeping in a bowl on top of the refrigerator.

    There is something simply appropriate about pondering the inscrutability of TurboTax and the byzantine way we fund our government while the skies dump a foot of snow on our lawns.

    • I really must get to know you better. I cannot STAND the financial aspects of running my own business. EVERY month, I’m surprised that it’s already time to file the payroll reports. Every month, I find some bill I put in a prominent location because I lost it last month, and lo, I look right through it again this month, until I have to check-by-phone again.

      If my accountant weren’t part saint, the IRS would have its dibbles on my truck by now. Taxes, Ptui!

  38. I love your attitude! When I was a child and would wish for time to pass or for some time/event in the future, my grandmother used to say, “Don’t wish your life away.” Sound advice.

    I love winter because I’m a huge college basketball fan, and of course, that coincides with the winter months. And snuggling under my Pendleton blanket with two cats, a cup of tea and my Kindle isn’t too bad either! πŸ˜‰

  39. I’m with you… and moreover, i wish there were a private space where complainers could all go whine together and leave the rest of us to enjoy winter! I love all seasons. To me, winter has great power – the appearance of death, but it teems with life. it’s the resurrection narrative in a panentheist way… my belief in resurrection comes from a belief that life is stronger than death, somehow. It looks like death, but really… mostly it is just sleeping, waiting to take form anew, only moments away from bursting forth in a brand new incarnation of riotous, joyous life! And we need these times of sleep and death and darkness… they are holy, sacred, beautiful. they have great power to restore us and give us wisdom. the stars are clearer in a winter sky.

    • Ima tweet that: The stars are clearer in a winter sky.

      I’m not big friends with death (see Miss B’s comment), but I did stumble across the idea that courtrooms are places of death–marriages die there, parental rights, a felon’s liberty–in the interests of rebirth. Not sure the rebirth always fulfills its promise, though, at least not when the courtroom is the conduit.

  40. I agree, Grace. There are so many wonderful aspects to enjoy from every season. While we have had a much more dramatic winter here in Atlanta than we have in many years, I rather enjoyed that delicious snuggled in feeling…once I actually made it home and out of the car. There is such a level of quiet that comes with snow that doesn’t exist other times of the year.

    • Snow also makes for the brightest days, when it’s sunny. The leaves are off the trees, so the sunshine can bounce everywhere. My house is actually cheerier in the winter, when the trees don’t keep it in constant shade.

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