If you live in the wintry Northeast of the United States, you know that many January activities involve the cold, snow or inside venues. I compiled a little to do list for you New Englanders to try this month. If you live elsewhere ask yourself if any of these ideas would work for you.
Go sledding with your family and friends! We have a long Tobaggon that I won at work many years ago. It can hold two or three bodies and goes like the wind!
Host a Saturday lunch for friends. I’m hosting my two friends Laurie and Michelle in a couple of weeks. Serve hot or cold sandwiches or homemade soup. Have tea, coffee or hot beverages available.
Organize desk drawers or cluttered countertops. It’s easier now while the weather is colder outside. Once spring comes, you’re going to want to be outside instead.
Organize your printed photographs or digital thumbprints. Label folders such as Christmas 2018 or Summer 2018.
Take an afternoon hike in the woods. Tom and I hiked about a mile to check on his game camera and feed the local deer. It was simply magical with snow falling while we were in the midst of the stand of trees. Animal tracks spiraled throughout the woods like a crazy maze.
Build a cozy fire in the stove or fireplace and cuddle up nearby. Watch a good movie, Mr. Church on Netflix. It’s a heartwarming story of a mother and daughter who have a cook who becomes part of the family. Read a good book! Right now I’m reading The Divide by Nicholas Evans about a family facing a tragic loss of their daughter and the search to find out what happened to her.
I hope you all enjoy the month of January and everything that comes with it!
Sometimes Tom and I take night rides around our town gawking at deer or whatever wildlife is out and about. A few days ago we were traveling up steep King Hill Road when an owl swooped over our car and landed on a nearby tree branch. It’s wingspan was quite expansive and at first it was quite hard to figure out what type of bird it was!
Tom put the truck in park while we watched the owl in the twilight. It stood absolutely still, probably about ten feet away from us. It was too dark to take a picture but it’s image is burned in my memory, it’s small stature, it’s wide alert eyes, it’s calm demeanor.
There’s something special about owls. When I see one I feel that magic is around me. It’s absolute beauty and composure amazes me, sometimes bringing me to tears.
It was a special wildlife moment that happens, taking my breath away! We were instantly mesmerized and what was really a minute or so, seemed like ages. I thank God for these creatures in my town and the opportunity to see them!
This month of November it’s common to hear in podcasts and other media the theme of gratefulness. Thanksgiving reminds us all of what we have that we cherish…our family and friends, our health, a roof over our heads and food for meals. Although being thankful is truly what this holiday is about, I’d like to think that being grateful is my mantra every day of the year and not just the third Thursday in November!
I used to have a practice of listing five things I was grateful for. Sometimes I listed Tom and the boys. Others my job and friends were included. I listed my health more than once, for despite a few health scares I’ve always managed to stay strong and healthy. Most times I thanked God for having Tom and the boys healthy too.
I learned this habit from Oprah and did it religiously for a few years in my journals. Slowly it faded away yet I mentally go over my grateful list most days and continue to thank God for all the good in my life as well as the difficult challenges. It’s plowing steadily through those barriers that has built my character and fortitude. It comes full circle and after experiencing the rough bumps on this road of life, I am aware that the hurdles have strengthened me. I am extremely thankful for the gifts hidden along the way, for they have made me the person I am today!
Now that I’m approaching 50 this coming year and my family is raised, I have ample time to reflect. Being grateful every day doesn’t mean a joy ride or perfect circumstances but to me, it is finding special and maybe little things that can brighten my day. A kind smile or phone call from a friend or family member, feeling the rich soil of the garden and planting seeds for future days, being able to walk on both legs and cherishing serenity in nature are all things I’m thankful for.
The more I think about this the more I realize that being grateful in some way every day is the key to happiness. If you notice what you have( such as being healthy or having a beautiful family) and not dwell on what you don’t have, you’ll truly appreciate what God has gifted you. I believe everyone has something to be grateful for and if you ponder over this you can generate quite a list.
What are you grateful for? Do you reflect on this just in November or everyday of the year? The more we notice all the good things in our lives, the richer your experience will become.
I’m busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Today I’m vacuuming and shampooing my rugs, generating a last minute grocery list and planning my table setting. I’m grateful that I’m able to do this at home and Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris are coming, as well as my youngest son Branden. Dylan and his wife Lexy will come later for dessert , so both my sons will be here together. Excitement is in the air as the big day approaches!
This morning I woke to hungry mewing cats crawling all over my bed , yet even so, there was a serene stillness in the house. Glancing out my living room window I saw a magical snow dusting on the cars and blanketing the ground. Stray dancing snowflakes fell from a murky sky. Suddenly I had an urge to be out in this canvas of beauty. I quickly pulled on my boots and ventured outside in the tranquility. The air was frosty but exhilarating to my lungs. Everything was still and peaceful.
Tom’s truck was gone indicating he had to sand roads for the town. I trudged back in the house. First I fed the eager felines and then brewed a pot of coffee. The wood stove crackled in harmony as I peered out into the white world. How grateful I am for this serene Sunday morning with nowhere to be but here in my cozy little house in the country!
It is mornings like this that remind me to breathe and just be. Maybe today I don’t need to rush out into the world to make my mark. It all happens here in my snug home with a wintry white picture show in view.
On such a beautiful morning I remember that today is November 11th. Happy Veteran’s day friends! Thank you veterans ( especially my dad David Doyle and Tom’s dad Robert Blowey and my friends Laurie and Russ Burridge) for the sacrifices you’ve made for our country!
It’s my autumn wish to completely express my adoration of my home state, New Hampshire. Being born within its boundaries and breathing it’s fresh country air 49 years entitles me to personal experience. It’s the many years of waking up to majestic mountains and living my life with a scenic background, enough that I should pinch myself that I’m this blessed!
Many years ago Autumn stole my heart with its vibrant gold and red elegance.
Sunday afternoon Tom and I cruised the infamous Kangamangus Highway with twists and turns through the White Mountain forest. As we began our journey we were fortunate enough to trail a parade of Corvettes. Even though the day was raw and chilly in the 40’s with a whipping wind, the pleasant sun brought some heat to our enclosed car.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit our stunning state, make sure to wander up north and take a ride on the highway. Every few miles are lookouts, picnic areas, hikes and some campgrounds to vacation in a rustic scene.
Here we stopped to stretch our legs and absorb the glory of Autumn. The C.L. Graham Wangan Grounds lookout is in Lincoln. I’ve never seen as many cars and tourists crowding the area, but even so we found our tiny space to enjoy.
If scenic mountains could be royalty their elegance would sparkle within the court. Their colorful leaves resemble precious jewels, even as the glow wanes. The monumental scenery takes people’s breath away as they absorb it’s unbelievable majesty.
I’m thankful for the quality time Tom and I spent on the road. We followed the Kangamangus for a few hours towards Conway, NH. Then we stopped at a rest area bordering a brook and ate packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.To wrap up the day, we cruised home slowly with no expectations. We had heard foliage was at a peak a week ago but even so, the colors popped here and there. It’s these Autumn days that fill my bucket overflowing!