Winter finally returned this week! Mid-week, another winter storm moved in, dumping several inches on us. Today, we ended up with a drizzly, icy rain that left a coating of ice on the vehicle. We enjoyed lots of time indoors with the dogs this week, and managed to get outside a little bit too.
Our basset hound is obsessed with a YouTube channel called Chicken City. She prefers it to be on the televsion all day long, and will often whine and bark if it is not. She also still loves to play with stuffed animals. For Christmas, my Mom got her a stuffed animal; her very own chicken! It was one of the best gifts she could have gotten, and she has been enjoying it since we opened it this weekend.
Time With Family
Between the blizzard on Christmas Eve, and illness, we didn’t get to spend Christmas with either side of the family. This week, we celebrated with some of Ben’s family early in the week and part of my family later in the week. I spent time with my mom, sister, a niece and nephew at a sporting event, and we exchanged Christmas gifts. It’s odd doing Christmas almost a month later, but since the accident, and with Ben’s health declining, we’ve needed to adjust our expectations and plans in so many different ways.
It was great to see family, and I enjoyed a nice drive. In north-west lower Michigan where we live, it’s often a drive to get anywhere. The weather was great though, and the drive took me through a lot of countryside with limited traffic, which was really nice. I spotted a couple of new species to add to my bird list for this year, bringing the total number of species to 16, and I was able to pick up a few groceries at Meijer on my way back. This may not seem like a big deal, but where we are at, stores like Meijer and Walmart are a bit of a drive, so we plan our trips carefully.
Books I’m Reading:
I haven’t shared book ideas in a while. Here are three books I am either currently reading or have recently read:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Dear Writer, You Need to Quit, by Becca Syme
- When We Were Young, by Karen Kingsbury.
One thing I’ve noted in the past that I’ll mention again now is that different people like different books. I recommend books I am enjoying, but may still be reading some of them. It is always possible I may miss something inappropriate or may not have read a section yet that is inappropriate. Also, things I don’t have a problem with, others may find offensive and vice versa. While I am enjoying and recommend these books, please use your own discretion when picking out books to read.
It’s the Little Things
This week, we remembered my sister-in-law Morgan, who has now been gone 15 years. You can read about that here: https://talesfromnorthcountry.com/2023/01/18/fifteen-years-later/
So often, life seems to be able up of all the big things that happen to us. Deaths, marriages, babies born, graduations, new jobs, big moves, and so many other things that we encounter. And yet, in the day-to-day of lives there are so many amazing things that happen every day and we often pass them right by.
One of the things I will always remember about Morgan is how she focused on the ordinary, but made it seem extraordinary. In memory of her, my dad created a video on Facebook. I hope the link will work. https://www.facebook.com/100000178873722/videos/842670623469457/ In the video, you can see the photography that Morgan took, how it focused on not only the big picture, but also the little things like a butterfly on a flower, raindrops on a daisy or leaf, waves rolling up on a beach, or pinecones hanging from a tree.
Life isn’t just about the big events. The little things matter too. The way the sun slowly rises in the morning or sets in the evening, the way the rain falls softly on a windshield, or the way whipped cream slowly melts in a cup of hot cocoa; it’s these little moments that I think we’ll remember the most in the end. Sure, we’ll remember the weddings, funerals, births, graduations, and other major events. But I’ve found they often don’t stand out as much day to day as the little moments do.
The little things matter. They really do. Whether it’s finding time to read a book, or soak in some fresh air, feel the rain upon your face or feel like water between your fingers as you glide across a lake in a canoe, it’s those moments that make up every day. Often, we pass those moments by because they seem so ordinary, and yet, when we really stop to look at them, they often become extraordinary. Like an amazing sunrise we stop to admire, or a mother duck slowly gliding across a lake with her babies, like the way ice cream is so satisfying on a hot summer day, and how green grass feels against the toes when you’ve had nothing but snow for so long. Those are the moments we need to hold on to, to treasure. Sure, the big moments are important too, and we need to remember them as well, but it’s the little moments that make up our lives.
-Until next time,