Friday, January 25, 2008

In the Bleak Midwinter

You know it's bleak midwinter when your color photos come out white, black and brown. Sometimes my thoughts come out that way too, to match the landscape.

I have been too distracted to write on this blog lately, and unfortunately, the distractions are unwelcome, such as the one concerning the threat of drastic changes at work. Since I choose not to discuss work on my blog, my readers are spared the details.

On a day like today it is more challenging to find things to appreciate. But I did catch a glimpse of my dog looking like a frog on a lilypad, basking in the sun flooding through the windows. It's good to live in a house with southern exposure, I see. I didn't even think about that when I bought the house. And speaking of the house, I have a 4.5% interest rate on my 15-year fixed mortgage. So I'm not one of the many homeowners who is now rushing to the bank, desperate to refinance.

The garbage truck just emptied my trash container. That may not sound too impressive, but I read recently that public trash collection was the most effective disease control policy ever undertaken.

The sun shines today. Being of Irish decent, I much prefer gloomy skies, but I tell myself that we need sun to live. Not only does it heat the planet and grow the vegetation, but the benefits of vitamin D are well-documented. And word has it that sunlight improves people's moods. I am going to assume that my mood will continuously improve with every moment the sun shines today.

The birds found the food I left for them today. On days like this, bitterly cold and snowy, I worry about the birds. They found it immediately, and their chirping sounds oddly upbeat for a day like this.

My furnace works- a big plus. It's pretty old, and today's a good day to have it working. And while we're discussing house mechanics, I have a lot to be grateful for in that category. There are no pressing issues that need to be addressed. Sure, the bathtub faucet leaks, the garbage disposal issued its death rattle several weeks ago and the gutters drip, but none of those things really matter. I've lived here 7 years with no major expenses. Hurrah!

Then there's the newspaper. It's delivered every day, no matter what, unconditionally. There's something comforting about that. I may be one of the last people in this city who actually reads the paper version, but I like it. And I read with scizzors nearby, in case I want to save anything. Today's newspaper featured fascinating stories about tax rebates, mortgage rates and frogs in the salad.

I'd continue counting blessings if I had time, but I must leave for work. And that's a good thing....


Kacey said...

Your "black and winter white" picture is beautiful. Sometimes I forget what it is like to be so cold, bleak and beautiful. Here in southern Florida the sky is an unbelieveable blue and the sun shines most of the time. It is so nice that we forget how pretty snow really is. You sound like you are having a decent day --- it is cold in your world, but not in your heart. And there is no law that you can't bi**h about your work --- we might be your soft place to fall.

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

Thank you for offering to be my soft place to fall! What a generous offer. I try pretty hard to keep this blog positive, but it may not always be possible. I can't imagine what it's like to not have a real winter, but I think it would be quite alright!


Loving Annie said...

Kacey said it well, Betty.

a 4.5% interest rate on a fifteen year fixed is AWESOME !

Very powerful that you saw so much good in the day and your home and your life even when things are changing at work.

Hope your job stays intact -- (crossing fingers for you)

You like gloomy skies ??? O.M.G. - foggy mornings are my FAVORITE !!! I could live with that all year round.

frogs in the salad ? huh ? Did you just want to see if we were paying attention ?

Loving Annie

Betty said...

Dear Annie,

The newspaper that day really did have an article about someone finding a live frog in her organic lettuce. She decided to raise it as a pet. At least she knew its food preference.

This is a rough time. I wrote this post on a good day!

I'm tempted to refinance to a 30-year just to get lower monthly payment, but it's hard to even think of giving up such a great 15-year rate....I probably won't do it.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sideways Chica said...

Betty...I visited yesterday and caught up a bit with you and the child. Wanted to say I miss our correspondence. One of these days I will get back online, but for now...just like the rest of calls me away from the computer. Not really the computer, as I write every day, but work calls me away.

Ciao for now chica... ;)


Betty said...

Dear Teri,

It sure is great to see you again! And I'm glad that you're getting a lot of writing done, even though things in the blogging world just haven't been quite the same without you...but we'll wait patiently. Thank you for checking in!


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