Spring Ahead Naturally

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With February nearing an end, all the sights and smells of Spring are vying for surface time.  With yet another messy storm looming in our immediate future, these signs will once again be squashed for a day or two.  The good news is, sooner or later, they will stay for good!  This morning while walking from my work parking lot to the entrance door I saw a family of skunks.  At least I think it was a family.  Two adult skunks and two babies walking directly in my path.  Something must have startled them earlier because the smell was so pungent I could taste it.  One of the adults, I suspect the mom, was trying very hard to keep the two babies in line while the other adult, dad, was just going about his business getting from point A to point b.  Very cute and a sure sign of Spring.

Earlier this week while walking Lizzie we ran into a family of deer.  Last year I realized that deer, like humans, have their offspring all year-long.  I always thought they only birthed in Spring, but nope, I’ve seen babies all winter.  This year is no different.  The new babies are just making their debut in my neighborhood and they are smaller than my dog.  With speckled white dots all over their backs, they just want to play, play, play!  With all the snow, it’s easy to track them in the yard and it seems they come around my yard in the wee hours of the morning.  I don’t see any buds on the trees and my garden is completely buried in snow, but there’s something that’s surely attracting them.  They provide great entertainment for our daily walks.  I bet if the parents weren’t around, the babies would play with the dog.  I have to chuckle when the parents nudge the babies across the street.  They’re so curious about the dog and of course the dog just wants to play and chase them.  Very cute.

The ole homestead feels different this year with mom gone.  The house is too big and the property is too much to maintain.   It’s funny, for such a small person, she commanded a lot of room.  It’s time to downsize.  The amount of work ahead is a bit overwhelming, but there’s no rush so I’ll just take my time.  It exhausts me just thinking about it.  My basement and garages are filled with boxes that haven’t been looked at in many years.  There are lots of repairs to be made and before you know it the lawn will need cutting and the garden will need planting.  Oiy…

Thank gawd for nature’s distractions along the way.

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Take Me Away

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I woke up this morning and before getting into my daily routine, I gave my dog a Valentine’s kiss.  As I prodded along with my mundane duties, I wondered if the day had anything in store for me.  Would anyone think I was special enough to reach out and say so?  We’ll see.  As the morning progressed I was haunted by a nagging toothache that has been with me off and on for many months.  It comes, it goes and it seems I only think of it when it’s arguing with me, then when it leaves, I forget about it.  Today it was particularly stubborn and instead of going away, it was getting worse.  Of course my dentist’s words ring in the back of my head “you really need to get that taken care of before it gets too bad”… yeah, yeah.  This is a cavity that was filled when I was a child and has cracked over the years.  Every now and then with either pressure or food, it acts up.  I was convinced it would just continue to go away.  Today, I was wrong.

Within 30 minutes of getting up, I was out of my mind with pain.  I put an emergency call into my dentist (hating that he was right) and left a message with the answering service that this was an emergency and I needed to be seen now.  Yeah, I’m pushy.  I get a call back from the Dr. who knew exactly which tooth I was talking about.  He gave me a referral, an appointment and a lecture.  I had a Root Canal in my immediate future and he decided to poke gently because of the serious pain taking over my mouth. I’m sure there’s a huge “I told you so” lecture coming my way soon.  Root Canals are the worst of the worst in dental procedures.  They are painful, long and then painful again.  Happy Valentine’s Day to me, I’m celebrating by having a Root Canal.  Crap.

I’ve never heard of or been to this specialist before, and I’m not really in the mood for anything new.  In spite of my bitchy self, I’m greeted by the most pleasant receptionist ever.  I wanted to scream, but she’d done this before and knew exactly how to handle someone in my predicament.  I filled out the paperwork and sat down, eyes closed in so much pain.  What unfolded next is nothing short of a miracle.

I started looking around the waiting room.  It was different, not cold, over-bright and uncomfortable, but warm low lighting with a coconut aroma.  The large palm tree was still decorated with soft mini lights intertwined.  One wall had an ocean mural where the other one had a beach mural.    The coffee table was a converted lobster trap and all the magazines were of beach houses around the world.  Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley crooned softly in the background with steel drums taking me straight to the islands in my mind.  It was awesome and the tropical atmosphere was working on me.  I felt good, in spite of the pain.  I almost forgot I was there for a Root Canal.  Seagulls hung from the ceiling and in the corner was a basket of beach balls.  I was totally at ease.  As I looked at the receptionist again, I noticed she was wearing a fake flower in her pony-tail and she was tanned.  I was escorted to a room that mirrored the waiting room except this room had a window with painted shutters on either side. 

When the specialist came in she told me all my x-rays had been sent over and she would have me out of there in about an hour.  I commented on the theme and the hospitality of her staff.  She was very proud to explain since all her patients arrive in excruciating pain, she wanted to make the stay as pleasant and easy as possible.  Since her staff was made up of all women, she said it just came natural to everyone.  I was so impressed. 

I told her how I was ready to rip someone apart when I arrived because of the level of pain and before I even left the waiting room, I was completely at ease.  She smiled and said that’s exactly what she was going for when she designed the place.

All in all, it’s not a bad Valentine’s Day after all.  Numbness is gone and swelling is down.  Steel drums still playing in my head.

Well done sister, well done.

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Lessons in Love

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Like all recognized holidays, modern-day has sensationalized and spun them out to be more of a money-making marketing scheme, then the actual celebratory meaning behind them.  Valentine’s Day is no different, but at least holds the core meaning truthful, as we know it.  It’s all about love, if you can get past the fact that St. Valentine was whipped, stoned and then beheaded in the name of love.

There are many kinds of love.  There’s the unconditional love of a pet.  If humans loved as pets love, we’d all get along, with treats everyday.  When was the last time someone in your family jumped for joy to see you at the end of the day like your dog does?  There’s the love of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, country, etc.    Then there’s the love of your sweetheart… the most critical love of all. 

If your heart has been broken, it’s because you cared, you committed.  It is better to be unsuccessful in love because you gave too much, than to fail because you couldn’t give enough.  Although painful, there is life after heartbreak, and lessons that unfold. What you do with those lessons will determine how you handle the next encounter.

I’m watching my son repair his broken heart.  It’s something he has to do on his own, live through it, learn from it.  Although there will always be a sweet spot for the girl who captured, and broke his heart, he’s testing new waters and new horizons.  He has grown, learned and matured from this.  The silver lining is it’s made him a better man… as it should.

Valentine’s Day isn’t about the cards, candy or flowers.  It’s a celebration of feeling special, being remembered, and making an effort to let someone know they’re the only one.  It’s the feeling you get inside with the little things they do.  If you’re in love, shouldn’t you feel special everyday?  I think so.

Here’s hoping your sweetheart makes you feel unconditionally special, every single day.

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