Here we are Stardate 022220190921. (Um... my Trek skills are very limited, so that is Feb. 11, 2019 @ 0921.) The crew and I are hunkered down awaiting another attack from the Snowdens from the planet Whitefluffystuff. Our provisions have been depleted, and the supply ships can't get to us. I fear that we may all perish. My First Officer Keziah has been keeping the spirits up with her countless and endless number of home improvement shows. The Security Chief April continues to bravely venture out to find us more provisions. I stand the watch waiting for the Snowdens to attack. I only hope my mother knows I loved her when this is all said and done.
Hmmm, that might be a bit dramatic.
I have written three books so there is that but let's be real. I am not under attack and the immense amount of cookies we have says we will survive. What is going on? Well, here in the Great Northwest we have been hit by constant snowstorms. At present my house has 16" of snow. Now, you folks in the Midwest may be laughing at that puny amount but you all shut your pie holes because for Washington it's major. To put it mildly, we have a lot of white stuff on the ground and on all the things. This is the most snow I have ever been in in my life. For those that do not know I am a Southern California boy who had never seen snow (I believe) until I was 19 years old stationed in Colorado for my Air Force Tech School. That time it was 1 inch of snow. So, yes, I am still in child-like shock and joy. Hell, I, with the First Officer and the Security Chief, built a snowman. A well-dressed snowman at that, which I know you want to see.
See, I told you that is one well-dressed snowman.
Okay, I didn't start a blog to wax poetic about my child-like love for this fluffy stuff all over my yard. Well, not entirely anyway. Since the snow was forecasted to come, I have seen all sorts of posts and comments both positive and negative. For example, after the first snow hit we got about 4 inches total. A Facebook friend of mine posted:
It stopped snowing in Manchester at 4. It snowed hard for about an hour but we only got 1/2 an inch. Super bummed! Hope more is coming.
This person wanted more snow because the kids were excited about playing in the snow. As a parent, who wouldn't want that? It is a great gift to be out sledding, snowball fighting, running with the dogs, building snowmen, and making snow angels too. But not everyone is feeling the same. Another friend posted:
I am so tired of the crap, it needs to go away. We have a foot of snow, and I can't get out of my garage. I am going crazy. And no beer or wine.
Obviously this person wants to get back out and do "life" which the snowstorm is preventing. This person doesn't care about the sledding, the snowman building or anything else to do with the snow. It's kind of crazy to see all the vastly different ideas of the storm.
Then I had the friend who stood in line getting provisions for the impending snow to beat all other snows. As she spoke to a lady in front of her about dealing with the snow they commented on all the things they needed. My friend had candy bars, cookies and chips by the basketful. The lady had a few TV dinners and items from the discount rack. The woman asked the cashier how much something was because it wasn't marked. (Disclaimer: I'm recapping this from what I remember my friend told me so it may be a little off on the full details.) Anyway, when the cashier said it was just over 2 bucks the woman said it was too much and couldn't buy it. Now, I should say that my friend initially described the woman as a sweet hippie-like lady. Most of us know the look of the "live off the land" type folks. It isn't a bad thing or an insult. It was just the imagery--- her look, dress and demeanor ---brought to my friend's mind. Bringing it back to the transaction, the cashier gave the woman the item for dollar which the woman gleefully accepted. She counted out her few dollars and got ready to leave. She told my friend to enjoy her snow day snacks and stay warm. My friend responded in kind at which the lady responded, "I hope to. I'll find some place warm. Hopefully it isn't too bad (this snow)." The lady left.
Something hit my friend as she saw the woman standing outside the store. The lady was homeless. She wasn't a hippie living off the land. She was a person living on the land. The reason the 2 bucks was too much was because she didn't have enough to do something more. She didn't have the ability to have a basket full of junk food to ride out the big storm with. She didn't have a big house with heat and electricity to go to. She was hoping to stay warm and that her little food will last her throughout the storm. As my friend recapped the encounter to me we both talked about the perspective we all have when it comes to stuff like this.
You see, one friend wanted all the snow that could be had because it would mean happy children and bonding time and... no work. Another wanted all of this crap to go away because it was stopping her from having a good time with her friends and her life. Then, there was this lady who was just hoping to survive the storm with what little she has or had at her disposal. Maybe she could get into the shelter. Maybe she could get a room somewhere. I'll never know what happened to that woman. In the end, it is about perspective and respecting that what is good for one may or may not be good for another.
Take a look at this picture:
These are photos I have taken of a few birds during the snowstorms. My wife and I have a heat light on our hummingbird feeder and a fully-stocked bird feeder that I have to go out and knock the snow off of. These birds, like that woman, have to deal with the elements the best they can. Some will not make it. Some are better built for it than others. From their perspective this storm is about survival. So is mine. I want to survive too. But I live in a big house that has heat. I can go into the pantry and make me some food. I can go out and fix the bird feeder in a tank top and boxers (which I did do) because I know "heat" is only a few feet away. They can't. Many animals and people can't. They have to deal with what is. From the bald eagles (middle picture and bottom middle picture) to the tiny hummingbird (bottom left on branch). They all are in survival mode more than any other time because this snowstorm is not normal for us. And this is why I am blogging today. While my friend catches up on school work (schools have been closed for the last two school days) and my wife works on crafts (no work for her either) because I am grateful.
I am grateful for the gifts I have and what I get to do. I am grateful for friends who message me asking if we have everything. I am grateful for strangers who help police push cars out of danger. I am grateful for the snow angels and snowman. I am grateful to get up and go take pictures like this:
I find beauty in the world as I see it. I am grateful for random days off. I am grateful for employers who believe in their employees' safety over "getting there" and who allow people to get off early to avoid possible dangers. I am grateful for those who "have to" work on days like this and often have to work more because of it. Those are the first responders, police, firefighters, medical professionals, military, tow truck drivers, plow drivers, electric company workers, other city officials who have to keep the city going, and the average citizen, like one of my neighbors who asked if anyone needed a ride to the store because he didn't want anyone to go without what they needed. I am grateful. I am even grateful for 16 inches, and counting, of
snow that turns my usually vibrant green neighborhood into a white winter wonderland where big old mud boots let me make giant foot holes in the snow.
So, for all those people who are out in this stuff I say, be safe. To all those people who are home I say, be a kid again. Life is too short to complain about the things we have no control over. Embrace what you are, where you are, and why you are in such a fashion that when you look back you will feel amazing about it. You never know when you will see another day like this one. You never know when you will see another day at all. Don't go wishing for something different. Instead, learn to make the best of what you are given. The road may be covered in snow but life is not cold and uninviting. Get on your boots and go see what the
snowy day has to offer. You never know where it might lead you. Maybe a snowball fight? Or showing some kids your sled game? Most importantly, enjoy the moment and the ability you have to enjoy because others can't or won't. It is time for me to go and check on my snowman, throw a snowball, and do something new...
Like making your own face print in the snow. What? Yup, take a look at this:
If you don't try that I feel bad for you. :)
Be amazing. Life isn't what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens in life.