Tag Archives: outdoors

Finding Your Inner Strength

Sweet & Weak

Roughing it

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to dig deep inside to muster the strength to go on and overcome sudden hardship.  It is in those times, when situations look hopeless, that families can find a way to come together and triumph.  With gritty determination, teamwork, and good old fashion gumption, my family came out on top this morning smelling like vanilla.  That’s right, vanilla.  That is because this morning’s metaphorical Everest was a 5:55 power outage and we held on tight and reached the summit together by 6:30 thanks to flashlight apps on our phones and a cabinet filled with half burned scented candles.

I will not make light of it (horrible pun), it is a difficult thing to look into your child’s eyes and explain to her that “No sweetie, I can’t turn on a kid show while we finish getting ready.”  With holiday scents released from our flickering light sources wafting through our humble abode, my brave little girl found the strength to occupy her time by sitting in the dark playing Angry Birds on the iPad.  She was scared and didn’t understand why the sink would work but the lights were dead.  It is in moments like this that a parent can take advantage of a real learning opportunity and share a pint of ice cream with his little ones for breakfast, explaining what life was like for people long ago.

I was truly proud of the resourcefulness  exhibited this morning as we made the best of things.  Make-up was applied by candle light and moose and hairspray saved the day as the flat-iron lied impotent on the counter.  Lunches were packed and coffee was replaced with caffeinated soda (even if it was a hard pill to swallow realizing the refrigerator wouldn’t drop the ice directly into our cups and we had to scoop it out with our bare hands).  Our problem solving was at its zenith as we continued to find a way where there seemed to be no way.  Garage door openers were pushed out of habit and the fear of our cars being stuck was quickly washed away as we remembered to pull down on the red hangy down thing to open the garage manually.  In a stroke of luck we even knew where a key was to our house so we were able to lock up behind ourselves to hopefully protect our possessions once the inevitable looting began.

As we drove down the streets of our dark subdivision you couldn’t help but feel a sense of community as parents escorted their kids to the bus stops flashlights in hand.  Somehow we all managed to make it out alive.  It may have taken longer to update our statuses relying solely on 3G instead of wi-fi, but we did it and we learned a few things along the way.  I like to think that our forefathers would have been proud of us this morning for pulling up our bootstraps and exhibiting the kind of determination this great country was founded upon.  In fact, I could hardly wait to share our story of overcoming hardship and roughing it like a real pioneer as soon as I got to Starbucks.

Sometimes a morning that starts off pretty weak has a way of turning out sweet after all.


Time to Decorate the Christmas Branch

Sweet

I Think it is Leaning a Little to the Left.

There is no “real or fake” debate in my house when it comes to Christmas Trees.  I have had a real tree every Christmas of my life and have no plan to stop anytime soon.  I understand the convenience of only having to “put your tree together” but as for me and my house?  We will embrace the challenge of tackling the wild outdoors and domesticating a part of Mother Nature to put into our living room for a month.  I really love everything about the entire process;  from picking out the right one, to stringing the lights, to vacuuming up needles and scrubbing the sap off your hands with that grainy soap that hurts.

I can remember as a kid how going out to find a Christmas Tree was a huge part of the season for our family and we always had a real one.  Even during times when money was tight, dad would just kind of leave the house one afternoon with a bow saw and come back an hour later with a Christmas (ish) Tree.   I learned two great Christmas tree tips from my dad growing up.  The first being that the best time to pick out a Christmas Tree is on a cold rainy day in early December because you will have the pick of the lot and not have to compete with anyone else being there.  The second piece of advice (and one I have truly taken to heart) is that the only way you can be sure that you don’t end up with wasted space between the top of your Christmas tree and your ceiling is to start with something a smidge too big and work your way from there.  I am fortunate enough to have a house with vaulted ceilings in the living room now (because it was a strict selection criteria for this exact purpose) and I love filling that usually empty space with 12 feet of wilderness.  From the wrestle to get it up and straight, to finding the “front”, to being in your own real live vacuum commercial every day sucking up needles, having a (huge) live Christmas Tree is totally sweet.

P.S.

The title of this post is from a Christmas special I remember from childhood.  “Emmit Otter’s Jugband Christmas”  anyone else remember it?

Weak

I Just Saw that Thing the Other Day 

If any of you have any idea of where the remote to the TV in our bedroom is, any clues would be appreciated.  You see, around Tuesday of this week it went missing, and things just haven’t been the same since.  We have a likely suspect who enjoys picking up objects she can reach and carrying them around our house until she tires of the object and just drops it in whatever location she happens to be at the time.  The problem with this suspect is that she is impervious to my interrogation techniques.  Instead of being coerced to come clean with what she knows,  she just looks at me funny and mashes a handful of Cherios into her mouth, eating one and dropping the rest on the floor.  Then she smiles and talks some gibberish while I plead with her to tell me where she put it.

I hate losing anything and have an uncanny knack for knowing that I just saw something somewhere in our house and now have zero ability to link any images or clues together to remember where I saw it.  I wold venture to say that rarely a week goes by in my house without hearing at least one “I FOUND IT” being shouted from the basement or down the hall by the linen closet.  Sometimes we just accept that something is lost and know that it will turn up, other times we tear our house apart like our lives depend on it.  I hate to sound shallow here but losing a TV remote always results in the latter.  I honestly have no use for the television without the remote, to me it is like a bowl of cereal without any milk.

We are still looking for it, but thanks to the late Steve Jobs I am able to control my TV with an app on my phone so that is pretty clutch.  I am sure that we will find it eventually, tucked away in a shoe deep in a closet or mixed  in with a thousand other pieces of plastic in  her toy box.  Actually, those are two really good suggestions for places to look. sometimes I impress myself.  I guess until it does show up, we will continue to rough it like pioneers changing channels with our smart phones but not being able to control the volume.  Losing stuff is totally weak.


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