These February days…

Hello, friends! I don’t know if anybody remembers when I used to do a post every day in February, the short month? I don’t know how I did it.

We have reached the point of winter where it has settled into our souls, and even though we know in our heads that it will not last always, in our souls it feels like we might as well make plans to continue indefinitely in this season. I saw that Walmart is putting all the snow clothes on clearance. I bought two coats for the older girls. It seemed a reasonable way to spend seven bucks.

Gabe got a mighty itch to buy a snowmobile since we got such a handsome amount of snow. First there were fourteen inches and then a few days later there were ten more inches on top of that. Very little of it melted, so it is quite brilliant outside. He actually did get his hands on an aging snowmobile, apparently one built to go get the groceries in the Arctic, with heated handlebars and all. It is enormous and may reach speeds of 65 mph, requiring a field to make a turn successfully. Yeah, it was quite the thrill, until it died without explanation as he finished the last ride on Sunday night. Now we get to figure out what makes it tick, and maybe the snow will last for a few more months so that we can use it lots more. I believe this could happen. I do heartily endorse finding ways to enjoy it. I break trail down to the creek and walk the trail a few times every day if I can. I remember a Lewis quote: “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary sparkles are like this!” (edit: I just looked it up. Lewis said “coruscations” instead of “sparkles”. I think in this case, Lewis overdid it.)

Yesterday I was just walking along, minding my own business, when I felt my bum knee go out. It feels as if the kneecap is sliding down beside my knee, only an MRI a few years ago showed that it is only a small piece of cartilage that is floating loose and occasionally giving me grief. As a result, I cannot bend my knee, which is a little unhandy. Eventually it will float somewhere less offensive, and I will only have soreness to remind me it is there. They said it looks like a sports injury, and the only thing I could think of was that time in fourth grade when I wiped out during single base at school. I could schedule a surgery with ortho, sit in the waiting room with all the silver haired folks who need hip replacements and the kids with sports injuries. Meh. I think it will have to get worse before I do that. This bum knee is the reason I do not have the fun in the snow that I used to. Skating, sledding, skiing, even snowshoeing, are all out because of it. It seems the Lord’s will that I winter somewhere tropical, wouldn’t you say?

Meanwhile I shall hobble about in the house, pottering with houseplants, cooking soup, and looking out at the birds at the feeder, watching the lazy flakes swirl down. Yes, that is what they are doing.

I find myself trying to explain to one of my children what I want them to bring up from the basement, feebly waving my hands around my head as I grasp for what you call it. “Words, Mom,” they prompt helpfully. “Use your words.”

I was trying to make up a meal schedule last evening, and found myself writing “soup” repeatedly. It’s appropriate, and that’s what we’re doing. Hearty hamburger soup. Toscana with kale. Chicken broth with vegetables. Ramen. I bet you didn’t see that coming, but hey, my children like Ramen. Who am I to quibble? (I am feeling satisfied that I thought of that word “quibble” without too much feeble hand waving around my head.)

We had a sunny day last week that melted the stuff on the roof, so that we had enormous icicles growing outside the windows. Rita called the most impressive one Big Jimmy and everybody got invested in watching how much he would grow. Two of the girls even dreamed that various neighbors came and broke off Big Jimmy before he reached full potential. Methinks we need broader horizons.

In an effort not to get too mush-brained, I paid for a writing course from Jonathan Rogers, called The Habit. (Author of The Wilderking Trilogy, highly recommended for kids and adults both. We got the audiobooks, and they are top-notch.) The idea is that you must make an every day habit of writing if you’re serious. I have been trying, I really have. One thing I have established: my fiction attempts are total rubbish. But I keep making a stab at the assignments, trying to string words together in fresh ways. The problem is that it has all been said before. Occasionally I get frozen with fear that I am subconsciously quoting another author whose work I admire, thinking I am making this up all by myself. What a fraud! Rogers uses samples from authors like Tolkien, Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, and Harper Lee to explain excellent writing. One is reminded constantly that one is very. small. potatoes. Especially in February.

I also signed up for a lot of studying in Sunday school this winter. We are doing a course called Search the Word from The Daily Grace Co. I like the discipline, but admit, I have to crack the whip over my mind repeatedly. There are ladies in the group who put me to shame with their level of study. In this season I have no excuse not to search the Word, but I do have endless interruptions, so I am taking it as the enrichment I need without dipping into any guilt when my summary misses a few points.

Gregory has volunteered to make omelettes for lunch. Rita is singing, “I’m leaving on a jet plane,” at her desk, and Addy is studying adjectives with much drama about boring school. How are you fine folks holding up?

11 thoughts on “These February days…

  1. I was hoping you were going to say you were doing the February writing every day thing again! šŸ˜‰ But I completely understand. I look back at my writing every day for a month stints and wonder who I even was back then?! As far as holding up? I feel too whiny at the moment to answer that question, so I think I’ll refrain.

  2. This is fun. Sorry about the knee. That DOESN’T sound fun. I’m super interested in your writing course. I’ve been thinking something like that would be good for me. I’m so stuck.

    I’ve been battling some blues and just wanting to sleep, but I keep slogging along.

    1. ā¤ļø
      The course is called The Habit, and you can just subscribe for a month at a time, if you want to dip a toe in before you commit to much. I got the Habit newsletter by email for a few years before I decided to pay for the course. There are a number of free resources for writers as well.

  3. You have real snow, I think wistfully, then I remember the reality of that realness and I am really glad I live in boring NC.
    I am pumping out lots of words these days, but mostly to my journal which is kinda cowardly but I am just sure it has all been said before. šŸ˜‘ School is dragging a bit but we try to get outside every day and we read a lot and take little outings to the thrift store and coffee shop. When I feel itchy with restlessness I stroll to my sun porch and “gnotch” (hands wave feebly around my head šŸ˜‰) my plants and dream of my backyard in full bloom. The first seed trays are at my south windows and I feel hope rising within, like the tiny bachelor’s buttons lifting their first little leaflets from the dark soil.
    Life is rich, indeed.

    1. Thanks for commiserating! The knee started behaving again much quicker than usual. I am grateful!
      I think you would enjoy Jonathan Roger’s course, although the first lessons I picked were for fiction writing and I am a rank amateur there. It’s oddly satisfying to take notes and pretend, though. šŸ˜…

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