my writings and thots

Why so Cold?

When I tell people I’ve spent the last four years in India, usually the first observation revolves around the drastic change of weather. Yes, well, Germany is cold right now. Too cold for me, though I can be grateful it’s not colder, I guess. Snow is pretty and I’d rather it be minus and snowing rather than just a few degrees and rain.

However, I don’t think I’ll ever really get used to the cold. I lived in Europe for most of my life; I still hate the cold and will gladly trade any day for the warmth or even heat of India, thankyouverymuch. Most days I can’t feel my extremities, my nose is only one shade lighter than my “spring rudolf” look, and getting out of bed in the morning takes more self-discipline than anything else in my life.

Last week, I had the joy of remembering my first introduction to the cold along with the reminder of why I dislike it quite so much. We had to take the g-pigs to the vet to get their nails clipped and since it’s in the mall where I do my bulk shopping I thought I’d knock that off at the same time. Jordan and CC took the g-pigs home while Cherise and I did the shopping. I had, very wisely, forgotten to wear leggings under my pants and take along my gloves. Not so bad if I’m just going by bus, shopping, and taking the bus home. But of course, because I wasn’t dressed for the arctic, things didn’t go according to plan.

It turned out we would need to wait for 20 min for the bus. Usually, this isn’t a problem, we’ll just walk, as it takes about as long. The choice was stand and wait in the cold or walk in the cold; we went with walk.  However, this time, because of the shopping and the fact that I wasn’t in a hurry to let my butt meet the sidewalk, it did take quite a bit longer. Within a few minutes, my fingers were burning; that sensation that comes from below-zero temps and lack of sensibility to bring gloves. By the time we got close to the flat, I had to call up and tell CC to help carry the shopping up as I had no feeling in my hands at all. Poor Cherise fared slightly better, due to the fact that she was dressed better, but took to her bed with a warm cup of tea as soon as we walked through the door.

Then the real pain started. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try this: put your hands into the freezer for at least 20 minutes, or until you have no feeling in them anymore. Then let them thaw out. This was my first memory of cold and it all came rushing back to me. The joy of seeing snow for the first time. The warnings from my parents that it would be wiser to wait until we could get proper clothing, including gloves. The childish impatience of wanting to make a snowman, NOW. Coming back indoors and crying because my hands hurt so bad. Gently massaging my hands and drinking tea to try and warm up. Those are my first memories of the cold.

And now I went and relived them. I’m glad my kids can experience a real winter. I’m glad they had a nearly white Christmas. I’m glad it’s not raining. I’ll be ever so glad when it’s summer again. Is there a way to hibernate through the winter and allergy season? No? Ok, send me back home, then, please!

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Enter the New Year

I know, I know, I’m really late. Most people think of their resolutions and goals for the new year towards the end of the year. Just because I’m late posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it for some time. I just feel the need to put this out there, kind of as a way for me to document and declare how it is I’m going into this year, that way I can remind myself when things get rough, like they are right now.

Having a birthday towards the beginning of the year also means I get to not only think about the year in general, but about my personal year, my life, and future. As the years have been going by, there have been different reactions and different ways of looking ahead. I’m fully aware that I’m not getting any younger, but honestly, most days, I don’t really feel my age just yet. I’m hoping that’s a good thing. We are, after all, only as old as we feel, right?

Looking back over last year, there’s one thing that stands out. Nothing went the way I had planned. I had made goals, I had made resolutions, I had made plans, they basically all had to be put to the side for another time or given up altogether. So it can be understood that I’m aprehensive about making new goals or any long-term plans, as things aren’t all that much clearer at this point.

Even though things didn’t work out the way I had planned, looking back, I can see there was a plan in it all. I would have never chosen to move with the kids back to Germany, open a flat here, or even stay past the warm summer months. I wouldn’t have chosen to send my kids to public school, I’m an educator and love homeschooling, after all!

But, looking back, this is a good plan, too. My kids did need the incentive to learn German, and how better to do that than in a German school. I had some papers that I needed to work on, which I now have the opportunity to complete. There are other personal reasons why I can be happy I’m “stuck” here for now.

So getting into the new year, maybe I just won’t make any long-term plans or resolutions. Instead, I’m just putting my hand into God’s again and trusting Him to lead. And when it gets foggy, as it is right now, I’ll just lean closer and trust that He knows where He’s leading, and in the end, it’ll all be alright.