Finding Me In the Snow

The night before last we got 10 inches of snow. That much snow in a NC town means no one goes much of anywhere for a few days. To be fair, you should know (according to weather.com) our average snowfall is 3″. And we don’t always get that each year. So major investment in snowplows doesn’t make much fiscal sense. We have enough for the main roads to be at least partially cleared in the first 24 hours, but residential streets take days. Not to mention, most people don’t have real snow shovels or snow blowers. Can leaf blowers do double duty? See, I don’t even know!

My daughter went to the grocery store on Friday morning (snow was predicted for Friday night). She called me on the way home. “Mom!” she said in this tone of voice that always foreshadows something big is coming. “I just went to the grocery store and THEY WERE OUT OF MILK!” She’s 36, married 11 years, has 2 kids, 4 and almost 7. My response: “Well, honey, did you think they made up that story every year?” It’s a news story with pictures of empty shelves even when they only predict a couple of inches. I guess she never had to go to the grocery store on the day of a snow prediction.

I wrote before about being a 9 on the Enneagram and being a turtle and an introvert.(See here: I’m a 9 and a turtle)

Here are some tidbits:

Nines want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict.

Turtle naturally withdraws and goes within when in turmoil.

Introverts enjoy and sometimes require time to themselves. An introvert’s best and most creative thinking occurs when he/she is alone.

I didn’t like snow days when my daughters lived with us. I would forget every time that it has to be COLD to make snow. Proper gloves. hats, and boots were rarely required in our lives and, thus, hard to find or non-existent when needed. Yes, my kids sometimes had plastic bags over their shoes. And socks for gloves. You do what you have to do. Also, they never had snow pants. We did have warm coats.

Snow is wet, especially in the south where it’s not usually much below freezing when it’s cold enough to snow. So, kids without proper gear + the novelty of snow here  + a dad who grew up near Pittsburgh and loved all the excitement and wanted to teach his kids how to play in the snow + not much practice with being cold and wet = a LOT of in and out and the dryer running constantly.

Remember those personality types that describe me? Yeah, I’m not at my best in chaos and loud excitement and major disruption of the routine. I tried to be fun. It got harder after I stopped drinking in 1987. (Notice sometime–stores never run out of beer and wine. Those shelves are stocked.) Cookies and Doritos could only do so much for my mood. Plus, I either had to hide in the bathroom or share them. I swear they could smell Doritos when the bag opened.

Teenagers were no better. I had mine in the days of no personal electronics and no Netflix or You Tube. So they either slept (fine with me), were bored and bickering, or begging to watch something I considered inappropriate on cable tv.

I made hot chocolate and probably, at least once in a while, baked cookies. I’m not sure. We did make snow cream. I am sure we didn’t have much sugary-type treats because I was convinced sugar made my kids crazy. They still call me the Sugar Nazi. Though I’m much more lenient with my grandchildren.  Surprises them and, I think, annoys them a little, every time.

I don’t have small children  or teenagers anymore. They have their own little ones to deal with. They do better than I did. I hope so. They sure have more resources for entertainment.

Snow days now mean I’m home with the retired man I live with. He’s fine alone. We are still in our big house so we have room to separate and do our own things. We are on our 2nd day of snowed-in and still doing ok.

Usually, I like this kind of quiet time.  This time, though, it’s giving me a lot more time than I want to think about and plan for a situation that is just plain uncomfortable.

Remember these?

Nines want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict.

Turtle naturally withdraws and goes within when in turmoil.

Soon, I need to step forward, speak forcefully, ask hard questions, and lead some people to an end to a challenging situation. It would be so much easier to sit here in my warm house, next to my gas log fireplace, read a book and drink a cup of tea.

I keep forgetting to pray for strength and guidance. I don’t doubt that I can do what needs to be done. But inside me, there’s a 2-year-old screaming “NO! Don’t want to!”

Please pray that I will be led to the next right thing to do.

Thank you.

 

Published in: on January 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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Innie (introvert) or Outie (extrovert)?

I watched my grandchildren playing outside the other day. We were midway through a 2-week stretch of 90-something-degree days, so their mother and I went to Toys R Us and bought 2 little plastic pools (one pink, one blue, of course) because sharing is to be avoided if possible, and a cute turtle sprinkler. We took them to my house and set them up in the backyard, the pools in the shade and the sprinkler in the middle of the yard.

Adaline is 5, an extrovert, and kind of a bossy older sister. Atticus is 3, an introvert, and a sweetie who loves his sister, but is slightly afraid of her, I think. They played together for a while, then Atticus wanted to play in his pool, alone. Adaline wanted him to play with her. This wasn’t going to end well.

She provoked him until he reacted. By that time, the pools were full of twigs and dirt that had stuck to their wet feet when they ran around the yard, so I suggested a bath and we went inside. Afterward, Atticus went in the living room and played with blocks and Adaline settled in on the den couch to talk with her mom and me.

I identify with Atticus. I’ve written before about being an introvert. I refill my spirit in solitude. I like to spend time with friends, one on one. Crowds overwhelm me. One of my daughters is an extrovert, as is her husband. Their spirits are refilled with others. They invite neighbors over for dinner and they have parties for no reason except to be with friends.

My problem, sometimes, is distinguishing between solitude (healthy) and isolation (not-so-healthy).

From a blog post by Carey Niewhof:

Solitude is good.  It recharges the soul.  It offers time for reflection, for prayer.  And even when you’re alone, if you’re experiencing solitude, you are still connected. Solitude connects you to God, to yourself, and prepares you to be connected to others.

Isolation, on the other hand, is never replenishing.  It can feel like solitude in the sense that you are alone, but isolation doesn’t connect you to anyone.  Isolation does what the word suggests – it cuts you off, from God, from others, and sometimes even from yourself.

I’ve been isolating for the last month or so. My depression has flared up due to some ongoing medical issues. I’ve had no energy and no desire to do much of anything. I put away a basket of clean clothes yesterday that sat in my bedroom for days. And that was an accomplishment. I read a lot and I watch episodes of The Good Wife from the beginning on Hulu. I’m up to where Will got shot. Depression zaps my brain of creativity and imagination. I can’t write.

I’m trying this week to push through the inertia. I met with my doctor and talked about my anti-depressant. I have a therapy appointment next week. I did some volunteer work this week. And I’m having dinner with a friend this evening.

And I finally am writing again.  While I write, I don’t feel isolated. I am connected to all of you in some spiritual way that is healing. My hope is that by continuing to share my ups and downs, I can help someone else feel less alone and isolated.

Published in: on June 26, 2015 at 4:44 pm  Comments (12)  
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Amma on the Move

1.  I drove at least 100 miles in SC and saw only one Obama yard sign.  I think Romney’s got SC.

2.  Myrtle Beach dozes at the end of October.  I saw lots of big hotel/resort complexes with nearly empty parking decks.  I’m glad I wasn’t reading a Stephen King novel.

3.  I drove 472 miles round trip by myself for a few days of solitude at the beach.  I tried to detach and disconnect from my iPhone and laptop. CNN captured me with pictures and news from Hurricane Sandy.  I turned them off some of the time, but not enough.  I read a whole book in 2 days, though.

4.  I enjoyed filling up my Prius next to a big Chevy truck.  South Carolina gas costs a lot less than North Carolina gas.  NC has smoother roads.  I’ll pay the extra tax.

5.  The airport operated from 6:00 am to 9:30 pm daily.  (I thought airports on the east coast were shut down.) I was under the flight path for some big jets.  They came in bunches of 3-4 in a row.  Did you know Myrtle Beach has an international airport?

6.  Thanks to Yelp and my GPS, I found a nice natural food store in Myrtle Beach–Bay Naturals Healthy Market and Kitchen.

7.  You can find a beachware store with cheap t-shirts, hoodies and beach towels on almost every block of King’s Highway–Wings, Whales or Eagles across the street from each for miles.  No left turns necessary.  They all look the same.  Do they all belong to one company?

8.  I wanted to stop at “Fat Man’s Dream Dogs and Cream”, but it wasn’t open yet.  “Mammy’s Kitchen” was open down the road.  I didn’t stop.

9.  All hotel rooms should have a cushy comfortable chair, preferably with an ottoman.  My room had a small table with 2 straight chairs and 2 beds to sit on.  My back and my rear end forced me to alternate and I was never really comfortable until I turned off the light to sleep.

10. Black Ankle Road is an exit in NC on Hwy 220.  I looked up the origin of that one on Wikipedia:

The origin of the name Black Ankle is from the late 1920s or early 1930s when gold was discovered in 1928 near Franklin Mountain. Many people came to the area to try to make their fortune in the mine or to be laborers and make a decent living. About once a week, in the evenings after the working day was over, the miners would all climb on the back of a truck or trailer and ride to Star, Ether or Steeds to restock on supplies they may need to get them through another week. In the area where the Franklin Mountain (Blackankle Gold Mine) is located, the soil is very dark, rich and fertile. These miners almost always were shoeless when they went into town and the black dirt from the area, mixed with a little water, made their feet discolored and dark. Everywhere the miners went, people would see the feet of the visitors and say “Here comes the blackanklers.” It was soon after the discovery of gold that Black Ankle, from the miners with dirty feet, got its name.

Who knew?

11.  When I got home, the retired man I live with was watching CNN and using Google maps on his iPad to locate Hoboken, NJ.  Imagine saying that 5 or 10 years ago.

12.  Independent travel is a fun adventure.  Home is safe and warm and has my bed and pillow and the retired man I live with.  I’m grateful for both.

Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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