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Category Archives: Quiet Times

Minnesota Morning

Frosty Minnesota Morning

I’m not a fan of cold Minnesota mornings in the winter but there is one exception. The mornings I wake up to a frosted wonderland around me are my favorites. Everything looks new and fresh covered with frost. The pine trees that fill our yard and surround the lake we live on look like they are dressed in elegance just waiting for the right occasion. The smallest of branches get noticed as never before. The red twigs of the dogwoods with the white frosted branches stand erect holding onto their decoration. The fenceposts and fencing are covered in frosty lace waiting for a celebration.

The frosty mornings inspire me to take a second look at every thing around me. I like to take out my camera and capture as many images as I can. I want to spend my entire day outside to take in the transformation that happened overnight. As the day warms up the frost begins to fall and drift from the trees and surfaces it has covered my world once again returns to the ordinary as if it had never been any different than the day before. These mornings become a respite for me from the long cold winters in Minnesota and encourage me to look forward to spring and all that comes with it.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2010 in Quiet Times, Reflections

 

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Middle of the Night Madness

Night Cross Country

Tonight I’m having one of those sleepless nights. It usually starts with a discussion of some sort right before bedtime that gets your mind rolling on some subject or another. As a mother of four kids, now all adults, there were many sleepless nights wondering when they would be home and are they safe. There were sleepless nights when there were medical conditions of family members to worry about and nights when the excitement of next day plans have kept me awake.

I usually climb out of my warm bed and find the recliner in the livingroom and a warm blanket to wrap up in. The process begins… Read a book in hopes of getting tired enough to sleep. Watch a little TV or maybe just lay down on the couch where I can’t hear my husband breathing deeply as he peacefully sleeps while I lie awake. Once in awhile I make myself some hot chocolate. I don’t know if it helps me fall asleep but it sure warms me up.

Lately when I am awake I try writing for awhile. I write about the days events or maybe what is keeping me awake. The laptop makes it so easy to start writing because you don’t need paper and pen or even have to worry about writing neat. I’m a former school teacher so neatness matters to me. I expected it of my students as well as myself.

Tonight I am awake because I am thinking about things I can not change and how to make the best of circumstances. I am a problem solver by nature so it is frustrating to me when I come upon something that is causing pain for someone and I cannot fix it. I want to ease their load but that is not always possible but I try. I read a recent quote somewhere and it went something like “Don’t be yourself, be someone better” As difficult as that is, I will try to go beyond where I think I should be under the circumstances. Try to be a little nicer, more understanding than what I think the situation calls for from me and in the end maybe small change is possible where I thought none was possible.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2010 in Quiet Times, Reflections

 

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Snowy Mountain Morning

 

 

This is a picture that I took on a recent trip to the Snowy Mountains near Laramie, Wyoming.   It was a snowy morning as we set off on our rented snowmobiles and gear.  My husband was anxious to show me all the scenery where he had gone snowmobiling with friends for several years.  We drove our snowmobiles on trails for over a hundred miles around Albany Lodge.  The first trail we went on the groomer hadn’t been through yet so we were the first to ride through 2 feet of fresh powder for 25 miles.  It was tree-lined for miles on end.  At we reached close to the end of the trail at higher altitudes we came out of the protection of the trees into white out conditions.  We drove for a little longer and decided it wasn’t wise to continue past a point where we could no longer see our trail ahead and there was about a 200 foot drop on our left.  We turned around and headed back down our trail, still the only ones to have traveled our trail. 

After lunch at Albany Lodge we headed out once again only on trails that kept in the protection of trees.  We followed a trail that took us along Fox Creek most of the afternoon.  As we were riding along the creek I was trying to imagine how that scene would be in the spring with the snow melting and the creek opening up and flowing.   There is something magical about water running through snow-covered hills and signs of spring poking through.  As we passed small cabins in the woods I imagined myself sitting inside next to a warm fire in the fireplace and a good book in hand and how relaxing it would be in the quiet of the woods. 

When you  get away from the business of life you begin to appreciate how quiet life was in past times.  There wasn’t the constant sound of keyboards clicking, TV’s blaring 24/7,  the ringtones of cell phones and ping sounds of text messages.  In cars, people used to talk as they traveled because there wasn’t always good radio reception where they traveled.  There certainly weren’t 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, MP3s and IPODs.  It seems that people are afraid of quiet and where their thoughts and conversations may lead them if they take the time to be quiet. 

My husband and I were talking about the sounds in the home that we remember growing up that our kids haven’t heard.  My Dad used to stand in the bathroom every morning with his shaving gear, a cup with a special soap in the bottom and a brush that he would swirl and click against the side to make lather, and razor (not electric) and shave.  I can remember my brothers standing on the toilet and Dad would put the lather on their chins so they could pretend they were shaving as well.  The clicking of the wooden handle of the brush against the porcelain cup remains.  The sound of the Minnesota Twins on the radio as my uncles sat and visited in the backyard at my Grandma and  Grandpa’s  backyard on a sunny afternoon.  The sounds of the horseshoe game in the background.  The sound of the grandfather clock chiming or the sound of potatoes being mashed in the kitchen for Sunday dinner.  What will be the sounds remembered of this time and place?    Many, I am sure.

Keystone,Wyoming in Snowy Mountains

Breaking Trail on Q

 
 

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