In two more weeks, Cliff should be done with radiation. We are both ready for it to be over, but I know Cliff is especially anxious. Every day until noon, his forenoon is eaten up by a trip to the city. It's an hour getting there, ten or fifteen minutes actually in the facility, and another hour coming home. One marvelous thing I may not have mentioned, though: Thanks to the Lafayette County Cancer Coalition, we received a very generous check to pay for the money spent for gasoline during all this. The only reason we knew about it was that Cliff's brother had radiation treatments a few years back, and somebody brought it to his attention; Phil had mentioned this long ago and it happened to stick in my brain all this time (amazing, I know!). I wonder how many others in our county have had cancer and not known about this; my daughter certainly didn't hear about it during her experience with "the big C". I intend to send the organization a yearly Christmas donation from now on, even if I have to cut some other cause from my list.
I've been recalling lately how the sun looked coming up over the ocean when I was in Cozumel, and this has driven me to do all sorts of travel searches looking for a getaway to someplace warm, someplace by the ocean. Florida seemed cheaper than some other destinations, but Facebook friends tell me it isn't all that warm there in February. I assumed it was because several years ago, Cliff and I were visiting our son in Georgia and drove on to Florida to a tractor show. It was one of those years when the whole state of Florida seemed to be on fire due to a drought, but the weather was quite nice... probably in the upper 70's. I guess maybe that was a fluke. Truth is, I am just tired of being cold all the time. It sort of warms me up to just read about sunny oceanside destinations, picturing myself being there. Maybe that's all I need, so I'll keep on reading and visualizing tropical places. Hawaii sounds amazing!
In the past, the approach of winter sort of excited me, lighting a flame of pioneer spirit that made me want to say, "Bring it on, and lots of snow with it!" I'd dig out my Carhartt coveralls and stocking hats and gloves, actually looking forward to heading to the barn before daylight and listening to coyotes howl in the distance as I milked my cows. Now I dread going outside for anything, and winter hasn't even officially started yet. It feels about as cold as I want to be right here in the house. I check the thermostat constantly only to see it's still at 72 degrees, which used to be a perfect daytime temperature for me; but now I freeze. I wear sweatshirts aplenty, but my fingers and toes and nose feel like ice cubes! I don't think they make nose warmers, but I could sure use one if they do.
And now I know why many senior citizens keep their homes so hot in winter.
Cliff and I remind one another how fast the years are whizzing past now. Winter will be over before we know it, and there will be another spring when the winter garb is put away and forgotten. The days will be longer and once again I can spend an hour each morning on the back deck watching the sun come up, playing my guitar and singing along with the birds as they awaken.
This wintertime mood reminds me of a story in the Bible, book of Acts, where Paul was a prisoner in what seemed like a hopeless mess. The ship was tossed, hope was slim, but "fearing we would be dashed against the rocks, the sailors dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight." That's me. I've dropped all four anchors and I'm praying for spring.
So many of the old Bible stories I cut my teeth on as a child come to mind in difficult times and light my path. Sometimes I think about Paul and Silas in a damp, stinking dungeon, no doubt rats crawling everywhere... and they started singing hymns! And here I am complaining about the cold as I sit in a room with the temperature at 72 degrees. Where's my hymnbook?
Yeah, I'm over it now, but I feel much better for venting.