The first blog post of a new year should no doubt be pithy, funny, compelling, and of such high quality that it goes viral, and gets me a permanent invitation to blog somewhere important. Ha. Instead, I offer a potpourri of thoughts, in no particular order. ("Is the noise in my head bothering you?")
The Long Winter seems the best book for the season. I haven't been able to go running around the Acres since December because of the constant snow cover. Branches are down everywhere, frozen in place. There's a brief, tantalizing thaw, then "only kidding folks, back to Siberia for you" and it snows and freezes again. Somewhere, a groundhog is congratulating itself on being right. Despite this, I actually noticed signs of life in one flowerbed on the east side of the house. Tiny green shoots are bravely trying to grow. Spring always comes, even if sometimes it's later than we'd like.
I love road trips. We took one to North Carolina a few weeks ago, and even traveling solo with 3 children was okay. This probably goes back to the long Florida trips of my childhood, a topic which deserves its own post. Now, I enjoy getting ready, packing, getting directions, and driving. (Well, enjoy is maybe too strong a word. Better to say I don't mind it). The only task for the day is to get there safely, and I love having time to think. I also prefer to take back roads whenever possible; America is much more attractive when you get off the main highways. We drove through Loudon County, VA, and the echoes of the Civil War were all around us, under the housing developments, over the mountain ridges, crossing the Potomac.
I hate conflict. I hate when people misunderstand one another and when we can't find common ground. Above all, I like niceness. I wonder sometimes how godly that is. And no, I don't want to talk any more about that right now.
Middlemarch by George Elliot is one of those classic books that I tried to get into about 10 years ago, and couldn't. I've been reading it again, slowly, over the past few weeks, and am really enjoying it! Her characters are so well drawn, and her observations into human behavior are generally accurate. I find myself laughing in recognition, and saying "Yes, that is how people behave!" Perhaps you have to be a certain age to appreciate some of the classics?
Last year's trips to Europe were so wonderful they made me eager for more international travel. Dreaming, yes, but you never know ... most great events start out as dreams.