Tag Archive | Adirondacks

What a difference 7 days can make!

Last week we visited family in the Adirondacks to celebrate my grandson’s graduation – how this sweet baby grew up so fast is beyond me – but I digress. The mountains are known for delayed springs. I expected chilly weather and was not disappointed, yet when the spring snow came, however, it provided impetus to complain. Even the locals expressed their dismay. It was time for warm weather. This week, I am home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the temperature is 84, and people are complaining that they are hot and uncomfortable because of the heat and elevated humidity. Isn’t there a better way to take action and expend our energy? Why, I wonder, are we humans so prone to complain about the weather and think it is okay?

ComplaintsAccording to Wikipedia’s Free Dictionary, the word complain is an action verb meaning to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event and includes synonyms repine, grumble, lament and moan.

Although I have heard that several governments, including the US, are trying to control the weather by various means, obviously they have not succeeded to the point where everyone is satisfied. We still complain and regardless if we prefer cool or warm temperatures, we complain. It’s second nature to us. Yet it seems to me we are wasting our time. (Notice I’m including myself in these statements because I’m as guilty as anyone else.)

Wouldn’t it be more productive to complain about something we can change? What if we complained instead about the dirty windows in our house? We could get out the cleaning solution and rags and make them shine. Then we would have something to rejoice about. We could send out positive messages about shiny windows and invite our friends to rejoice with us. We could throw a party. If the windows were really bad to start with and obvious to passersby, we’d have no problem getting people to come. But no, we complain about something that it is impossible to change.

Perhaps we use the weather as a level playing field, a point of commonality, to initiate conversations – you know, break the ice. It does work because everyone will join in, yet grumbling and complaining are negative characteristics and instead of building people up, it drags people down. Who needs more of that?

It seems to me it will take an intentional effort to change my thoughts and expressions about the weather, but I’m going to give it a try. After all, it takes intentionality to do anything worthwhile. So here’s the deal. You have my permission to remind me the next time I complain about the weather that there is a positive aspect that I am missing. Who knows, it may filter down to other areas where I struggle to do better.

Waiting for the storm?

Here comes Sandy!

We in the Delaware Valley are waiting patiently for hurricane Sandy to visit our area with her pounding rain and 75 mph winds. Well, maybe it’s not so patiently. She is, after all, a devastating force to reckon with. Already, emergency teams have prepared shelters and most folks are bracing themselves for the worst and have stocked up on food, batteries, candles, etc. (If you still need C or D batteries, don’t bother looking. Everyone’s out.) Thus far, our power has not been impacted, but the electric company fears that it will. I’m waiting for the dentist’s office to open to see if my root canal scheduled for today will be moved to another less windy day. I think I prefer to wait for the storm. Schools have closed for two days, meetings have been canceled and now we wait for the storm.

Living in the Adirondacks for so many years, where storms of great magnitude are a regular occurrence, tends to reduce the angst that could come from these natural events. In some ways, it is a good thing. You can remain cool-headed in the wake of the storm, but you could just as easily become too nonchalant. There needs to be balance. But here’s today’s query. What do you do with this extra time away from your normal routine especially if the power does go out but you can’t? The kids and other family members are home, but computers, TV, movie media sources, etc. are all unavailable. Now what?

After outstanding school projects, review and required reading is completed and the kids tire of the usual board and card games or the batteries run out on their electronic games, you might consider working together on reorganizing closets, drawers, cupboards or any other cluttered space. We’re rapidly approaching the season of food and charity drives and this might provide the needed impetus to get ‘er done. Not only that, there are fringe benefits gained from working together and discussing how outgrown toys, books, clothes, etc. can truly be a blessing to other people. Who knows? It may even motivate them to take better care of the things they have in order to pass them along to someone else later.

Most of us still have some pre-digital snapshots around and looking at them can bring back some fantastic memories. If you have time and resources, you could create a scrapbook. At the very least, you could organize the pictures to put the book together later. If you’re totally into the digital scene, you could discuss fun memories that you’d want to include and print out the pics when the power returns.

See what other ideas pop into your head and let me know how they worked for you. Camping out in your own home, can be fun. Just make sure if you’re using candles or fireplaces, you take the appropriate safety precautions. As I write, the rain is becoming heavier and the winds are picking up. Guess I won’t have to wait much longer for the storm to arrive. If you’re waiting too or if it’s already hit, stay safe!