It’s that time of year, again, when I usually hit a low spot in the world -half-empty feelings. It’s Lent (which always brings back the old “Catholic Guilt” about how my sins have caused His terrible suffering), the weather is gloomy, and the current “leader of the free world” is flirting heavily with 2 nuclear wars and an economic backlash that could put ALL of us 99-percenters in shanty towns across the country. But strangely, I haven’t (hit that low spot).
For one thing, my wife of 39 years is finally coming out of a dark battle with psoriatic arthritis that had her in constant, debilitating pain. And that @#&^)& tree that Dud complained about last year is now dropping its mess on a more reliable car when I visit his digs, since I replaced ours. The old bus gave up completely in February, and we were forced to get a newer one so we could continue to work and make car payments. (Sigh.) And a recent visit to the family doctor revealed what my belt had been suggesting for some time: I seem to have lost about 30 pounds in the last year-and-a-half without dieting. True, I’ve consciously tried to reduce the amount of junk food and deserts I devour at one sitting. I’ve cut out nothing but my usual Lenten sacrifices, namely fresh tomatoes and liver (the lima beans were a new addition this year.)
But the result of all this is that I’m finding more bright spots in my life. I’m counting more and more blessings lately, and I’m not sure where it’s all coming from. For example, I spent last weekend playing with my 2 great grandchildren and nibbling at their toes to get them to laugh (a child’s giggle is the most musical sound on earth. I suspect that it’s the giggles of toddlers, not trumpets and harps, that greet us at the pearly gates.) Add my first granddaughter and her husband to this group and it was a perfect weekend.
And now we’re preparing to fly to South Carolina for the first time in a couple of years to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandkids down there. They visit Erie once each year, but that’s not nearly enough face time with each of them to suit us. We’re also going to spend Easter weekend In the Toledo area with my other son, daughter-in-law, and their two children – one of whom is the mother of those great grandkids I mentioned. And after all the travel is over we’ll soon see another grandson graduate from college in May. What a spring this is turning out to be,
I wouldn’t be me if there weren’t down-sides to some of this, of course. Like the fact that our former clunker induced my S.C. son to provide tickets for our visit. Parents are meant to help, not be helped. Or that visits to both places necessitate bunking in at our hosts’ houses, since we really can’t afford motel rooms. But hey, I’ll take it where I find it! The visits are the important points here, and I’m thrilled to pieces that I’m going to see all of this in the next two months. The world and it’s maker haven’t rewarded me like this for quite awhile.
Anyway, that’s the situation with my mood this season. No matter how “down” I normally would be in the spring, this year is different. We even squeezed-in a lunch with the Ohio relatives we enjoy so much. It’s always such a pleasant and carefree time when we see them that the mood always lifts. And in view of all of these plans, I think this will be a spring for the record books. I hope I don’t overdose on all this “happy”.
(I just hope someone up there isn’t trying to tell me something!)