Day 4 – #100HappyDay Challenge
Stepping outside this morning to take the trash to the curb, a crisp autumn breeze greeted me. It caught me by surprise. Instead of the normal Houston heat I’ve grown use to, a cool 60 degree early morning dawned. I paused, inhaling deeply, savoring the crisp air, goosebumps rising along my bare arms. I smiled knowing that this quiet happiness was a wonderful gift to start my day. And that it wouldn’t last long, according to the native Houstonians, cool days are rare jewels in a long string of hot.
Sometimes a picture is all you need.
Take a good look at God’s wonders- they’ll take your breath away. He converted sea to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn’t that cause for song! Psalm 66:5-6 MSG
Whenever you feel the storms of life know that you are not alone. Trust that the Highest Power has your back ready to turn the impossible into the possible.
Rain pelts my window in a torrent of sound, my room flashes and dims with the lightening. I lay curled against a pillow while the rumble of thunder shakes the house around me like a freight train.
Welcome to Texas.
Hurricane Harvey arrived last night South of us, hitting Corpus and the surrounding area. My prayers go out to all those folks hard hit. And those same prayers follow those of us left in the residual fall out. Being as this is my first full fledge hurricane, I probably didn’t prepare like I should have. Listening to the locals express little concern and not to worry about it too much, my phone’s constant tornado warnings are mocking me as I lay in the dark listening to the storm rage outside. I should have picked up ice just in case, but by the time I’d thought about it the stores were sold out. Next time… let’s hope next time is very far in the future.
This new house is being tested. At least we will know how well it was built when it’s all said and done. After the tornado warnings, my biggest concern is the flash floods. There goes my phone again, only this time it’s a flash flood warning. I’m not in a flood area, per say. The neighborhood just sits in the middle of a square of designed drainage areas that just happens to flood the roads. Since I’ve lived here a whopping six weeks, my neighborhood, which I fondly refer to as Armageddon, has been surrounded by water on all four sides, leaving us cut off from going anywhere for a day. I imagine we’re in for the same, but maybe for a few more days.
I did stock up on groceries and water. I figure I’ll bake through the storm and as long as power and Netflix holds out we will have a movie marathon or something like that. Maybe I’ll even get back to writing. This move has shaken me up a bit. It’s small things like hurricanes and big things like self adjusting to a new world of heat, crazy drivers and a crush of meanness that has zapped me, leaving me with little energy to do much except drag myself through the days.
But I’m learning to navigate. I’m finding ways around the discomfort. It helps that I’m in my new home, a sanctuary of calm that centers me from the outside crazy. I’ve always been this way though, I have an insatiable need to have my home life settled and sorted, before I’m much good for anything else. And it’s almost there. Almost.
Send a few prayers to Texas if you have a mind to. There’s a whole lot of people that needs them about now.
A little known fact I have learned after living in the Last Frontier for over twenty five years is that when the winter sky is clear and brilliant blue the temperature is frigid. Saturday morning was no exception. The below zero temp rose to single digits as we made our way down to see the ice sculptures.
I explained to Miss R as we got our snow gear on that this was love, because this grandma absolutely hates the cold. Thank goodness this will be my last winter here (but that’s another story for another time). But a promise is a promise and it was time for an adventure! So off we went to explore Fur Rondy.
Snow Sculpture Competition
The snow sculptures are down in the Port of Anchorage across from the ULU Factory. A parking lot was converted to temporarily house the snowy artwork. The chilly temperature and icy cold drew people to the one and only food vendor like flies to honey.
With a hot chocolate and warm apple cider in hand we headed up the hill to the carnival.
Even in the arctic there is fun at the carnival. Miss R, impervious to the cold, was in high spirits as her and her mama went fishing – and won two squishy bears that found a home in my pocket for safe keeping. They now reside on my bookshelf keeping Miss R’s other toys company until she visits again.
A bit frozen (at least I was) we headed for home to warm up before I headed back out to 4th Avenue to meet C.
Running With Reindeer
For ten years folks have had the opportunity to run down 4th Avenue with reindeer. Yes, you too could dress up (or wear nothing at all) and run down frozen streets with a herd of reindeer. I had this new Nikon camera and figured it would be a good time to test it shooting racing, walking and snorting animals and humans alike. To be honest – this little Nikon does an OK job but it doesn’t compare to C’s Cannon and her new lens. But I’m an amateur and will continue to test the waters…you will have to let me know I do.
I’m amazed at the participation from the runners to the audience. The Anchorage streets were packed with people enjoying the festival. Despite the frozen chill in the air you wouldn’t know it by all the happy cheering people. This race, presented by the KWHL 106.5 Morning Show and Fur Rondy, raises funds for Toys for Tots. By the attendance I’m sure they raised a good sum for a great cause!
Get lost in the City with the iconic sights and sounds of New York City.
- What do I want MORE of in my life?
- How do I let go of what’s no longer serving me?
- What will make me feel more alive? More brave?
- At the end of every day and at the end of every year, I need to know that I contributed more than I criticized. How have I contributed and what will that look like moving forward?
Brene Brown’s email arrived in my inbox and, like most things; it arrived at the perfect time. In her email she stated that she asks herself those four questions at the end of the year. I re-read them and then I re-read her answers. And, once again, her wisdom struck a chord deep inside of me. And then I wondered how would I answer them? Could I answer them? Would it make sense? And then my thoughts finally landed on “why the hell not try?”
When I read question one my mind instantly races to LESS. What I want less of. What does that say about me? I take a deep breath. I retype MORE in capital letters. And then bold the letters to highlight it even MORE. And then I begin.
1. I want MORE… more peace, more safety, more security, and more sunshine in my life.
2. I let GO of pushing, of trying too hard. Instead I am embracing the FLOW…and letting that be ok.
3. Step out of my comfort zone! It’s so easy for me to sink into routine. It’s time to shake it up and find the courage to step out. Explore. Get lost. Find love.
4. This is a tough one. I think that for a long time I’ve been living on auto pilot. I’ve been getting by but have I contributed? I’m not sure. I think this will be a work in progress.
How about you? Take a stab at answering the questions. Don’t forget to share them with me.