Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Day with Little to Do

Right now, even as I type, I was supposed to be sorting food for the food bank. However, the snow gods have been angered here in Colorado and I awoke to their expressed displeasure. The only bad thing about the food bank where I started volunteering is that it is rather far away from where I live now. Long drives in bad weather in Colorado aren't the best idea, particularly since it's still snowing as of this writing, and is likely to for the rest of the day. Ah, crumbs but that's the way of things, the best laid plans, and all that.

So I set about doing other things, throwing in a load of laundry, digging into some work I was saving for tomorrow, but I've also just been goofing off. Isn't funny that when we become adults we start to feel guilty about goofing off, having a lazy day, and accomplishing little?

When the snow fell from the skies when I was child every kid within the city boundaries of Kidom felt their hopes soar. Perhaps school would be called off! A day of nothing to do but play in the snow, perhaps watch The Price is Right --something considered far, far too boring to do in the summer months was an odd treat in January-- and be free from responsibilities of any kind. A day of eating soup and watching bad daytime television held as much excitement as the prospect of something truly wondrous. Our views of the world certainly do change as we become older.

A day where the unexpected happened was different when I was a kid, and different was often fun. It is now also, but I realized that there is a certain comfort in the expected. I suppose that's how we form our sense of security.

But it isn't that a change in plans can sour my mood as much as I was looking forward to going where I was headed today. When I checked the sky, and then the weather report that indicated that who knew what the roads would be like this afternoon, I felt disappointed in the same way I would have on a snowy day in my childhood, where school hadn't even been delayed.

I've still got plenty to do today, and I'll get it done but aren't we funny creatures? I stood and watched the snow falling, and it is truly very pretty. I'll get back to the food bank, too. I'll shuffle around the to-do list and make it fit at another time.

And today while I get things done, I've got bad daytime television blaring in another room to remind that having plans interrupted can be as much of a gift as I choose to make it. Yesterday afternoon I even made soup.

I suppose that today, regardless of interruption to what I had planned, is simply a good day of a different kind than I expected. Kind of like when I was a kid.

In other news, I'm driving myself nuts trying to add a video in a post, but that's just as an aside. On the To Do List? Go stark, staring mad, evidently.

Is that it? Did I do it? Did I get something done? I did! Well, now I didn't expect that.


Jennifer D said...

You said it perfectly!

Here we call snow days "Red Days", even now when I wake up and it is snowing I get a thrill. I remember my little brother and I turning on the radio long before the sun was up, to hear the weather report and the Red Day announcment.
Now I get excited for my son...and myself, I mean I get to spend all day with him!

Enjoy your Red Day! :O)

PhilipH said...

As it is a long trip by car I think it is quite lucky that the snows came down before you left home! Snowstorms can quickly get out of hand, so to speak, and to be trapped miles from home in your car just does not bear thinking about.

I had a card from a friend when I was in hospital a couple of years ago with a super-charged heart rate for a few days (180 beats a minute, non-stop). The card said something like: "One of life's pleasures is to be just a little bit unwell".

It's true. It gives one a bit of time to sit and stare, or read, or doze off when feeling like it. Yes, there is a kinda guilty pleasure in having to stop the routines one is accustomed to.

OK Alane, you now have my permission to go outside, build a nice snowman or snowwoman, throw snowballs at your other half and laugh when you score a palpable hit!

Vera said...

It snowed in the mountains near us, as could be seen by their white peaks this morning. I felt excited by the whiteness, and it lifted my day. The blessing is, though, that we can reach that snow in under an hour, but we are far enough north for it not to actually snow in our region! And we can catch glimpses of those mountains as we travel about, and when the leaves fall, from our home as well so we can enjoy the snow without actually getting into the snow itself.
I am a great list maker, and a great avoider too! I look at the list, then go do something else entirely different!
Hope you are able to make your trip to the food bank soon.

The Bug said...

I have a list of things I was going to accomplish over Labor Day weekend - & I think I've done about half of it LOL.

Our temps were in the 70s today - so hearing about your snow is a little surreal...

Loved the video! Although I think Dr. M had a few bad moments remembering how he moved all our belongings from our 3rd floor apartment...

Pauline said...

a change in plans can be both boost and bane, depending on how badly you wanted to do what you were going to. an unexpected free day is like a wrapped gift - you never know til you take the wrappings off if you'll like it or not ;)

Land of shimp said...

Jennifer, I know what you mean! When my son was little, I got to revisit the "It's a snow day!" joy but now that he's nineteen he's far more likely to look at it, sigh and say, "Great. Now I have to drive in this stuff." :-)

Philip, I really did get lucky because the snow never let up and my husband really didn't have fun on his drive home because of it. He got stuck in our driveway, trying to get into the garage. It was actually quite funny because I thought I heard him getting home, but then nothing for twenty minutes.

Finally he came in with a tale of how he had to shovel the driveway before he could get into the garage. When my son asked him why he didn't stick his head in the door and yell for help, my husband reasonably answered, "Sheer cussedness, of course." with a grin.

Thank you for the snowman building permission! Hehe. I actually ended up making a cake, which is a really nice, "It's cold. I think I'll warm up the house and make it smell great at the same time." sort of winter activity :-)

Your friend was absolutely right about being a little bit unwell, and by the way? So glad you recovered from your spate of being unwell!

Oh Bug, I'm the same way! And sometimes I'll find myself passing by a project that I've had on my list forever, thinking, "Why didn't I do that yet?" ...while continuing to pass on by :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, because it was making me laugh like mad. That must have taken AGES to do...someone had a lot of consecutive snow days!!

Vera, I've been sitting here with the stupidest smile on my face, imagining your area in the snow! How beautiful it must be, and now you even have parts of the house with a roof! Woo hoo!

Pauline, I completely agree. Some unexpected things are delightful surprises, others constitute an unpleasant turn of events...and we seldom know which is which until examining it in retrospect. I ended up having a lovely, fun day. That cake I was referencing went spectacularly wrong at one point, it had a custard soaking sauce that I thickened too much for the soaking process, it just spread out on top, staring at me belligerently.

So I grabbed some peaches and strawberries, plopped them into the congealing custard, and created Trifle Cake on the fly! What I thought was a bane turned into a boon.

Jo said...

SNOW DAY!!! I love snow days. I'm such a procrastinator, I take any excuse to put off doing something. A snow day works for me. But it can be annoying when you're all geared up to do something and you have to change your plans.

I love the little video. Omigosh! I'm going to send it to my friend Fred. *heh*

(I loved your thoughtful comment on my blog post about homelessness.)

Kathryn said...

Well, i'm late in reading blogs.

Hope you did have a wonderful day & enjoyed that cake.

My mother tried to make us do housework when we had a snow day, but i think we managed to get some fun in anyway.

I spent almost the whole day in bed yesterday, snuggled in & recovering. I think it helped.

Land of shimp said...

Ha! That is wonderful, Jo. The perfect video for a friend named Fred, I hope he liked it.

I'm glad you enjoyed my comment. It's such an important subject. Thank you for addressing it.

Hello Kathryn! I hope you have sufficiently tamed the cold!

Amy said...

Hi Alane, Just returned from an 11 day trip to Death Valley, Mojave National Preserve, and Valley of Fire - all beautiful. Thought about you when we heard it was snowing in CO. Meanwhile a few days ago the weather turned on us with high winds making the wind chill dive down into the depths of ? In our little Casita trailer the only thing to do is to sit there and basically look out the window and at each other and our giant dog who takes up about 90% of the floor space, so we decided to come on home.

There's nothing wrong with a little procrastination and watching some dumb shows on TV - frankly, I wish I'd had that diversion a few days ago!

Amy said...

Oh, sorry Alane, I forgot to mention that I did indeed enjoy your video offering - can you imagine how much time it took to create that bit of fun? I especially liked the song!