BTSO Season

We are Back to Square One again.
As I write, sunlight is flooding the kitchen, it’s nearly 60 degrees, the windows are open and Jeff is mowing the yard — which should bring on my slight grass allergy in 3… 2… 1…
But my weather report isn’t just for general knowledge. It’s impressing me because it’s one of the first true days of spring. Granted, we hit that milestone on the calendar several weeks ago, but seeing “First Day of Spring” in print is worlds apart from feeling the sun warm your shoulders, which are bared in a tank top as you do yard work. Yes, the year has returned to its own “square one” — trees are budding/blooming, many yards boast tulips and daffodils, and chicken-sized robins abound. For a long time, I hated spring. To me it was so ugly with brown, dormant grass, leafless trees, gray/rainy days and mud. MUD EVERYWHERE. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but this year has been different. Maybe it’s because we had such a mild Midwest winter and things seemed to green-up a lot quicker, but I actually found myself noticing the early-blooming flowers more and not minding the early onset April showers that debuted in March. Many people speak of spring being the season of “rebirth and renewal,” and this year I’ve actually felt those sentiments in my heart. Mental change is a mighty force, and sometimes you have to discipline yourself into it. Lately, for me, it’s just a feeling of, “Yes, a fresh start is exactly what I need.” Nothing drastic, of course. I’m not selling all my possessions and moving to a mountaintop (although, there *are* days when I’m tempted…), rather, I have become more vividly aware that some areas of my life needed tweaked. Eliminate the chaos of “busyness,” and live intentionally each day. Actually BE in the moments of my day, rather than offer my family my physical presence, but put my mind a million miles away on Facebook or Pinterest. Continue the practice of taking things calmly and in stride each day, rather than let anger and frustration twist me up into knots. (P.S. — this has been an ongoing lesson that’s taken a good year to develop into daily use.)
Through the grace of God, we return to square one every morning, with another new day. Another chance to start fresh, to try not to screw things up (at least not too badly) and get it close to being kinda sorta right. And for that, I’m truly thankful.
As a family, we’ve also returned to a “square one” of sorts with Stella.

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Stella is the newest addition to our asylum home. She’s a (now) 12-week old Vizsla puppy, and a crazy breath of fresh air, who keeps us on our toes each day. Some of her antics leave us just short of infuriated, but she’s SO DAMN CUTE. Her presence has given our ol’ boy Buddy a bit of a re-charge as well. Since her arrival, his patience has been tested tenfold, but his demeanor has changed to that of a dog many years younger than his 12-14. (We rescued him, so his exact age is a bit hazy.) All I know is that he’s more active, move involved and actively seeks our attention. Hoping that Stella’s exuberance adds some pep and enjoyment to his golden years.
So, today we’re planning to enjoy a 70-something degree day, opening the lake house and assessing our To Do list there. The stage is set for a beautiful and enjoyable day — wishing you the same!

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