A Thought from All the Light We Cannot See

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“Werner thinks of his childhood, the skeins of coal dust suspended in the air on winter mornings…” from All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

For some reason, this stirred a childhood memory of milk. For a very short time when we first moved to Jacksonville, FL, we had our milk delivered by the “milkman”. On our front porch sat a metal crate where we would leave our empty bottles and take delivery of fresh milk. I remember the tops were sealed with thick paper lids. This milk was probably from Skinner’s Dairy, a hometown company that later built numerous drive-thru milk stores across Jacksonville.

In north Florida it didn’t get cold very often, but there were some winter mornings when we were excited to be able to see our breath in the chilly air. There was one winter I’ll always remember as the temperature got down in  the upper teens and our heat went out. Our dad was out of town at the time on one of his many business trips. We bundled up and played outside anyway. The very large ditch – like a creek – behind our house was frozen on the top. Our friend’s little dog, Ginger, skittered across easily. Our dog, Dixie, followed her and went right through to the icy water.

Other fall and winter days were filled with my brothers playing football in the front yard and a few evening fires in our fireplace. In high school it was a time to wear stylish sweaters to school, then go outside for PE in the short gym suits we had to wear. I remember being teased about the chill bumps on my legs – referred to as chicken skin.

After moving to Birmingham in 2014, I was so excited about our first fall and winter. Sweaters and boots and scarves were so much fun! But, then it seemed to last forever and I yearned for the warmth of spring.

This year, summer has far outlasted its welcome. Now I long once more for the cool air and some justification for a pumpkin spice latte. But, even more, I long for rain.

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A Year Later

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Last September I made a list of my goals for the month. I thought I’d revisit them to see how I did/how I’m doing now.

  1. Lose 2 pounds. I’ve lost 20 since then.
  2. Cut out more sugar. I’ve done this, though I need to get back to it again.
  3. Walk 3 days a week. Nope, but I am walking more and was able to do a 10 mile hike this summer.
  4. Work on my book at least 5 hours a week. Nope – but I do get to it in fits and spurts.
  5. Visit my youngest daughter. I did that last October.
  6. Redeem at least twice in Bubblews. Don’t write for them anymore. They stink.
  7. Brush my dog’s teeth every day. Nope, poor thing. But I do remember sometimes.
  8. Plant some flowers. Nope, but I’ve planted herbs I got at Pepper Place and they are thriving. I have chocolate mint, oregano, lemon basil, and lavender.
  9. Spend an hour a week working on my photos. Nope, but I got some great shots this past year.
  10. Find two red pillows for the couch. Nope, but I DID get some other great pillows – blues, yellows, and birds.

All in all, I’m okay with the goals I met and the ones I tweaked. I’ll try to crank up the walking and dog tooth-brushing and plant some fall flowers. Maybe I’ll even dust off the manuscript.