This Sunday in December

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Today was another beautiful December day.

Almost every single person that came in to the hardware store mentioned it, too.

“What a gorgeous day it is!”

“Fantastic weather!”

“Who could complain on a day like this?”

I could have…but I refrained. Why cast a shadow on a lovely day, because of my own foul mood? That wouldn’t be very nice.

So, though I was grumbling to myself about how I had to be inside all day, first at work, then with a mountain of duties at my desk at home, I responded with, “Yes, it sure is a nice day!”

Though my pessimistic, doomsday thoughts were blaming global warming for the unseasonable warmth, and thinking we’d probably all be baked in just a few years, I said only, “You’re right, it is warm for December!”

On a lighter note, I thought, perhaps it is just El Nino causing the unusual temperatures, and it will simply result in floods, droughts and other  disastrous events around the planet, to add to all the man-made disasters already in progress. Aloud, I replied, “Beautiful!”

The only way to get rid of the huge list of urgent items on my To-Do List is to do them. I can’t single-handedly change weather patterns or world events.  Being grouchy and miserable about it doesn’t solve anything. By the time I got home, I had convinced myself to shake off the bad mood and enjoy the day.

First, a walk.

Rosa Parks is getting more accustomed to walking with me again. She does well on the leash, though she doesn’t like it. Today, once we got across the road and onto the trail, I unhooked it so that she could walk at her own pace. She didn’t run off into the woods or head back home on her own. She stayed pretty close to me most of the time.

Though I don’t find the views very impressive right now – fall colors are pretty much gone, and we don’t yet have the dramatic black and white landscape provided by a covering of snow – I took lots of pictures. I’m trying to work a little more exercise into my daily walk, so I did some  intervals of speed-walking in between stretches at my own not-so-speedy pace. I tried to appreciate the weather, the view and the fresh air.

My little dog had her own agenda. First she snuffled into the leaves all the way along the edge of the trail. She noted the hoof prints of deer, and followed them along, sniffing at each one, until they disappeared in the tall grass. She peed on several branches and leaf mounds along the way. Nearly home, she uncovered a small green snake that had been dead for quite a while. She scraped the leaves away, then flung herself down on her back, to writhe around on the dead snake, to pick up its scent.

When Rosa Parks was still a baby, she came in to the bathroom one day, to keep me company while I scrubbed the bathtub. I removed the items that were stored around its edges: the bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the pink net scrubby thing, a razor, a jar of exfoliating face masque, the soap and the soap dish. I had lined the soap dish with a little sheet of silicone, to avoid the soapy gunk from accumulating in the bottom of the dish. As I was scrubbing the tub, the little dog found that sheet of silicone. She picked it up and moved it to the center of the room, then flung herself down on top of it, wriggling around on her back to pick up the scent. My heart melted.

“Rosa Parks wants to smell pretty,” I said.

As life went on with my little dog, and I saw her behavior around turkey droppings, fish skeletons or frogs that had been crushed by cars, I realized that a truer statement would be, simply, “Rosa Parks wants to smell.”

Today, home from our walk, I gave her a treat and a hug. I said, “Rosa Parks, you smell just like dead snake!” She smiled that I had noticed. I smiled right back.

I guess my mood has improved!

 

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