Mother Nature Is a Sadistic…

Ah, January in Northwest Arkansas.  A time when a crystal clear blue sky is more likely to mean wind chills of single digits, and snow days are likely to make sure that our kids don’t have a 5 day school week all month long.  But not today.  Today is the one day of the winter when we’re likely to hit 70 degrees.  My friends back in Cali will get theirs next month for 3 or 4 days.

Many of us see this as a tiny reward; a reprieve from what we see as a bitterly cold, miserable time of year. ( Those of you that live where there’s real weather stop laughing now, it’s not our fault y’all are truly masochistic.) It’s the one day where we open the windows, hit the park, and break out the flip-flops to show off decidedly un-pedicured toes. Okay, that last part may just be me, but we all know what it’s like:  the hint of spring days to come.  We can almost smell the fresh-cut grass the air, feel the not quite blistering sun on our shoulders, taste the ache in our shins from too much infield practice (oops, just me again).  We revel in the kindness that Mother Nature has bestowed on us, if only for a day.

Horse hockey.  This isn’t a kind reprieve – it’s granting a condemned man a last meal.  A beautiful spring like day, to remind us how truly beautiful the world around us is, right before she pulls the rug out from under us.  Admit it, while you’re reveling in the sunshine, squinting at the edges of your lawn looking for signs of daffodils sprouting, you’re afraid.  You know that because of this, the next round of Arctic freeze will be that much worse.  I think she wants it that way. Knowing that while we’re grateful for the respite, however brief, we’re all dreading the return of Frosty the Angry Snowman.  And yes, it’s our punishment.  Because one day last Spring, when the  most perfect of perfect Spring days dawned, the one that every last one of us should have been outside, tasting sunshine and lawn clippings, one of you was inside doing laundry.  And when I find out who it was, there will be retribution. 

Because Mother Nature isn’t the sweet old lady that spreads sunshine and bakes cookies, no matter what she wants you to believe today.  No, she’s more like the White Witch of Narnia.  And I’m headed outside to play, before the ice storm hits next Tuesday.  I suggest you do the same before she finds out you’re sitting inside reading this.

Adventures in Karma…Sort of Like Toyland, Only Not

Everyone’s heard of Karma.  It’s a short, handy word for, “what comes around goes around”.  Or, for my more scientific friends, Newton’s Third Law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

According to some, it’s a grand, cosmic force, maintaining balance in the universe.  For others, it’s lying awake at night, wondering when the awful ex-boyfriend will get hit by a bus, or at least get dumped by the next girlfriend in a terribly public and humiliating fashion.  Me? It’s my nickname for my 7-year-old, because I am paying, spectacularly, for my raising. 

But, here, Karma will be an adventure.  Stuff will happen; I’ll tell you about it in my typical snarky way, and we’ll wonder together who did what to whom to deserve it.  I’ll probably be on the receiving end of that equation most often.  Like wondering what on earth I did to deserve the giant third eye I’m rocking in the middle of my forehead, like a gangly 15 year old.  But some things the world is destined to never know.

And now, we begin our journey, with these immortal words from Mary Chapin Carpenter:

Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug

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