Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Days, Mary's Little Lamb and the Soul

In case you missed it, Kansas City had a little snow storm yesterday.  February 21, 2013 mother nature brought parts of our city 14" of snow.  14 inches in about 10 hours.  In case you live in southern California or Florida or Hawaii or some other part of the country that never sees snow, that is one hell of a lot of snow!  Maybe mother nature felt she had some making up to do since we haven't had more than an inch or two all winter long.  For whatever reason, she laid it on fast and furious yesterday!

And . . . this city was not prepared!  Schools closed.  Churches closed.  Businesses closed.  Government offices closed.  Trash was not picked up.  Mail was not delivered.  City buses were stranded all over town - some containing passengers whose patience was tested as they sat on the bus for up to 12 hours waiting for rescue crews to arrive.

I'm thankful that my office closed.  I didn't have to figure out how to maneuver the traffic jams.  Or wait for a good samaritan to push me if I got stuck or found myself in a ditch.  Thank goodness.  I drive well or well enough, but where snow and ice are concerned. . . I trust no one. . . including myself.

So I spent my "snow day" playing.  Mostly on the internet.  I did, however, manage to get outside for a minute to take a few pictures.

Here we have my feet. Buried in about 8 inches of snow!  I don't have boots.  Can you believe that?  I live in the Midwest where snow is not uncommon, but I don't own boots?  What am I thinking?  I own about 10 pairs of tennis shoes . . . though I don't play tennis or engage in any other physical type sport.  But no boots!  I really need to move.

To a place with lots of these!

Year round would be nice.

But then. . . I wouldn't get. . . TWO snow days.  In a row!  Yes, you read that right.  Our office closed again today, because much of the city is still buried under a foot of snow.  I guess there are perks (some) to living in a place that dumps a foot of snow on the ground just as spring is trying to burst onto the scene with all her new life, vibrant colors and warmth.

Did I mention that I spent my snow days surfing the internet?  I did?  Good.  In truth, I spent most of my time internet surfing.  Wasteful as that sounds, some good came from it.  Quite by accident, I ended up on the PETA website.  Disturbing is the word that most comes to mind when I think about all that I saw there.  By design I suppose.  The pictures and videos and information found there are overly graphic.  Again, by design.  I believe the point of the website is to nauseate folks like me to the point of change.  Always, I am disturbed when I see or hear about an animal being mistreated. It evokes strong emotion in me . . . like hate.  Hate is never a good feeling.  The knowing that animals are mistreated. . . well, that disturbs my soul in a very profound way.  So I'm sitting here trying hard not to hate while at the same time feeling a disturbance in my soul.  All because I saw these helpless little animals on PETA's website being tortured and mangled and violently killed in ways you can't even imagine.  I couldn't imagine.  Until I saw what I saw. 

So what does one do when one's soul is disturbed?  Shift?  Move?  Change?  All of that!  After PETA, I google searched vegetarianism.  Already I felt better.  Getting proactive . . . I felt my soul start to settle.  A sign that I was moving in the right direction.  As simple as it sounds to just not eat meat, it's not.  Figuring out how to get protein without meat.  Figuring out how to get those 8 essential amino acids the body can't produce on its own.  Knowing what's really in stuff.  Stuff that's canned or boxed or bottled or jarred.  One never knows where critter or critter by-products might turn up.  Gotta check them ingredient labels carefully.  Finding a variety of foods to eat without getting bored?  What to tell friends and family?  How to prepare for special outings where meat will certainly be the prevalent dish?  So much to consider.  So much to plan for.  But I have to do it.  My soul is screaming at me to take action to help. . . to do my part. . . to help protect. . . 

this mama and her baby

and. . .

this precious creature. . .

or these lil ones. . .

or these sweet innocents

Farmers are prevalent in my family.  Eating meat is what we do!  I can see them now - all shaking their heads at me for even considering the idea of becoming vegetarian or vegan.  Never before did I think I would go meatless.  Never before did I have any real desire.

But!  Never before did I have two snow days. . . back to back. . . with unlimited internet access to explore things never before explored.  Like PETA.    And never before has my soul been so very disturbed.  Now that it is?  Change is a must.

Change is good.   Nature is chuck full of it!  Think seasons, rivers, the weather.  You get the idea, right?  Anyway, since we are part of nature, change must be good for us too.  So I'm doing it.  I'm changing.  Nothing huge. . . yet.  Just small things like. . .  meditating.  I'm trying very hard to be "mindful" and to "live in the moment."  I have to confess, the more I do, the easier it gets.  Good thing too!  I tend to quit hard things.  And I don't want to quit.  Also, I'm doing some yoga.  Not very well I'm afraid, but I am trying.  I'm reading books and blogs that are educational and uplifting.  I'm learning, or trying to learn, to create art through the lens of a camera.  I'm blogging, which I have found to be therapeutic and cathartic.  Who doesn't need a good dose of those things from time to time, right?  And now. . .as of today. . . I'm changing my diet.  No more Bessie or Wilbur or Chicken Little or Mary's Little Lamb for this girl.

Sorry this entry is a bit "off" the blog's intended purpose.  I haven't received any new interview responses from friends/family recently and I haven't actively sought any with strangers on the street since Steve Miller.   Truly, I am sorry about that.  Just as soon as the weather improves, I will make it a point to walk up to strangers and ask them to tell me their story so I can come home and share with you.  Today I just wanted to write.  More than anything, I wrote to help me stay the course.  And if by chance I got any of you to thinking, well. . . all the better!  Remember, snow days are good and change. . . it's even better!  With much, much love. . . 


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