Sunday, February 3, 2008

Perfect day...

...or nearly perfect, but I'll take it.

We were heathens today and skipped church. Kevin headed out to do his thang after breakfast, leaving the kids and I to enjoy our leisurely Sunday however we pleased. Waking up to bright sunlight at this time of year is always a bonus, because there are some years where the sun barely shines between November and March in the 'burgh.

Today was unseasonably warm -- if we can't have real winter with actual snow, I'll gladly take 40 degree temps and sunshine. I lingered in bed, bathed in sunlight, first reading, then spending some time journaling, which I haven't done since last fall, hard as that is to believe. I also spent some time re-reading my journal from early 2007...I love going back and reading what was going on in my life a year earlier. It's amazing how much surprises me and how much I forget about until I reread it.

Being the gorgeous day that it was, the kids and I took a walk, our first of 2008. Technically, I walked and they rode their bikes.

The sky was an absolutely beautiful blue...

As I was walking, I noticed how much litter was strewn along the road. This drives me crazy. Sometimes I have the foresight to bring a bag with me and pick it up as I go. I hadn't thought ahead today, but as we were on our way back up the road, there on the ground, under some remaining snow and ice, was a plastic bag! I figured that was the universe's way of telling me to go back and pick up the trash, so I did.

Most of it was the usual -- beer cans, plastic bottles and paper cups. We had a pretty significant wind storm last week, which blew a lot of garbage cans and recycling bins over and spread the contents far and wide. I figure that was how the liquid soap bottle and some other things ended up along the road (not many people go on hand-washing binges in the car and then toss the empties out the window, you know?).

Along with two empty Marlboro Light packs, I also found... empty nicotine gum packet. Wonder if they came from the same person?

Sometimes, when I pick up my bagfuls of litter, I'm tempted to be cynical and wonder just how much difference does this really make to the planet? Sure, it makes things look nicer, but does it really have an impact on the earth's health? I know the answer is "yes," and that, say, over the course of a year, all those bags add up. But I can understand why some people don't bother to make the's hard to see the benefit in what seems like such a small bit of a huge spitting into the ocean.

On the way back home, I ran into a neighbor coming the other way. I love when the weather gets warm, even just for a day, and people get out and you get to talk to them after having stayed inside all winter. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and connected.

I took advantage of the day and filled the bird feeders again, too. It didn't take long before some of the birds came to check them out...tons of black-capped chickadees...

...and one tufted titmouse that flitted around insanely fast, making it very hard to get a good picture of her. Or him. Not sure on the gender.

And as if a lovely afternoon was not enough, I stepped outside tonight, after my family was in bed, to find the most perfect sky for stargazing. It was dark and clear, and the stars were shining brightly. I took my star charts out and gazed. For an hour. It was freakin' cold, but I didn't care. I was able to clearly identify about six new constellations that I'd not located before, and learned the names of several key stars, and I figured out where Saturn is, too! How cool is that?! (I get so excited about these things.) I just stood out there, turning in a circle, my eyes glued to the sky, reciting to myself the names I was trying to learn...Wezen, Adhara, Aludra...Procyon, Castor, Pollux...Lepus and Arneb...Perseus and Mirphak...Auriga and Capella and Alnath. I love these names...they're like another language and I love speaking them...I love how they feel as my mouth forms the words and annunciates their names.

So, that was my perfect, heathen Sunday. And yet, in so many ways, I worshiped God more meaningfully today than I do most Sundays that I do go to church.

In closing, let me just add this public service message while I'm thinking about it:

Dear Drivers Who Feel the Need to Drink:

Not to pick nits, but if you're going to drink and drive and then rid yourself of the evidence by tossing your empties out the car window, would you please at least be considerate enough and either a) drink canned beer or b) toss your glass bottles into grassy areas, not on the rocks? Those of us who care really do not like picking up broken bits of glass, risking cuts and god-knows-what kinds of germs infiltrating our flesh.

Also, drinking and driving? So not a good idea. Just ask my son. And if you're underage? All risks of injury to yourself or others aside, the legal ramifications of getting caught? So, so not worth the ensuing hassles and costs. Really. Just ask my son. Be responsible, find a friend's house to hole up in, drink your six pack and then order pizza, make prank calls, watch porn, whatever...just don't drive, ok?


Ms. Inspired

P.S. No...I didn't watch the Super Bowl tonight, but thanks to the alert from my friend Amy, I did tune in to the half-time show. Tom Petty, baby! Dude's gettin' old, but he still rocks. Not hitting as many high notes as he one did, but he pulled them off in Free Falling. Kewl. :)

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