What winter has taught me

Image

not only is my snowsuit freaking awesome, but it makes a good nest for Zeus, too.

If I have learned one thing this winter it is that, in order to enjoy the bitter wind and snow covered ground, I have to pull out my inner little kid. No one is going to look like they are enjoying themselves if they are walking in heals down an icy, frozen sidewalk (not that I ever wear heels anyways). However, if someone has an incredibly awesome snow suit like mine (4 bucks at Goodwill…SCORE!) then they will have a way more enjoyable time getting from one place to another in this frosty, freezy, snow land we call Michigan.

My snow suit is an extra large kids snowsuit, so it fits my waist perfectly and the arms aren’t even too long for me like they usually are when I buy clothes (I have really short arms, it runs in my family [thanks, Dad]). Although it fits a little snug in the crotch region, it has plenty of wiggle room. And plus, it was four bucks so how could I ever pass it up?

I took a late night adventure with a few friends a while back after the first substantial snow fall in Mt. Pleasant. There was even promises of building a fort, but a few days later the snow had already melted into brown freckled piles of melting ice/snow (yuck).

I was prepared in my one-piece snowsuit, way more prepared than a few of my friends who were lacking a few essentials of winter…like boots and gloves. I bought a nice pair of heavy duty snow boots last year but never got to wear them due to the lack of “winter” we had. I was oddly excited to get bundled up and actually explore out into the cold, cold world.

Now, I’m not going to lie, there might have been some liquid encouragement to make the trek into the cold, windy winter world outside of my apartment more bearable, but nevertheless, we made it into the woods and home again all without frost bitten toes or icicle tears. Image

Since the snow has (somewhat) melted and froze over again into a nice layer of slippery, watch-your-step ice, the bitterness in the air has gotten worse. I can’t even walk from my car to my door without my fingers and face freezing so fast that they burn. It’s awful and just a reminder of why I am not the biggest fan of the season we call “winter.” 

Although I had plenty of fun tromping through a foot or so of snow when I was geared up in my snowsuit, I don’t think stepping into it and walking to class would be viewed as “normal”. Now, I don’t need to be seen as normal because to me, normal is all relative, however, I’ve come across a dilemma…

If I do decide to wear my snowsuit just for the fact that it will keep my body warm, do I take it off once I get to class and suit up all over again after? Or do I keep it on all the way, as if I didn’t have real clothes underneath? Or do I casually unzip the top half and let it hang at my waste while leaving my legs warm inside of it?

I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO STAY WARM IN THIS FROZEN PLACE.

I’m over winter. Completely over it, but in order for me to enjoy it as much as possible, I realize I have to pull out my inner kid. I have to not care about freezing wind because being outside is exciting enough. I have to throw on my boots, learn to walk in them again, and then tromp my way through this winter with a smile on my face (closed mouth smile because my teeth will turn to ice if they are exposed) and just suck up my negativity when it comes to getting out of my warm, heated blanket covered bed in the morning. But I will whine until it’s sunny again, after all, isn’t that what kids usually do?

 

Advertisements

Dennis: he saved me.

There was this sweet little boy at the Special School in Kenya. His name was Dennis. He was always smiling and he had the kindest eyes. He was tiny, like most of the kids there, partially from lack of a nutritious diet and partially from his physical impairment. I didn’t really connect with Dennis until one afternoon when I helped a few other volunteers bathe, clean, and clothe a few of the children after the house moms had run out of diapers. 

Dennis is currently my background on my desktop along with another girl (just as sweet as Dennis) named Sharon. I look at them every time I open my computer but for some reason, last night, I had a wave of words flood through my fingertips as I looked into Dennis’ sweet, virtual eyes. The following poem is what was released.

When I look at the picture of his face I know he wanted to say so much to me that day,
To just drop down and thank me.
His smile said only half of what his eyes screamed,
“Thank you,
For picking me up after you already ridden seven other kids of their grime,
For noticing me in the back room,
Laying in filth.
You were snooping but it’s okay because I’ll admit…
I peed myself.
And I’m sorry you had to see me that way but it’s only because the School Head won’t take the diapers out of storage in fear the room will remain empty for far too long until another donation.
She means well.
But, thank you.
For holding me when they are forced to care for far too many.
You saved me.
From my own puddle of upset stomach
Even though you couldn’t stomach the smell of neglect on my urine soaked skin right before your lunch break.
I know if affected your entire mindset.
Don’t regret seeing me.
Or being here.
We need you here.
Hear my out when my words can’t be shouted.
I’ll smile bigger so you know 
That I do understand and I am thankful.
Even though I’ve had no chance here
Hear me out…
I would shout thank you loud enough for lions to fear me if my words weren’t trapped behind these eyes.
I don’t know how to thank you.”
I know his eyes held more than dry tears the day I saved him
From one wet, dingy, Special School bunk bed.
I saved him,
From a lonely night left alone with no one to save him.
His fragile arms would then reach for me daily.
They would spread open in hopes that I would hold him again and cleanse his body of Kenyan sand.
His hugs saved me
From feeling tortured by his past.
And his present.
And his future.
His smile saved me
From fallen tears blinked down my cheeks.
His picture of my desktop saves me
From forgetting the feeling of passion I felt for the very first time as I denied lunch because I couldn’t stand the thought of enjoying a meal after such an unenjoyable sight.

Image

Sweet little Dennis, shaking his instrument during the concert they held while I was there.