My skin, no longer youthful,
Glows and shimmers from the life we share.

My eyes sparkle with laughter,
Our language of love.

My hair, better behaved, all growed up
Older now. Wiser.

My heart hums, oh how content. It revels in you,
I bask in your adoration.

My mind — such mess! — grows ever thankful
You inhabit my life.

You make me feel beautiful.
Therefore, it must be so.

This day, she be a good one.

Drawing the blinds that face our world, lovely snow lightly falling delighted my morning ritual of let-out-the-dog. So still, so serene.

Husband made me a hot, yummy bowl of Coco Wheat cereal. A throw-back to years earlier when my son was small and our break-the-fast routine included Malt O’Meal, instant oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. It tasted pretty darn good this morning.

While Bill tended to work-work To Do items in his make-shift basement office, Coco and I suited up for a walk in our Iowa Winter Wonderland. Earlier this week, when the temps hovered just above zero and the winds were a-howlin’, we’d done the same although for relatively briefer forays. Still, it had felt good to get outdoors, escaping the Cabin Fever mentality that had begun to consume me of late. Today, however, though dreary and overcast, the weather is milder, accentuated with all that brilliant virgin whiteness. We managed a decent forty minutes. Bogged down in heavy cold-weather outerwear and clunky boots, it was a bit of a workout trudging through all those uncleared sidewalks, with snow several inches deep. Tiring but exhilarating nonetheless.

On our return, hubby was clearing the snow from our sidewalks and driveway. I let Coco out into the enclosed backyard while I released myself from my now damp and confining boots and garments. Coco’s face, thoroughly encrusted with snow, peered in at me through our huge living room windows, cute and as adorable as ever. Time now to let him in and wipe him down of all that snow.

A little later, I tweaked a poem I’d written a few weeks earlier and posted here on my blog. Pleased with what I’d written, I turned to thoughts of cozy comfort and made myself a hot cuppa tea and curled up with a wonderful book about a woman who ran the Iditarod in 2003 and 2005, an inspiring and delightful read. Sitting there, with Coco snuggled next to me, I was struck by the realization of what a simple but wonderful day it’s been thus far.

The smallest of pleasantries often provide the largest satisfactions and so I wanted to share that with you. May you all have yourselves your own simple, wonderful Sunday!

I want guacamole and refried beans
    left off my dinner plate

I prefer Special K
    in every scotcheroo

Silk stockings
    must drape across my candled nightstand

I want 400 rpms revving
    my engine’s manifold come daybreak

Henceforth, spider stew
    shall be leached from my intestines

I’d love to see gauzy halos
    atop every world

Love proffers shelter
in the exquisite softness
of December’s lingering light
while fading footsteps,
metaphors for loss,
disengage from the artifice of angst —
harsh truths capsized
amid heaving hearts —
as amore
once strident and intent
cries out,
brilliant and courageous,
I am with you still.

No snow yet and temps continue their mild streak again this week. Perfect for taking long walks with puppy but snow – for Christmas – would be lovely. There’s still time of course, but a winter wonderland lends a seasonal framework for holiday cheer, snow lightly falling, Nat King Cole in the background singing of chestnuts and open fires, children sledding, their rosy cheeks and smiles as infectious as all get out, warm mugs of hot chocolate in hand and all that white beauty, well, it really does just do a body – and soul – a whole lot of good.

Precipitation is necessary, too, for Iowa crops next spring, for its rivers, streams and lakes, for trees and grasses, bushes and shrubs, tulips, crocuses, daffodils and luscious green hostas bordering April/May flower beds. The last several winters have produced little, and sometimes, NO snow. More and more, I’m hearing others echo my same concerns over this troubling lack of winter precipitation and warmer temperatures during the dormant months of December, January, February and March.

The climate here in central Iowa (and elsewhere) does appear to be shifting, changing, morphing into something other than what I’ve experienced – and loved – throughout my sixty-one years on this planet. Disclaimer: I adore each one of Iowa’s four seasons! However, extreme weather is another shared – and talked about – new phenomenon. This past year began most noticeably (following yet another above average warm, dry winter) with roller-coaster ups and downs of abnormal-for-the-time-of-year temperatures and precipitation.

April 2018 was frigid. May was HOT. Summer was a beast (delightful spring days skipped us entirely). Autumn, surely, would not disappoint. Oh, how I eagerly awaited those beautiful blue skies, colorful fall foliage and cool, crisp October afternoons.

Um, no.

It rained and rained and then rained some more. And it was COLD, not pleasantly, achingly refreshing cool and crisp but downright bitterly uncomfortable, windy, damp and miserable.

Who knows what the winter of 2018-2019 will bring? Right now – and at the moment I’m not really complaining, mind you – we’re enjoying some mid-December warmth and bright sunny days. I can’t help but wonder though if this isn’t a harbinger of what the next four months will be like. While I do like it now – today – it’s not what I want, like or expect of the most wonderful time of the year, let alone Old Man Winter.

Sigh.

Climate change? You really do have to wonder.