Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow lonely?

        "Ya shovel sixteen tons and whatya get?" A flippin' backache that's what. Whatever the cause of the recent storms we have been enduring here in the midwest part of the USA, (and no I don't think it is not Al Gore and his evil minions, conspiracy theorists), but I know I have now evolved from the "Oh isn't this pretty crowd", to the "Okay will ya stop already crowd." I am now the ibuprophen poster child.

        The recent storms have left me encased in a snowy coccoon with the tops of my lawn furniture resembling the middle part of an ice cream sandwich. My poor little Shih Tzu is growing weary of high jumping through the drifts to only be able to tinkle on snow that is already at her "tinkler" level. Her coat matted from the snow to where I have now dubbed her "Dog Marley" for her dreads acquired from the frequent trips in and out of her snowy lavatory.

        I must admit I have to be careful for what I wish for. As a writer, but a writer with kids, the precious but few days I have any uninterrupted lengths of time to where I can write in solitude are not in abundant supply. I often wish I had a day to myself; one to write, to reflect, and to just do "guy stuff". Scratch things, walk around in poorly matched clothes, and eat where I want, with my trusty remote at my side. The weather granted my wish as my wife and daughter became stranded out of town for a few days. My son stayed at Grandma's to alleviate the childcare dilemma caused by school closings. I got my couple of days.

     By the second cup of coffee on day one I found that even though I enjoyed sitting at my computer with hair resembling Nick Nolte's arrest photo, I enjoyed the peace of writing, checking mail, sipping more coffee, and listening to my music as I sang along with the new "We are the World". (I wondered why all the dogs in the neighborhood were barking.) I also noticed the silence. I thought the muffled silence was from the snow, but it was also from in my house. This was what I wanted; or was it?

Note* - (As I write this, the family is home safe, however as my son has been licking his hand and wiping on my daughter, and her retalitory kick which started the crying and the resulting arguing, may make me rethink this post!)

        I noticed that silence is different when you are not sure when it will end. I found it uneasy. Even though I often beller for the kids to quiet down, I missed the madness. I noticed I would rather it be behind a closed office door than across county lines. I turned to my friends online. It seemed our precipitous culprit had left many stranded, some missing family, some not.

       I was able to see the noise happening in my friends lives. I saw pictures. I saw snowmen. I saw faces and text. I also encountered one young lady who was separated by sand and not by snow as her husband was being deployed in a dangerous area of the world. I said a prayer. I was thankful my family was still safe and close enough.
        I also enjoyed the supportive comments from friends on my blog and Facebook page. I wasn't completely alone. I chatted with people from three continents. I chatted with kindred spirits. I met new people. I wasn't alone in my snowy solitude. The friends I have online are like the little marshmallows in my hot chocolate. They add to the warmth. Little suprises that make you smile.

        Now I know the debate of having online social friendships and relationships is provocative and causes many to question the "healthiness" of said interactions. I feel balance is healthy in most any relationship or activity. What I found is that I enjoy adding "spice" to my community of friends. I have "work" friends. I have casual social friends. I have long term friends. I have online friends. I have blogger friends. All of them add their spice to my recipe of a really cool human interactive experience.

        I truly feel that human energy is something to experience, and there is no way a glowing box can offer the same connection. However, second to that is the "intention" and compassion that people offer via their keyboards amazes me at times. If one is truly receptive, you can "feel" the energy in the written word. I found the uplifting words of others can be a bridge to carry you over the chasm when there is a human contact void.

     I have always felt blessed by the friends I have in the physical world. I am also blessed to have met people in my virtual community that I would possibly never had had the opportunity. To not only reconnect with those from my past, but to now have friends from coast to coast, in the UK, Australia, Middle East, and so on, I feel that I have been bestowed with a precious gift. Thank you all. Thanks for the bridge. Thanks for the spice.

      In my snowy limbo, I admit I have not written on my blog as I wanted. Chores, snow removal, and recovering from lost business took precedence. I was blessed to get two awards though, and I promise to pass them onward. The first coming from a wonderful soul - Katherine Jenkins from Lessons From the Monk I Married. The Sunshine Blog Award. I too feel I often give the nod too may times to the same people so please pardon me as I sit on this as I try to share the love.

        The second came today from another kindred spirit and awesome blogger Marcella Jager from Belly Up to This Moment. The really cool thing is that she developed this award, and I refuse to soil her laundry by trying to explain it's meaning. I beg of you to check out her blog and find out it's meaning. Once again, I will pass it on. I want to find recipients.

        Thank you all for your friendship, both the tangible and the digital. Both hold equal weight. Thank you all for allowing me into your worlds, and when you pop into mine, I hope you enjoy the stroll. Even though some may feel that digital relationships are as shallow as a puddle of rain on a sidewalk, to others you may be the only other ones in the room. You may be the beacon, the bridge, and the spice. The quality of this connection goes beyond bandwidth, and thanks for your posts to my soul!


Momma Fargo said...

I'm with ya, Tony! Pass some of that snow my way, will ya? We need it. Congrats on your awards. You deserve them. Love your blog.

Jeanne said...

Hi, Tony! OK, I read this post and realize I have to do more reading here, because you've captivated me!

I've not been affected by the world-wide winter just yet, but I appreciated your description of "hey, this is too much solitude" --- normally we don't get enough, we say --- then wham, it lasts too long?!? C'est las vie.

I share your appreciation of the cyber friendships. I find deep connection, however improbably that may seem, in the blogging world, and as a "senior citizen" I'm amazed and delighted at the thoughtfulness and wisdom coming from all of you "youngsters"; it makes me realize this world is indeed a hopeful place!

I wish you sunshine and blue skies!

Healing Morning said...

This was one of those posts you write that had me laughing helplessly, several times. As this helped to chase away the last vestiges of a nasty migraine, I am saying a heartfelt Thank You! Beyond that, I just adore your humor. The droll description of your son licking his hand & wiping it on his sister....ahh, sibling love & memories of my own childhood w/ the big red target that eternally existed all over my person for my older sister & brother to thump with glee.

I agree w/ you - the online relationship thing can present some moral & ethical questions if one chooses to cast negative motives upon those relationships. For myself, I simply enjoy & appreciate the connections I have made via blogging and the attendant social media. Without all of the above, I'd never have found you or had the joy of reading your writing & knowing that out there several states away, I have a connection with someone who speaks my quirky, yet insightful language. I'd not have missed the connection for the world and I put the intent out there that it continues until we are all old & gray.

The lonelies do hit at odd times, and I, as you, find color, texture, depth and a delightful waltz to be found in the various online relationships. And I say to you, dancing is required! ;-)

~ Dawn

Timberwolf123 said...

Fun Tony, thanks for sharing. I know I'm very tired of the snow & I am lucky compared to the people in DC. The good news is spring is only about a month way!!



Anonymous said...


Barbara E Brink said...

We also have way too much of the white stuff, but since I write at home, I don't have to get out much. It is nice to connect with new people and realize how much we really have in common.
I find your blog very uplifting and fun to read. Thanks for the little glimpse into your world.

Two ArtisanSisters said...

Enjoyed reading your latest blog entry. We too still have several inches of snow on the ground and today is the first day that the temp has reached above freezing since Feb. 5. Maybe some will melt before the next batch coming this weekend! Sure looking forward to Spring!
Ruth and Marilyn
Two Artisan Sisters

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you are snowed in, I understand that nagging feeling of I want to be alone, I don't want to be alone. I used to go through that myself but over the years I've become very greedy about my solitude time, I'm in a different place. I'm going through empty nest time so I guess it's good I've shifted - just in time!
There have actually been studies done showing that television watching and social networking are actually healthy as far as people feeling a sense of community, especially for shut-ins. There are other issues that may not be healthy with these activities, (a sedentary lifestyle for one), but just as far as feeling not alone and having community, they aren't so bad it turns out.


Sai said...

Dear Tony,

Thank you for illuminating a path with your writings. In recognition of your work, I’d like to present you with the "Writer of Light" award. Please visit my blog for details, and also to pick up the logo if you like.
Love, light, and Peace.

Saraswati said...

Hi Tony,
I laughed at your shih-tzu's predicament and the other shining bits of humour that flow so easily through your writing. I understand that strangeness of silence as I am making a shift from a child-filled career as a junior school teacher to the solitary one of a writer.

Enjoy your awards. You deserve them!
~ Saraswati