|Fatty oatmeal waiting for the crows|
A few days ago, a younger friend messaged us, "How are you doing?" Perhaps you may be interested in our answer as well...
I am writing to answer your recent question,
“How are you doing?”
I am sometimes good at short answers,
but today is not one of those days.
Instead, I give you and Mary
A WINTER DAY IN THE LIVES OF THE SHAFFNERS
8:00 Coffee, News, Deal With Nuisance Snow
WPSU’s WeatherWorld recently introduced us
to the term “nuisance snow;”
the roads are not treacherous
but, to keep things neat,
we need to shovel decks
We have had a lot of beautiful nuisance snow this winter.
Tracks in the snow make us
more aware of our wild neighbors.
Possum tracks which show opposable thumbs.
We were hoping for elk tracks
as two bulls were seen on the adjoining property recently
but we have found none yet.
9:00 Hot Tub, Feed the Birds
Denny fills the front feeder with sunflower seeds
and scatters corn for the doves.
Chickadees show up immediately,
sometimes perching on our hands.
I take leftover cooking fat mixed with oatmeal
to the flat rock on the stone wall
and caw three times, hoping for crows.
They seldom respond,
but it’s fun to caw.
Blue jays are not nearly so wary
and appear almost immediately.
10:00 Chip Away At Some Job
Most Tuesdays Denny works alone
at the Clearfield County Historical Society
mailing books and Sam King map sets.
Fridays he works, masked,
at the church on remodeling jobs.
Other days may find him
transcribing a century-old Mountain journal
or working in the basement.
His biggest project is Maple Leaf Lodge,
a neighboring hunting camp we purchased
to keep the neighborhood quiet.
Camp has eight double beds.
When COVID is over,
you can bring friends and have a retreat!
I usually spend part of the day working on my website,
(Thanks for “liking” it, by the way.)
and weekly go to Aldi
for dark chocolate almonds
and other life necessities.
Church is currently online only.
We feel like we are atrophying,
but rediscovering NT Wright has been a silver lining.
2:00 Think About Exercising
I allow myself to watch reruns of The Amazing Race
only if I am exercising—
in theory, stationery biking.
In actuality, I do a lot of arm curls.
Denny listens to music, mostly 60s,
while he bikes energetically.
We both have gained the COVID 15.
Denny is waiting, sometimes patiently,
for his COVID vaccine.
He recently watched a healthy friend get COVID
and die while intubated.
A few days before the friend passed
he called to tell Denny
that he had asked Jesus into his heart.
Joy and sadness are so often found together.
3:00 Read/Google Earth/Nap
Google Earth’s street view provides surrogate vacations.
This week I have examined the roadside plants of Juniper Hill, England,
visited mountains in Saudi Arabia,
and searched for a half-dead tree
on the esplanade in Toorbul, Australia.
I didn’t find my tree,
but the “walk” was fun—
I saw kangaroos!
6:00 Watch TV, Multitask
Some British period pieces have grabbed our attention:
Call the Midwife,
The English Game,
We also watched some great movies:
Remember the Titans,
The multitasking part includes
using IMDB to learn background trivia
and filming locations,
then visiting using the aforementioned Google Earth.
Multitasking also includes snacks.
10:00 Read Until We Fall Asleep
Currently I am reading Philip Yancey’s “Soul Survivor”
which has me looking up Thielicke and Kierkegaard—
what I really need is “Philosophy for Dummies.”
Denny is reading about Newfoundland in the 1800s.
He usually checks for nuisance snow before he falls asleep.
We hope you are healthy,
that your days are blessed with safe adventures,
that your sad times are few
and your joys are great.
*Times may vary greatly depending on the day’s slug potential.