Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Plus Vs. Minus

Almost all things in life require a trade-off, one option to be selected over the other to gain something positive.

Some dawns you don't want to miss...
 Some are not difficult. You might want to choose between getting out of bed an hour earlier to do that entire exercise routine or to sleep. Since there is a lot of evidence, as of late, that indicates that both of these options are good for the waistline, it becomes a choice that befits your personality. Me? Oh, sleep, for certain!

Other decisions are not so easy. One of the hardest any pet owner has ever had to make is whether to euthanize a beloved furry friend or to hold out for that miracle you’ve been praying for to come through. Since a pet can’t communicate to you verbally, you’re assuming full responsibility for either choice. And, it’s rarely a black-or-white choice, but you’re trying to find the option that will be positive in result.  The trade-off is your loss versus a loved one’s comfort. Never simple, never easy.

Fortunately, most trade-offs just happen. They’re incidental to other choices made as life occurs. This point was brought to my consciousness by an innocuous exchange with a friend. She was teasing me, that where we grew up, we didn’t have to deal with that annoying winter snow-stuff. If I’d stayed there I wouldn’t have it to deal with this white stuff.
Living in upstate New York, you know it’s a toss-up which season is longer: winter or construction. No matter that the “construction season” covers almost two-thirds of the year, winter wins without contest.

Dealing with this fact-of-living was not an intentional choice. Through years of convolution, I became a “native” Upstater. The only part of the choice that was intentional was that I chose to marry a man whose life was centered in this part of the world. That was the trade-off: love won over the dread of winter. It wasn't a deliberate choice as there was nothing that would've stopped my marrying the love of my life. Winter-here I am!

Long Winter Ahead
 It is an entire season of plusses and minuses. There is a process to adapting to the wintertime. It just happens. You just have to look for the trade-offs.

  • The first “significant snow events” (as they are referred to by our local weatherpeople) are a royal pain. The road crews never seem to be near any road you’re driving along. The people, who have lived under these conditions for a lifetime, seem to be lost as if they had never seen snow before and have no clue how to navigate through it.

The trade-off here is that it is so incredibly beautiful. The shapes and consistencies of the snow can shift from one stretch of land to another. The way the ultra-white crystals take the form of anything they alight on is, very simply, breath-taking.

  • Slowly, people relearn their winter skills. They have to do that. Because, it never ends! It truly seems that the clouds just park overhead and won’t let any other weather pattern drive through our neighborhood. For about 3 months. Luckily, the third month is February, so it’s short. Yes, I realize that this is strictly a psych as the weather really has no obligation to follow the calendar. But, indulge me.

The Snowman designed for the Indoor Type: Small and Tidy
What’s the plus of this? You really have to look carefully, but it’s there. If you’re an outdoorsy person, there is so much to do. Skiing- downhill and cross-country-, sledding, snow-shoeing, or just wandering. If you’re more sedentary, there’s always hot chocolate by the gallon, fireplaces, books, and, time. Lots of time, which is itself a wonderful commodity.

  • And, the best, and final stage of adaption is when we quietly anticipate winter's starting to hesitantly move out. The green starts to peep from beneath it’s now-whitish cover. The temperature soars to over 40 and it’s time to pull out the spring coat and let your winter boots dry thoroughly. A silent wave of relief comes over our shivering souls.

And the trade-off is, well, none! Except maybe a greater appreciation of all things becoming new again, of being alive another year.

So, as I watch my car get covered in another layer of the stuff, I can hold onto the positives. Maybe this upstate snow-stuff, like most things in life, really isn’t so bad after all.

Lost Robin
I want to give a special thank you to my brother-in-law, Lou,aka, L.R. Deuel, for sharing some of his wonderful images with us. I'm thinking that the photographic talent runs in the family. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Nice perspective on upstate snow. :-)

    Personally, I love the bird house and bird on snowy branch pictures. Great photos!

    Shout out to Mike -let's get you a blog too! Muwahahaha...I'll have all my friends blogging before you know it! :-)


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