Longing for Sunny Skies

On Saturday, we were blanketed with about two feet of snow. It took days for things to clear and, now, instead of pristine white, we’re left with partially melted piles of grayish sludge. Even though I love my office window, when I look outside, all I see is icy gray, murky skies, and barren trees. It’s dispiriting.

Plus, this has been an exhausting week.

Work has been especially busy, not helped by having no less than 5 hours of meetings a day. It’s so hard to get things done when all of your usual time is taken away. Plus, weird things seemed to crop up more than usual. I ended up declining a meeting yesterday with the note, “Things have gotten progressively more strange and I need to be at my desk.”

Plus, I haven’t slept well, so I’m physically exhausted, too.

It’s hard to be optimistic during weeks like this one, hard to see that they’re not always like this. It’s so hard not to be dragged down by all of the gray and murkiness and frustration.

Beach ReadingSo to remind myself that there is something better, I think of days like the ones we had in Puerto Rico, days filled with abundant sunshine, good food (not pictured), feet in the sand, The Dude, reading, crashing waves, and endless blue skies.

Days of Nothing

It’s going to snow this weekend. Snow a lot. Like, blizzard amounts.

Sigh.

I’m so grumpy about it.

So, even if I had some other fun and exciting plans, my new plan is to sit on the couch, drink copious amounts of tea and honey-lemon water, read, and watch The X-Files (I have to catch up!). I’m definitely not going to be going outside unless I absolutely have to. Nope, not a chance.

Basically, I’m planning to do nothing.

The Dude and I have a term for days like that: Days of Nothing. (We’re super original, I know. Try not to be jealous.) They’re really just days where we stay in, have no real plans, and mostly just… hang out. Generally, I don’t find them boring at all. Instead, they’re great ways to recharge.

I’m pretty good at finding ways to amuse myself, even if they’re low-key or solitary. One of the perks of being an only child, I guess. I’m rarely bored. I mean, I guess Days of Nothing could be boring, depending on what there was around or to do. Here’s some things that would make them boring:

  • Sports. The only surefire way for me to sleep is to have a baseball game on. I get in lots of good naps in the spring and summer…
  • Eating the same food over and over. I love eating and trying new things, so having to just eat a handful of things would drive me crazy.
  • Forgetting to bring a book. Long car or plane rides can be a bit monotonous if I don’t have something to read. Luckily, my Kindle fits nicely in all of my purses…

What bores you?

 

Paging, or The Great Book Hunt

It’s the first week of classes and things are absolutely crazy. I mean, they always are, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but this semester seems especially bad. Maybe it’s because we’re in the midst of a number of intense projects? Or, maybe it’s because our staffing levels seem especially up-in-the-air? Or, maybe it’s just extra crazy.

Whatever the reason, I’ve been running around a lot more than usual. One of the things I’ve needed to do is get the paging done. What’s paging you ask? Well, my friends, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt: In the library, the pager is the person who looks at all of the requests for books/loanable items (in our case, from other libraries, not our own patrons), finds them in the stacks, and sends them where they need to do.

Some people really hate paging, but I kind of enjoy it. I like having the opportunity to get up from my desk and do something that doesn’t require much thought beyond, “Oh, hey! This is how the alphabet and call numbers work!” I like the satisfaction that comes with finding books that have been misplaced. And, I really like having the chance to explore our (admittedly great) collection.

 

Books and Tsums

Library books, personal book, and Disney Tsum Tsums make for great table decorations.

Our library collections are a great perk of working at the college. At any given time, I have between 10 and 20 books checked out. Most of them, to The Dude’s chagrin, are sitting on our coffee table. At least The Dude arranged them nicely the last time he cleaned?

With the way things are looking,  I’ll probably have to page again tomorrow. Oh well, it’s a nice break from the monotony of my usual managerial work. Plus, I may find a new book or three…

The Weight of Winter

I’m… not a fan of the winter. Unless I’m sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, holding a mug of tea in one hand and book in the other, I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the way it steals my breath and chaps my skin. I hate that my hair become electric, constantly standing on end, and that I shock myself every time I open my office door.

Don’t even get me started on the snow. The ordeal of shoveling and scraping and sliding, is something I dread every year (even when The Dude does most of the shoveling!). Plus, the black, half-melted snow just makes everything feel… dirty.

Still, it can be kind of lovely, can’t it? The way it swirls and twirls toward the earth, weightless until it piles into a heavy, sparkling mass. The way, just for a short time, the world is wrapped in softness and glitter and quiet.

Falling Snow

Even so, I’m glad this picture was taken years ago, not last night. I know what the forecasts and almanacs have said, but I’m hoping for a snow free winter. A girl can dream, right?

Poof, Lunch

If I could have one super power,  I’d like the ability teleport. Don’t get me wrong, the practical idea of all of my atoms being pulled apart, zoomed through the atmosphere, and smooshed back together doesn’t sound ideal (my luck, I’d get splinched), but the idea of disappearing from one place and reappearing in another sounds pretty great.

For one thing, it’d be a quick cure for that pesky restlessness.

I’m not sure where I’d go first, though. Maybe to London? Or, Disney? Or, a beach where I could squidge my toes in the sand and look for shells?

Who am I kidding: I’d go somewhere to eat. Today, seems like a great day for a traditional tea, so I’d go, pick up The Dude, and take us to Brown’s for a feast.

The other super power I’d like to have? The ability to talk to animals. I can only imagine what they’d have to say! Plus, how funny would their little voices be?

Farsickness

I’m restless.

I’m almost always restless, my mind wandering to and longing for places far from here. This time of year is particularly bad, though. The holidays are a draining time for me and I’m not a fan of the cold (okay, I mostly hate the cold, particularly if it snows). So, mid-January is often filled with thoughts of different places, imaginings of the life that The Dude and I could have in those places.

Though I’ve never lived anywhere else, Pennsylvania has never really felt like home. I’ve always imagined that I’m meant to live somewhere else. I’m not quite sure where that is (though, even with the less-than-ideal weather, I’d love to give London a try!), I just know that it’s not in the Northeastern US. There’s much to love about this region, but it’s not for me.

Or, maybe I’m just tired of it.

In any case, I’m restless and dreaming of our next vacation. There are so many places I’ve never been, but that I’m anxious to see. Here are five of them:

  1. Denmark:
    Between castles, sweeping countrysides, wild-looking forests, and beaches, I want to go everywhere and see everything. Oh, and eat until I burst.
  2. Petra, Jordan:
    An ancient city carved into cliffs, Petra also looks like something out of a fairy tale. Or, at least like somewhere in Middle Earth. (“Speak friend and enter”?)
  3. Ireland:
    The Giants Causeway, the Book of Kells, and THE CLIFFS OF INSANITY (aka, The Cliffs of Moher). Enough said.
  4. Isle of Skye, Scotland:
    Any places with fairy pools is a place that I need to go.
  5. Santorini, Greece:
    Just looking at pictures makes some tension melt from my shoulders. Plus, I can only imagine how good the seafood is.

Word of the day: Fernweh, a German word that describes the longing one feels for  distant places, the craving for travel.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Snapping Pictures

I used to take my camera everywhere, snapping pictures whenever something caught my eye. I didn’t care what it was, I would document it.  I stopped in part because my camera was heavy and I was tired of carrying a (super) huge bag (not that I carry a small bag, but it’s too small for my camera). But, I also stopped because I felt like I was sacrificing experiences in favor of imagery. I would sometimes get hyper focused on getting the perfect shot, and I felt like I was always missing out on something. Sometimes, I felt like I was removed from whatever was going on.

Still, I really miss taking pictures. I miss going through the images I captured and saving the best ones. I miss the times when I accidentally caught something unexpected. And, I miss having fun with photo editing.

This is picture was taken outside of a restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland (Seacrets, for the curious) and I remember having so much fun playing with the image until the word “Taxi” seemed to glow from atop the circular metal sign.

Taxi Stand

I guess I could start taking more pictures with my phone, but the camera really leave a lot to be desired. Then again, maybe that’s just an excuse. What would it hurt to try?