February 15, 2015

Life Between "CBS Sunday Mornings"

Life Between “CBS Sunday Mornings”
By John R. Greenwood

It’s Sunday morning once again, it’s cold out and the staff of the Weather Channel sound like Red Bull infused pre-game analysts at the Super Bowl. 

There’s another winter storm sweeping the east coast and I’m sitting on the couch with a laptop nestled appropriately.

This winter has been the real deal. It’s like the winters I remember as a kid; the ones where you prayed for a snow day, cleared the dining room table and got the Monopoly Game out.

Life is different now than it was when I was a young man and the kids were small. They’re grown men now with families and responsibilities of their own. It’s Mrs. G and me now, no pets, less have-to’s, more me-dom. Life from Sunday to Sunday tastes different than it did in the 80’s and 90’s. Sometimes you pine for the hectic old days, sometimes you savor the quiet of being a ‘mature’ adult. This winter has emphasized the joy of the latter.


In 40 years of making a living your priorities change from day to day. I don’t want to live a responsibility-lite life. Having been instilled with a rock-solid work ethic as a young man it has become a part of who I am. Work ethic is important to me, my wife, my sons, and to those I’m fortunate to work beside. As an aging man I crave relevancy in a youth-orientated world. I admire those who work long after the need to has passed. 

This piece was initiated by listening to the hype and circumstance of an impending winter storm and double-digit below zero temperatures. I found myself crawling in to hibernation mode and enjoying the fact that it was semi-possible to pull off. My home was warm and safe. Our refrigerator was well stocked and my wife was in her cook for twenty, eat for one frame of mind. I dialed in my selfish self and planned my Sunday couch agenda. I hadn’t been writing, posting, or caring in many weeks. I found myself feeling guilty about not feeling guilty. I was enjoying life as a slug and a slump. I was happy and looking for a reason not to be. I was confused about life and expectations. I wanted to write but I didn’t want to think about what to write about. I wanted to relax without my mind mocking my sluggishness. Suddenly I realized that we’re never happy. We don’t know how to be because we’re never sure of the definition. Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment; is what the dictionary calls it. There is no mention of money or success. 

It’s 8:55am on Sunday. The last 168 hours have been filled with snow storms, ice dams, a leaky roof, and subzero temperatures. I look forward to spring yet I relish the feeling that living within the grip of winter places on us. The difference between winters past and present are really a matter of the mind. I must admit that I’ve enjoyed other winters much more than the one we’re battling now but I must also admit I’ve come to appreciate watching it from the window more this winter than any other I can remember.  

It’s 9am, CBS Sunday Morning is about to begin, and I have a fresh cup of hot coffee; maybe Webster needs to rethink that definition? 


February 09, 2015

Deception

Deception 
By John R.Greenwood



Into the winter night go my thoughts of the one to follow. Each one disappears without a trace. The beauty of the light is deceptive. 

Dreams of spring fill the void. Bountiful blooms will soon replace the darkness and songbirds will sing and dance from branch to branch.

 Cold winds draw the energy from my spirit, wearing me down like a whiney child. Not to be fooled by the solitude of the scene, I turn my back and trace the scent of fresh coffee and warm cookies through the backdoor, closing the cold behind me.









February 06, 2015

The Greeter

The Greeter 
By John R. Greenwood



Dressed in white, with open arms, my steadfast friend greets me each morning as I exit the back gate and head to work. He's a maple, a survivor, a champion among trees. His twin, stood beside him for decades, now gone, lost to disease and put out of his misery by the compassion of a chainsaw. Lonely for companionship my greeter welcomes my arrival and lightens my departure. Identified as male by the mess he "leaves" each spring and fall, his stature is matched only by his beauty when dressed to the nines. He behaves well in stormy weather and shades us in July's midday glare. He was here with his twin brother when we arrived as young family in 1981. His days then filled watching the boys shoot baskets by the hour. His muffled laugh heard high above each time a stray hockey puck shattered another garage door window. Life less exciting now he must entertain himself by watching me mow the grass and pick up after him. An occasional squirrel or nuthatch might stop by for a quick visit and snack in his tallness. He shrugs his shoulders with a, "I can't help it." smirk each October when I curse his abundance and cherish his glamour. I'm in love with my greeter and I hope his generosity outlives another generation or two. I will miss him when I'm gone. He will miss me when I'm gone. For certain his roots are healthier and deeper than mine-he was here first. He will be here last.