I honestly believed that once settled in at the cabin with plenty of time on my hands that I would get started on my list of what I really wanted to do in life. What I failed to take into account were the boundless distractions of living in the woods. I used to think that bird feeding and watching was for old people. I don’t know if this means I am old or if I was wrong about that. Anyway, I am seeing birds I did not know existed before. These in the pictures are pine grosbeaks. They come to the feeders in flocks and they like to feed off the ground best because they’re big birds that don’t fit well on the feeders that the chickadeed love to use. Last weekend when the children were here for Elv’s birthday, Clark took these pictures and let me have them.

If I spot the snowshoe hares cavorting in the yard I am transfixed. I wonder what those bluejays are yelling about, and I have to see. Is the brook running? I talk Elv into taking a walk yet today. So we hike out the lane and back toward Buck Mt. on the trail he keeps plowed. We study the tracks of rabbits, deer, coyotes, and little rodents. And listen to the woods. Sometimes we check on the beaver dams up the creek and walk out on the ice of the big ponds.

I am also distracted with housekeeping. I love housekeeping. Any excuse to clean or organize, completely sweeps me away to a place where I don’t have to be anything or anyone but me and my great ideas. Throw in a DIY along the way to redecorate or create a new tablescape and I don’t have to “guilt” about my lack of discipline for another little while. It’s really quite silly and most folks are none the wiser. They’re looking at our pretty home and glistening windows; then drawing conclusions that are completely unmerited. I’m really just plain slovenly in my own way, and I know it.

So distractions, albeit worthwhile in themselves, get in the way of disciplined goal-reaching. Lisl finally came right down across this to me last week. I’ve been dying inside for church fellowship and the coming and goings of our children and grandchildren. And spiraling again emotionally. She also told me that I am emotionally unstable. This is one of those things that daughters can say and get by with because I love them so much. I think it is reciprocated. Anyway, I felt loved, ironically, when she said that my lassitude and depression that could be exchanged for writing Dad’s stories was just ridiculous. “All you have to do is to get on the phone with him and transcribe, right?” OF course, she’s right. But it is so much easier to vacuum up the messy hearth and bring in firewood than to make that phone call, pen in hand. Or than to blog. I even enjoy these things. But moaning has been a huge deterrent. How dumb is that?

So that’s why today, after Elv left and I began tidying up from the weekend, I paused part way through the folding of yesterday’s laundry to reconsider. Thus I am saving that last bit of putting things away and whatever other housework that confronts me until I have blogged. That way I’ll get it done. I hope.

Just that easily, my alone day shall slip away and I’ll have made a difference outside my own little world. Besides, I am invited away for the evening, unexpectedly, to help one of the church girls who happens to live nearby to get through her alone evening.

Get your hands out of your pockets … get to work … you’ll warm up.

My Dad
A saw whet owl that hunts just on the other side of my kitchen window at eye level.

2 thoughts on “Distractions”

  1. I’ll add my voice to your daughter’s , “What are you waiting on?” The thought, “I’ll ask dad,” has crossed my mind countless times in the last six years.


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