List of Five #2

The snow keeps coming down. My sense of the severity of this winter’s snow is warped – it’s been too long since I’ve experienced snow like this. It brings me back to a college application essay I wrote, on the relativity of our experiences: soon after I moved to Taiwan and became my school’s great novelty (as the only kid from the US ever to enter my middle school), a friend quickly solved a puzzle of how to use an unusual pen I’d brought back to Taiwan from my trip back to the US. She qualified it by explaining that she was working on the assumption that everything I owned was strange and unusual and therefore required strange and unorthodox thinking to figure it out.

Well, the last time I lived in snow anything close to this year’s in Bend was when I was in upstate New York, oh, many many years ago. And even then, I remember any temperature below 20 was fairly unusual.

So this year I assumed that snow in Bend was just a fact of life. You take things day by day, assess the situation from collective experience and your personal experience, and adjust things accordingly.

My family is a collection of pioneers: people migrated, adapted, learned and incorporated all that was useful, practical, necessary, and precious from each place they lived in. It’s a collection of people who endured incredible hardship, from poverty, to suicide, to enslavement, to wars, to prejudice. Not without some complaint, I’m sure. But my collective experience is that of accepting all that comes our way, making the best of it, and even thriving within hardship.

So we’re a family of hammers: we plug away against all odds. Which is what I’ll be doing all day in our alley, plugging away at the now-encrusted, heavy snow riddling the road that I’ll be driving out of tomorrow.

Here’s this week’s list of five, in no order in particular:

  1. Favorite exercise: I’ve been doing a Yoga Shred program on DailyOM.com by Sadie Nardini and feeling great about feeding my body the physical activity it craves.
  2. Favorite drink: Warm water with apple cider vinegar. My morning ritual since the weather’s turned cold is a mug (using my favorite mug helps) of warm water with a teaspoon or two of organic raw apple cider vinegar stirred in. It helps me hydrate first thing in the morning.
  3. Favorite book encountered this week: Reread “Clever Jack Takes the Cake” by Candace Fleming. This was one of my son’s favorites and continues to be one of mine. It’s about the joy and gift of hearing a story, “And an adventure story at that!” as the charming princess remarks in the book. Tonight there will be Open Mic for Storytellers at Crow’s Feet Commons. I wish I could get there, somehow…. maybe on snowshoes…
  4. Favorite breakfast: This morning I used some random things sitting in my fridge to whip up a dinner-for-breakfast: egg whites scrambled with tofu, veggies, scallions, and topped with sesame sprinkles. Perfect balance of protein and veggies (which also help to keep me hydrated).
  5. Favorite kid activity: I’ve been exchanging a journal with my 10-year-old. There are spots we can write in together as we sit side by side, and other spots we write in on our own and leave bookmarked on each other’s pillow. It’s been a good way to connect.

So there you go. Cheers, till the next time. Oh, by the way, who agrees with me that winter time is the best time to savor a really dark piece of chocolate? 100% is the best.

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