Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go (after a quick blog)

At my place of work

At my place of work

This morning, awake at 5:45 a.m., after stoking the wood stove, igniting the gas beneath the tea kettle, pouring a pink glass of grapefruit juice, I turned on the Kindle Fire to check email.

There, sitting so innocently in the in-box, appeared a note from John.  He misses me in the Internet world, he says.  You and your prose are missed.  I sigh from my heart and would have wiped away a stray tear–except it’s still too early.  I’m missed.

The part of self that always longs for acknowledgment wants to jump up and down beside a snowbank in delight.  Someone misses my writing.  Someone loves me.  Hallelujah!

The part of self that doesn’t care about acknowledgment raises its eyebrows at the inner child but doesn’t chastise her.  I’ve been learning so much in the last five to six years about honoring all parts of the self.  Until then, it’s hard to honor all parts of the other person.

But, jeeezsh, John, it’s only been a week since I wrote here at Lake Superior Spirit.  That’s not long, is it?

What's there to write about?

What’s there to write about?

Lately, nothing seems interesting to report here.  (Which is odd, because usually everything seems interesting.)  Why would anyone want to read about snow, cold, ice, snow, cold, ice, snow, cold, ice?

I could tell you about Friday night Book Club.  How’s that?  I missed December’s lively Christmas Book Club, so they volunteered yours truly to host February’s evening.

You know the unwritten rule in life?  Don’t show up for that meeting and you’ll be elected president.  Don’t show up and you’ll be volunteered for who-knows-what.

Always show up.

I didn’t mind.  It’s good to host Book Club in winter.  When the ladies arrive it’s too dark for them to see all the cobwebs and dust bunnies.  (You entertainers might take note of this.  Always entertain in the dead of winter after 6 p.m.  You needn’t stress in your cleaning.)

Nonetheless, I cleaned half of Thursday and all day Friday until I ached.  Scrubbed the bathtub–oh how I hate scrubbing the bathtub.  It’s the worst chore ever.  No human being should have to scrub tubs.  I’m counting on someone to invent the scrub-less bathtub very soon.

An ancient pic from Book Club, maybe back in 2009

An ancient pic from Book Club, maybe back in 2009

By the time the ten readers arrived laden with potluck goodies and wine, I was ready for a glass or six.  Nancy brought ice cream cake, and the bathroom scale is still screaming about that.

You know what’s interesting about Book Club, besides the fact it’s more of a social than literary club?

None of us are the same.  (Well, of course, you say, rolling your eyes. Some of you learned this in kindergarten.)

But it’s especially true for this group.  Our group runs the spectrum from Tea Party to wild liberal.  From light mystery reader to Anna Karenina fan.  From tree hugger to tree killer (and some of us are both.)  From vegan to lover of wild beast.  From city-born to U.P. native.

Tea party

Tea party

While a few tense moments hath ensued over the years–especially around elections–or book suggestions–we mostly get along pretty darn good.  I find that’s so quite often.  When we just concentrate on being together, rather than focusing on our beliefs and opinions to the exclusion of our shared friendship, it often doesn’t really matter about our differences.

Sometimes, I’m learning more every day, it’s possible to even learn to love and appreciate differences.

OK, hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go!  Will set the publish button for 8:30 a.m.  By then I’ll be knee deep in bookkeeping and payroll reports.

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About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in February 2014 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go (after a quick blog)

  1. lisaspiral says:

    It is good to hear you’re not totally buried or frozen in that ice and snow. You’re so very good at conveying those “things that are really important.” I appreciate your little reminders. Tea (and wine) sound good – but at this hour of the morning the tea sounds better. I highly recommend finding a bathtub scrubber and bartering for services. Mine always throws in one for free for my birthday. :)

    • Kathy says:

      I am drinking tea right now, Lisa. (And no wine today–that’s usually reserved for special occasions.) Hope you’re not buried either. It’s been a long winter. By the way, that’s a brilliant idea about bartering! Wonder who might like to trade…?

  2. msmcword says:

    Kathy:
    How wonderful that you are able to keep yourself surrounded with books and words via your blog and your book club.
    And learning to accept and love differences in others is often easier said than done-even for me. Some lessons just cannot be learned from books.
    Nancy

    • Kathy says:

      I agree, Nancy, it IS easier said than done. Perhaps that’s why we’ve got such a long lifetime. Plenty of time to learn how to love differences…we hope…

  3. Kathy – I absolutely love and have made note of your fabulous entertaining tip. It’s going to fuel smiles all day long:

    “It’s good to host Book Club in winter. When the ladies arrive it’s too dark for them to see all the cobwebs and dust bunnies. (You entertainers might take note of this. Always entertain in the dead of winter after 6 p.m. You needn’t stress in your cleaning.)”

  4. john says:

    Thank you! You have dashed the rumors that sasquatch took you away for a midnight snack. You have restored my faith that collegial discourse thrives in our fine county. The social and intellectual paths are as well groomed as well as those for the skier and snowmobiler.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for the email this morning–as well as sparking a blog post, John. Good luck with all that shoveling. I would volunteer, but we still have a heckofalot of snow to shovel, too!

  5. sandiwhite says:

    Kathy, it IS nice to be missed! I found an e-mail from my boss at Scottsdale’s where I have worked for years, off and on as a designer. He asked me if I would consider coming back again, they miss my work. So I gave my standard reply, I would love too, would he consider paying me more money? I’ll probably go back for a short while, it’s Spring ritual for me. When the weather warms and my other clients start calling, I’ll leave again. Still, it’s nice to be asked!

    • Kathy says:

      Sandi, isn’t it nice to be missed? It made me feel darn good this morning. Loved reading your designer story. I can imagine that warm feeling which must have swept over you. Say, are you getting snow there is Georgia? Heard there’s another system moving through. I should call the in-laws and see how they’re faring.

  6. Carol says:

    Oh please! Don’t remind me about the bathtub! I have one with a really stubborn mineral stain that I’ve been avoiding. Pull the shower curtain shut and go eat, drink and be merry with your book club friends.

  7. Ally Bean says:

    Your book club sounds perfect. The good energy comes from the mix– not the sameness. You are lucky to have that group– something to do + something to blog about. Win-win.

    • Kathy says:

      Ally Bean, you are so right. The diversity seems to liven things up. And I’ve written at least a half dozen posts about Book Club over the years so it’s provided lots of material.

  8. Glad to have you back in the saddle again! And like some other commenters above, I’m glad, also, to know you are alive and well, which means not frozen solid.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  9. Heather says:

    I didn’t realize your book club friends bathed when they were over. Now I’m wondering if I should scrub the shower for future dinner guests ;)
    I often enjoy that when we focus on being people, we all get along quite well. Throw politics and religion in the mix, and then I think we forget that we are people, and instead focus on being Right. I much prefer people. Even if their bathtubs are dirty.

  10. Lori D says:

    It’s so hard these days, not to feel cut off from people who believe differently. How refreshing that you’ve stuck together all these years, despite the differences.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, it’s so hard when we feel cut off from those who believe differently. I’ve been really working on this tendency, trying to notice when my heart closes down and how to open it up again. As for Book Club, many members have come and gone. A core group has stayed together, but there’s also a bit of movement coming and going.

  11. Kathy, I’ll confess I didn’t miss you, but I was glad to see your post. You normally don’t post too often, and what you say (and your photos) are usually interesting. I often simply delete blogs of people who post too often; my inbox gets clogged with too much trivia.
    But I like to see and hear about the UP because that’s where my mother grew up. I traveled through there last summer with my grandson and showed him my mother’s birth house (in Kearsarge) and my father’s college (Michigan Tech).

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, I know what you mean about inboxes getting clogged. I used to post a LOT more in my earlier blogging years and that’s why, I suppose, some folks get concerned when I quit posting. You would have liked the first blog I wrote back in 2009. It was all about the UP and not about personal thoughts and such as much. You wouldn’t believe how much snow is north of Houghton! It’s been such a crazy winter.

  12. I have the opposite approach to cleaning for guests. Our old farmhouse is broken into smallish rooms, comfy for two, a pain for entertaining. So I do most of my entertaining in the summer. Put picnic tables out around the pool, make sure the bathroom is clean, and don’t worry about the rest of the house. Works really well!

    • Kathy says:

      Esther, I really like your idea! (Actually have done that outside entertaining, too. One summer hosted Book Club on the deck.) Sitting on one of those picnic tables really sounds lovely—especially now when it’s still so darn cold outside. You give hope that summer will return.

  13. my husband just cleaned our bathtub and he is my hero forever now–I belong to a Writers’ group that is as precious to me as your book club sounds

  14. dorannrule says:

    Great post Kathy – without writing about cold, ice snow, cold, ice, snow. We will be getting 6 to 12 inches of that – this week. I am in a book club too but we meet at the library for precisely one hour – no food or drink – and no cleaning bathtubs! We even have a website. Wanna see what we’re reading? If the website is working it’s at http://blueridgereaders.yippeeo.biz . :)

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, your latest book–The Book of Jonas–looks very interesting. I wouldn’t mind having a book club that was a wee bit more interested in talking about books. Just a tad. So impressed to see your website! Hope you stay safe in that snow this week.

  15. sybil says:

    After rule #1 about showing up, don’t forget rule #2 — don’t make eye contact or you’ll be recruited to host the next one.

    Why did you clean the tub ? Is this some sort of weird ritualistic bathe and read club ? Me ? I’d just pull the shower curtain shut.

    Wish I had your tolerant attitude …With a “Tea Partier” in the midst, I suspect I’d pass out from blood loss from biting my tongue !

    • Kathy says:

      Syb, I grew up with the Absolute Best housewife/cleaners on the planet, my mom and grandma. I have a secret dread that I will not be loved without a clean house. One year Grandma came up and cleaned my frig. It took 20 years to recover from the pain of it.

      P.S. Don’t think I’ve always been so tolerant. Used to be an official member of the Tongue Biting Club, too. :)

  16. Stacy says:

    It is nice to be missed – and appreciated, isn’t it? But I do think that if once is all the universe inspired you to write this week, it’s as it should be. (The universe doesn’t fib, does it?)

    I would like to be in your book club. Mine always meets at the library – not as personable as in someone’s home. I even forgot to go last month! If I can find a way to blink myself to the UP, I’ll be there in…a blink! <3

    • Kathy says:

      The Universe KNOWS, Stacy Lynn! I was just tryin’ to listen to the Universe. And this morning when it hijacked my fingers and started writing another blog I was almost speechless!

      It seems that it’s a matter of what other folks expect you to do. When I wrote a once-a-day blog people expected to see one every day. When you write a few times a week, people expect to see that and worry if it doesn’t happen. (Some people. Some of the time.) When you write once a week, no one worries for at least 10 days and then we’ll all start pondering where the heck that weekly blogger disappeared.

      By the way, blink away!

  17. I think you really love all that cold, snow, ice and long drawn out winters. Now admit it. There is one thing going for the UP. It is very pretty. Book clubs can be so nice but I’ve never joined one. But as you say never say never or was that someone else on another blog? :-)

    Ps: I love a clean house but I don’t live in one. It’s not possible with more that one pet. . I keep all dishes washed and I can’t stand dirty dishes or a dirty or cluttered counter top. I could actually die from trying to keep my home spotless. :-) At my age I have other things to worry about. Such as staying ALIVE. :-)

    • Kathy says:

      Tee hee, Yvonne, you REALLY think I love it? Well, maybe I like it a bit. I like the prettiness of it. Guess what? I can’t stand clutter, either. It’s deep-down dirt that I can let accumulate…but, like you say, life’s too short to fuss. Except when Book Club or my parents visit!

  18. I’m not quite sure why you felt like you had to scrub the tub for a book club meeting, unless the members prefer to lounge around in the tub while discussing the books. ;)

  19. penpusherpen says:

    HI Kathy, you make me feel quite, quite guilty, I haven’t scrubbed t’bath for ages, mind you I have an electric shower over it, and I suppose I clean everytime I wipe.the bath dry, so I’m feeling better now. :-) But isn’t it odd how we lash ourselves for not ‘doing’ something? (Figuratively not literally of course!!) No-one would look down on us if a few bits of dust showed, or something was out of place, yet we push ourselves onwards to try and gain perfection. I am going to leave that cushion as it is, sad, flat and looking sat upon. (nope, can’t resist, ’tis now plumped up and tempting!! ) Have a great week, and happy book reading, I have loads piling up, but somehow I can’t stop typing away on here. Now there’s something I should control, BUT …… ;-) xPenx

    • Kathy says:

      Thank goodness, Pen, you were feeling better by the time you convinced yourself of your clean bathtub! *grin* Truth be told, I don’t clean the bathtub enough. Even I was getting appalled by its condition. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. Now I can soak in delight once again knowing the grimy grime is gone–until the next visitor, that is. I do not, do not, do not, like it when we humans “should” ourselves. Hopefully we don’t do it too often. :)

  20. It’s always nice to know that you’re missed ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Michaela, doesn’t it feel good? Just a teeny tiny email like that can change a day from gray to sunshine. So can flower and beach pictures sometimes. :)

  21. “I hate scrubbing the bathtub. It’s the worst chore ever.” I never dared to say this out loud! It’s so nice to know someone who feels the same way. My idea is to replace that darn tub with a walk-in shower like my friend Janet has. Just mop the tile floor and she’s done!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Barbara, let’s say it out loud another six times! Yes, it is wonderful to discover that we’re not the only ones that dislike certain chores. I would like a brand new bathtub. Except a new one wouldn’t fit through the bathroom (or front) door, so that’s probably not EVER an option. Sigh. Like your walk-in shower idea, except I do so love baths.

  22. Dana says:

    “Always show up”. True words of wisdom if I’ve ever heard some, Kathy…

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