Close the door and stay inside all winter…

Keep that door closed. Don't step outside.

Confession time. 

“Readers, I have sinned…”

No, no, no.  It wasn’t sinning exactly.  But I think the Wrong Impression may have been gleaned if you’ve been reading my blog this winter. 

You may think I’ve been stepping outside and enjoying the Great Northern White Outdoors every day.

And that is not technically true. 

In fact, it is blatantly false.

You can photograph upside-down chickadees from your window.

“What?”  you ask.  “I’ve seen a lot of outdoor photos!  Of course you’ve been going outside.”

“Well, maybe…technically,” I confess.  “If you count opening your car door or front door and snapping photos as going outside.  And I really, truly, can’t count that.”

“What about Heikinpaiva and the snow statues?” you insist.  “You went outside to take pictures of those!  You didn’t lie to us about the freezing cold, did you?  Did you?”

“No, no!” I say, hurriedly.  “I try not to lie.  We did trek about a mile in the freezing cold.  We did stand out and watch crazy people–I mean adventuresome people–jump in the lake.  It’s just that I feel like the majority of the last two or three months–since Florida, actually–I’ve spent indoors.”

You can play with your photography software and create saturated flying rainbow wings.

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” you exclaim with indignation.  “Get outside, then!  Where are your snowshoes?  Your boots?  OPEN THE DOOR AND WALK OUTSIDE!!”

Oh-oh. A chickadee crashed into the window and sits, stunned, on the snow.

“Well, in truth, I haven’t been feeling too good for the past few months,” I say.  “You know how it’s easier to stay inside when you’re feeling a little punky?  Much easier not to bundle up?  Especially when you can open your car door and run outside for five minutes and get all the photos you need?” 

“No excuses!” you frown.  “You can walk slowly, can’t you?  You can snow shoe for six feet and stop and listen to the birds, can’t you? I can’t believe I’m hearing this.  Thank goodness for confession.”

Poor chickadee...dee...dee...

“OK, I’m going outside,” I agree. ” Today.  And will truly try to spend more time outdoors.  But I will not make a commitment.  You cannot make me make a commitment.  Next time I make a commitment–especially if it’s in the next couple of months–sit me in the corner and give me a good talking-to.  NO COMMITMENTS!!

“Kathy,” you say, more calmly.  “Calm yourself.  You don’t need to make a commitment.  Does the 30-day gratitude challenge have you a little ungrateful about commitments?”

“I don’t know why I like making commitments,” I confess.  “I guess it’s because you learn so much through them.  You learn about staying power.  You learn about not going everywhere your crazy feelings and thoughts dictate.  You learn what is stronger and deeper than the finicky mind.  But I have another part that doesn’t like making public commitments.  That’s the part that’s surfacing now.”

Will he recover? Will he fly again?

“Fine,” you say.  “No official commitments.  BUT GET OUTSIDE!!  Walk up the road!  Put on those snowshoes!  No more whining!  No more hibernating on the couch!  No more stopping at the mailbox every day!   Be more like a chickadee!”

“OK, OK,” I agree.  “Heading outside NOW.  And will try to do this more often.  I promise.  No, I don’t promise.  But I’ll try.”

(P.S.  All you folks who have been house-bound might want to listen to yourselves and go outside today, too.

P.S.S.  The chickadee waited until he felt better, shook himself off, and flew skyward.  Hurray for the chickadee!)

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.
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43 Responses to Close the door and stay inside all winter…

  1. braonthree says:

    Love the chickadees.

  2. Elisa's Spot says:

    HA! Making a commitment NOT to commit!

    It’s a very warm 33 here, maybe today will be the day?

  3. 'M'and'L' says:

    This was a funny post I liked it and the nudge to get outside. That little bird is so cute, the pictures looked great.

  4. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – I ABSOLVE you! As long as you keep these wonderful pictures coming, I don’t care how you get em! And here you are again with my favorite chickadee…and even upside down like I said in the past. As to not feeling well….I had a doctor tell me once that it can take up to 6 months for a person’s system to completely come out of the effects of anesthetic. Be kind to yourself….Now THAT’S a commitment you should make! Be well and use this time to heal. The views from your windows sustain me and make me wish I could settle down next to you to share a cup of tea.

    • Kathy says:

      Laughing, Susan. I don’t know if you were reading my blog during the 365 day outdoor commitment or not? I don’t think so. In those days I would go outside even if I had the flu! (Which only happened once.) I like your long view on healing. Would love to share a cup of tea with you.

  5. Carol says:

    I’ll not be the one to criticize you for staying inside. Windows are meant for looking out so we know what’s going on without having to subject ourselves to it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    • Kathy says:

      I like that you’re sticking to your story, Carol! Funny…it has been a peaceful insid-y type winter. Fun to watch the chickadees fluttering all around.

  6. Nicole Smith says:

    Love this blog and the “snapshot” of your feelings at the time of writing. I am sitting in the living room looking outside at the backyard and grateful to be in the warm looking out at winter loveliness.

    • Kathy says:

      Nicole, have I ever told you I adore you? I love how you understand that this is such a “snapshot” of feeling. That it’s not a permanent feeling…just one going through. Your living room sounds cozy. I would like to be sitting there with you. Now.

  7. I purposely don’t make commitments! I never know how I’m going to feel, and when I’m having a hard day, there’s absolutely nothing that will get me outside!! Photography has been a wonderful therapy for me, so I get out whenever I can, but if I can’t follow up with a commitment, I’ll feel like I failed. Do what you can, when you can – that’s what I believe! Don’t push yourself, just make a goal to get out as much as you’re able to. Cute bird – glad he was able to fly away!!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s not good when commitments bring us that feeling of having failed. Not good at all. That makes it worse than having made one. I almost always follow through with commitments when I make ’em publically. (Not always, but usually.) When I make ’em privately, might as well just forget it–like you said. I’m glad the bird flew away, too.

  8. Reggie says:

    Oh dearest Kathy. HUGS. I’d love to join you and Susan on the couch with a pot of tea. I’ll bring freshly baked chocolate cake with dark chocolate chunks… just in case you have a serotonin deficiency from all that snow and the after-effects of the operation.

    And then we’ll bundle up warmly with you – p’haps you could lend me a pair of snowshoes, as I don’t have any – and we’ll take our cameras and trudge down the road a bit together. Who knows – perhaps we’ll find some delicate deer, or snowmen with carrot noses, or adventuresome people leaping into icy lakes, and cute little girls wrapped up with pink coats, mittens and scarves… and perhaps we’ll pop in at one of your neighbour’s to say a friendly hello, like?

    Doesn’t that sound appealing to you? And then we’ll walk back together, and light a fire in the hearth, and eat some nourishing hot soup, and we’ll just chat… OK? Feeling better? HUGS!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Reggie, we definitely have a big dream going! I love your ideas. But I’m laughing at what you think we’d find when we snowshoed through the woods. You know what we would see? Snow. Bare trees. Frozen lake. I doubt we’d see all those other things. Those are few and far between! But everything else sounds lovely. Especially the hot soup and the cake with dark chocolate chunks. Please come soon.

  9. kiwidutch says:

    Winter is for hibernation! (bears got it completely right) Were you born with snow shoes on? No? Then question answered and no guilt required. Some people thrive on enjoying freezing outdoor activities, some don’t. I’m a member of the later club. I’m not apologising ‘cos it’s the way I am. If I were to believe in reincarnation (I don’t) then clearly I was a tomato in a former life. Enjoy the snow from afar and who cares if you trekked 1 meter into snow or 500 meters for a photo?… or leaned out of a car window? seriously are people that picky? I hope not.
    The birdies are wonderful.. is that a great telephoto or did you manage to get up close?
    Now my confession to add to your: my no sugar healthy eating plan took a nose dive today, a friends hubby is away and she got the baking urge after work, she shared the proceeds and today I fell off the wagon with a slice of home made apple pie and not one but two enormous chocolate chip biscuits (cookies)
    Now THAT was truly sinful, and worse it was so good that given the chance I could be tempted to do it all again. Shame on me!

    • Kathy says:

      Were we born with snowshoes on? lol! You are funny, Ms. Dutch. I am also laughing about the tomato farmer image. (I did go outside every day for a whole year…that’s kind of what I was thinking about with this blog.) I actually was able to get within a few inches of that poor bird because it wasn’t moving. I think that sometimes–sometimes–falling off the wagon to share sweets with friends is a good thing. 🙂 We are both absolved.

  10. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Now you see, Kathy, try and learn from nature. The chickadee waited until he felt better, and only THEN did he shake himself off and fly again. You had a good reason to hibernate until you felt better, too, and you would be wise not to overdo it as you continue to recover. Trust the messages from your body-mind!

    I agree with Susan, above. Be careful, my friend…

    Beautiful pictures of the sweet chickadee – I was getting frantic I was so worried about him… Glad you finally said he was okay. Brave little thing!

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, I was waiting to see if anyone got the chickadee metaphor! (Although I hadn’t interpreted quite that way–I like your interpretation very much.) Isn’t it good that the chickadee got better and flew away? They hit the windows quite a bit. Usually they do fly off, but not always. 😦

  11. Karma says:

    Funny, I wrote a post in a similar vein yesterday: http://karmardav.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/new-gear-and-no-excuses/
    I haven’t made a commitment either, but I am promising myself (and the dogs) to just get out more often – and I think that is good enough, for me and for you! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I think it was serendity that we wrote these twin posts. I still want your boots. Seriously. One of my excuses for not walking on the road this winter is that neither of my boots is exactly right.

  12. P.j. grath says:

    Commitment is good, but everything doesn’t have to be a commitment. The body has its own wisdom, as I know you already know. Yours is telling you to rest more this winter.

    My little hike with Sarah today was the first in over a week! I’ve been hunkered down inside, too, but today’s sunshine and relative “warmth” tempted me outdoors. Funny how warm 30 degrees can seem after a long stretch of subzero wind chill!

    Your chickadee is lovely. And if you’d been out tramping in the woods, you wouldn’t have been there to photograph the chickadee to share with us. Ah-ha!

    Yours truly, Pollyanna

    • Kathy says:

      Did I ever tell you I love Pollyannas, Pamela? OK, maybe not naive Pollyannas, but Pollyannas who look on the bright side of life. Thank goodness everything in life doesn’t have to be a commitment! We’d wear ourselves out. I was thinking of writing a blog about our tropical heat wave. It hit 42 degrees yeasterday afternoon in Aura. My relatives down south were complaining about the 50’s and we thought 42 was warm enough to wear shorts. NOT! lol…

  13. Robin says:

    I’m so glad the chickadee recovered. I feel like I have a personal stake in all chickadees lately. They follow me everywhere when I go out. They are such cute little things. 🙂

    Commitments are great, for all the reasons you mentioned, but sometimes you need to listen to what your body wants to do, especially when you’re not feeling well.

  14. Susan D says:

    I’m vibrating with every word you wrote and every picture you posted … in every way! Thank you, kindred spirit, and thank you for …unexpected treasure (you know)….

    • Kathy says:

      Unexpected treasures are the BEST–especially when it’s our birthday! You are welcome, very welcome, and hope you had the most magnificent day.

  15. bearyweather says:

    Chickadees are my favorite bird .. ever since 3rd grade when my teacher gave me that bird to study and report on. I have so many at my feeders this year … they are eating tons of seeds but I love them. They are so friendly, cute and sing a wonderful song this time of year that tells me Spring is coming. I am glad your chickadee survived the window.

    • Kathy says:

      They sure can eat you out of house and home (as my mother used to say) can’t they? Seems like we are always filling the bird feeder. I know exactly what spring-heralding song you mean. It thrills the wintery heart.

  16. flandrumhill says:

    Dear little chickadee. They are so sweet. Though you can see them from your window, there is nothing like the sound of them up close.

    • Kathy says:

      They are precious indeed. You may want to read the comment to/from bearyweather up above. We were just discussing that spring-heralding song the chickadees sing. It thrills the wintery heart. (OK, you don’t have to read. I just told you!)

  17. barb says:

    You are like the Chickadee – stunned but ready to fly.

  18. jeffstroud says:

    Of course I have to go out side everyday, many times a day, to walk the dogs, sometimes at 12 am, sometimes at 2 am, there has been even 4 am… the male dog is getting old, when he calls/barks you wake up and take him out… many times the camera comes with, not in the middle of the night but through the day…

    Yes, I understand about commitment, I made a commitment to myself and to you all on my blog, what six months ago, to write my morning page, and I did really well for sometimes but somewhere around christmas, everything stopped. Yet it was the commitment that has got me writing and sharing my photographs again.

    You are forgiven for whatever you need to be forgiven for!

    • Kathy says:

      I think you have a built-in commitment, Jeff. Those dogs need to be walked. Your commitment to the animals is a big one… I think when we don’t follow our commitments we can learn as much as when we do follow them. A different kind of lesson. Thank you for the forgiveness… (although it always feels like only part of the self needs forgiveness. The other parts are laughing–they never needed any forgiveness at all. Strange, huh?)

  19. holessence says:

    Kathy – I reading through the comments, I love the suggestion that you should commit to not commit. That makes me think of the quote, “Moderation in all things, including moderation.”

    • Elisa's Spot says:

      NOoooooooooooooooooo..I made NOoooooooo such suggestion! I was merely laughing, and pointing at evidence 😀

      • Kathy says:

        Elisa swears she never made this suggestion. Yet I think it was an excellent one, Laurie. No, truly. Here’s what I wish: that we all have the discernment to know when to make commitments and when to fly free. I do believe there is a time for both.

  20. Pingback: Nutboogers! Passionate Commitment Bites Me in the A.. (uhm hiney) « Elisa's Spot

  21. Val Erde says:

    That chickadee is gorgeous! I’m glad he/she was okay, they often are fine.

    Me, I’m happy to stay indoors whenever it’s cold, regardless of how beautiful (or healthy) being outside might be.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s actually been a fun stay-inside-type-winter, Val. However, this morning, for the first time in ages, I asked Barry to drop me off about a mile from the house on his way to work. It was a lovely walk home…even though still quite cold. Lovely to hear the birds chirping.

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