Thursday, January 17, 2013

Handling It


Come on in.
Pour yourself a 
cup of coffee.
Pull your chair up
a little closer 
to the fire.

How has January
been treating you?

I was on my way
home, yesterday,
when the sunshine,
bouncing brilliantly
off the thick ice of
the lake, caught my

via Instagram Privetandholly

I pulled over to take
a photo with my phone,
uploading it to share
with my Instagram pals,
adding this caption:

These are popping up
all over Lake Minnetonka ~
ice fishing shacks.  Now
it really feels like winter!
That and 5 degrees F on
my dash.....

One of my IG friends,
who lives in Florida,

How do you handle that??!!

It never occurred to me
that I'd been handling

I have really come to
embrace winter.  A lovely,
fresh start.  Cozy times
inside punctuated by brisk
walks down the road, the
frosty marsh on one side
and the frozen lake on the

Having spent most of
my January days ill with
flu, then stomach virus, I
am relishing the opportunity
to get outside and inhale
the piercingly cold air.

If you have never
experienced air this frigid,
it refreshes body, mind
and spirit like nothing else.

Clogged head, cough,
chills, nausea, I don't
handle very well.  But
winter in Minnesota?

Piece of cake.

Last night, while taking
Gracie out, I threw
my head back to take in
the gazillion stars overhead,
snug in my puffy coat
and Uggs....

And I thought of so
many people, out there
in this big old world,
who truly are just

handling it.

Chemo treatments

Job losses


Care taking

Military service

Deaths of loved ones

Natural disasters

Broken hearts

I bet you are sending
prayers or good thoughts
to someone who is
courageously handling it,
whatever their it is,
each and every day.

I know I am.

Makes a winter's day with
a high of -2 degrees F
seem like a walk in the

{Although even Gracie and
I aren't too keen to set out
on those days : ) }

So pour yourself another
cup of coffee.  Let's toast
to all the brave souls who
are, indeed, handling it,

and every

I was thinking about
the word handle, and
 all the unavoidable
things that get handled.

"I'm sorry," I said.

~ Hazel, The Fault in Our Stars,
by John Green



Anonymous said...

After life in Arizona for two decades and now living where we get snowstorms, I don't ever think about "handling it' either. In fact, I much prefer having a winter season over 110 degree summers. We had snow today and it was so beautiful watching it fall and enjoying the sight of our dogs playing in it. I guess the ease of winter comes in being prepared for it.

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

This is such a lovely post...thank you for helping put things in perspective! Stay warm...xoxox

Whosyergurl said...

Oh, I love your refreshing attitude! So positive. I have been handling it, too...more than one of the things you mentioned. I'm getting there...
wonderful post.
xo, Cheryl

Hindustanka said...

Good morning, Suzanne!
Loved the pictures of your beautiful winter...thick snow and cozy cup of tea..
yes, there are people out there who don't even have homes to sleep in...they also handle this cold...

Jemsmom said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for putting it all in perspective as I have cursed this foul weather every time I have to bundle up to go to the bus stop. Especially as I grumble and groan when all my Charleston friends are posting pictures of themselves on the beach because it is 78 degrees there. Your posts are always a breath of fresh air!


It does seem that so many people are struggling through very tough things.

It is fun to see your beautiful snow pictures ... since Chicago still has none.

So glad you are on the mend and can enjoy some time outside.

Beautiful words, as always, Suzanne.
And kind words, too.


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I'm so with you on this, Suzanne! I may not love the below zero stuff...but I have a cozy warm home and my family...I am grateful. I have learned to love winter...

Sylvia said...

Suzanne, believe it or not, these were my thoughts when I saw your photo on IG and read the comments. I even started to write mine, but couldn't make it short... I love snow. It makes me slow down(the whole city, in fact), pause and observe.There is a wisdom behind each snowflake uniqueness. You make me think not only about people who handle serious adversity in life, but also about that young man in Cuba who asked me with sadness in his voice ''What does snow feel like?", because he has never experienced winter and he has been dreaming of it ... I don't want to take snow for granted. Thank you for visiting my blog. Your words are alway a gift to me.

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

So when do we get to have a cup of Earl Grey together? (I just discovered vanilla caramel tea and I think I am addicted, but that's a whole other story). Even though I swear I get S.A.D. in the winter (even moreso since having children)I really do love the winter. We have had less than 2 inches of snow here in Chicago this winter and my family has been in a funk. Truly. "It's too warm, where's the snow?" my kids ask regularly. Thanks God we had at least a dusting at Christmas or it really would have been depressing. Looks like we'll be moving to Michigan before the year's out and "Lake Effect Snow" will apparently become a household term for us. The kids are happy as long as they can snowboard. Some of us "handle it" better than others. And you are so right. We all have something. Worries, fear, depression, heartache. My word for this year is "Thankful." Now all I have to do is remind myself of how lucky I really am whenever I start to feel down or discouraged. Thankful. It's MY word.

Susan T said...

Hello from frosty England. Beautiful photographs to go with your equally beautiful post. I am thinking of one such young person (a friend of my daughters) who is handling it right now, she is approaching problems in her family, her university finals and she is deeply unwell. I marvel at her strength of character at such a young age,

doodles n daydreams said...

As I've got older I've come to appreciate the change of seasons more. I now enjoy the winters rather than wish for the summers my sisters have in Australia. I can always go and visit, but now usually at a more temperate time of year - funnily enough I find their summers too hot!
And as you say, there are a lot of people who have a lot more to worry about than the seasons.


andrea@townandprairie said...

Love your post. Great outreach to all the struggling souls out there who are just trying to make it through

The enchanted home said...

Bravo Suxanne....this was sooooo well done!!!!! You always touch me in a very deep place with your thoughts and reading your post is like a quick 2 minute therapy session before I start my day:)
Yes you are right its all about how we choose to see things, to embrace and enjoy and cherish the small things that some might look at as mundane, nothing like that crisp cold air hitting our faces, or watching a star filled sky....all those things I love too and realize the importance of as I get older.
Thanks for the reminder to enjoy even the smallest pleasures and to give a special thought to those who as you highlighted are really "having to handle things". And theres a lot of them!
Enjoy your day....every snowflake, single digit and every wind gust:)

paige said...

you're a beautiful soul
apparently a chilly one...just kidding.
beautiful post my friend

Happy Homemaker UK said...

We are having a big snowflake snowfall right now. Everyone is SO excited, as we don't get 'proper' snowfalls every year. Such a treat! Beautiful!

lisaroyhandbags said...

I've never considered winter in Northern Ontario anything I've needed to "handle" either. I love the crispness of the air! Summer in Dubai, however, is definitely something I can barely "handle" since 125F is just stifling. Enjoy your winter - I really miss it! xo

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Ah yes my dear....I too never really think about "handling" the just GO and do what you do normally, and then on days like you are describing when you can stop to think about the world, you do find the finer points about LIVING. I am grateful that I have been and continue to go with the flow, though I may cry and worry a bit. But I have nothing nearly as crucial to handle as some folks do, just below zero temps. Let us embrace what we have now; it won't always be there.

SEE YOU at the end of the month! Anita

Kelli said...

I LOVE this post. Finding joy and contentment in what you have is the key, isn't it? I am 'handling' lots of things a whole lot better since adopting this attitude of gratitude, too. :)

Jenny said...

You're handling it well. Enno and I watched Grumpy Old Men two nights ago on t.v. and thought it must be in Minnesota. I'm glad you're delighting in what nature has placed on your doorstep and getting well. It makes Spring sweeter when it does arrive. A toast to you, my sweet friend! xo Jenny

Farmgirl Paints said...

those pics are so beautiful. nothing like a blanket of snow to make everything sparkle. i am gloriously handling my sunshine today. that's one thing i know i could never thrive without. at least with MN winters you get plenty of that...below temps or not;) remember how every single class we had the sun was shining?! it was amazing.

pollydove said...

Last night I picked up a pizza for the kids and the guy at the cashier said, "How're you liking the frigid cold?" And I said, "I don't mind the cold, I actually like it."

I concur 100% about how being out in that cold air refreshes the body and mind. Most people here think that's crazy, so I am thrilled to know that there are others who feel the same way I do. One of my favorite walks in my memory was walking from my parents house in upstate NY into "town." It was 15 degrees, but the sun was shining and I walked with a briskness and a smile on my face!

Great post, thank you!

michele said...

i wanna be you when i grow up, suzanne. i didn't handle the frigid temps in minnesota well the 6 years i lived there. i never settled into it and struggled every winter. and you are so right on about getting perspective of 'handling' life. the weather is the least of our worries right now with my mom who i will join at chemo next week. thank you for this.


Mary Timmers said...

Being sick for a long time really does make you appreciate normal good health, doesn't it? What we take for granted and SHOULDN'T.

And for those handling truly horrendous things, helping them through with prayer and physical assistance is what we were born to do.

Thoughtful person that you are, thanks for helping us get that concept in perspective.

Eventually, life does a hard number on all of us. Learning to give and help others is the best!

Thanks, Suzanne


Olive said...

Hi Suzanne, love this post. I confess I do not handle our three digit heat well at all. you are far tougher than I. My IG is broken. Do you have any clue what I should do? I only take and upload images on my iPhone with it. hugs, olive

June said...

I just love it when you post because I know it will be uplifting and beautiful! Winter has been so beautiful here, albeit very, very cold. I am lucky to live in the mountains so we don't have the fog and inversions that those in the lower valleys have had this year, so of course I count my blessings.
Your frosty photos are so lovely Suzanne!
sending hugs your way...

Hindsfeet said...

Suzanne! That last photo, with the red door....BRILLIANT!!!!

Claudia said...

Beautiful post, my friend. And it reminds me that I should stop my complaining about the winter weather - it's just that Don is away and I'm handling everything alone. But you're right - there's nothing like brisk, winter air to clear the heart and mind!


Nantucket Daffodil said...

Such a thoughtful post Suzanne!

I love that you are content with where you are....with the cold and snow....too often we complain....too hot too cold, too rainy, too much snow, too dry....

It really is about "handling it"....about being grateful...making the best.....enjoying the journey.


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Your photo reminds me of the movie, New in Town. It's one of our favorites! I hope you are feeling much better now and enjoy your weekend. Sweet hugs!

Tricia said...

Well put! I try to focus on all that I have and everything around me, instead of what I don't have and what I wish I could see. I know how lucky I am, but sometimes I forget and get bogged down in the negative. Thank you for such a beautiful post.

Palomasea said...

So very beautiful, dear friend and philosopher....your photos are stunning as well...
I am very sorry you have been ill...
Very happy to hear that you're feeling better.
I, too, am just starting to shake this thing...almost two weeks now...
Brilliant perspective you have given us, dear Suzanne...thank you.

With my lingering cough, I think I will wait until Wednesday when it should be above zero, to venture out! :) You and Gracie are quite brave! ;)
Blessings and hugs,
- Irina

Leslie said...

Wonderful Suzanne and well said! It is all about perspective isn't it?

When we decided to move to the pacific northwest, people would say "why do you want to move to the suicide capital of the world?" Over the top, right? Those that choose to focus on what they don't have rather than what they do, or those that just hibernate are really missing out.

Enjoy your week ahead!


Tricia said...

Oh Suzanne, I just love your outlook on life, you're always so positive! It's so nice visiting you here to take in your wonderful, uplifting words and pretty photos.

I hope you're feeling better now. xo

ginny said...

Love your post, and pictures. I love the snow. We are having some right now in our part of the UK. Its so quiet right now, no one is going out to work, no children going to school. xx

A Vintage Chic said...

Beautifully said, Suzanne...I've never really had a problem "handling" the weather, either...each season has it's beauties, doesn't it? And that bracing, head-clearing blast of winter air is a marvelous thing. I miss that from my Rocky Mountain-living days...

Wishing you the most wonderful day, dear friend--and I hope all the sickness is gone from your home!


Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

I adore how, in your very special way, you always put things in perspective for me. You remind me that my crosses really aren't that heavy after all.

I love you, my friend!

Cindy said...

Beautiful post Suzanne! This made me think about the word "handling". I seem to be in a fog as of late, this post kind of opened my eyes to things that I NEED to handle! Nothing bad, just everyday, mundane things.
I have a lot to be thankful for, and you reminded me of such!

I grew up in Cleveland and now live in Texas. I miss the cold, brisk winter days. It was like glitter was all around. Here in Texas, we may only get a day or two of 1/2" snow!

Stay warm and hope you are on the mend!
xo Cindy

Julie said...

lol...I'm not handling these arctic days too well...but I am going easy on myself since I spent 51 years in the humid and sunny South. I have already adapted a little I can tell, and I know I will even more this year...and I really appreciated your post about what people are "handling" all over the their own private little worlds. Very heart-moving. Thank you Suzanne. I hope you are feeling much better!! {{hugs}} to you. :-)

pretty pink tulips said...

Sweet Suzanne,
I am sorry you have been battling your way through January. I'm sure a brisk chill walk did feel good in comparison!

And, thank you for putting minor challenges in perspective. It's absolutely frigid here now, but as long as the sun is shining...I can't wait to get outside!

xoxo Elizabeth

Lili said...

You have a way of always keeping things in perspective my friend. Love the snowy view of your garden house and I know all too well about the sparkle the snow takes on in the bitter cold as you captured so well in one of your photos. The coffee shot was mighty inviting too, so much so that I am about to enjoy a cup as well. Stay warm and safe inside Suzanne! xoxo

Deborah said...

Its so true Suzanne..there are so many suffering various trials and heartaches.
The winter season can't compare with what some are facing every day.
Love your perspective and your heart.
My hubby is one of those ice-fishing lovers and ice-shack owners! He adores the winter months for these joys! He also makes ice-shacks in his spare time right on our own property.
Now thats a winter lover right there!
Blessings sweet friend...always such a great visit with you and a warm one~no matter what the season xo

All my heart,
Deborah xoxo

Just a little something from Judy said...

What a powerful, yet kind and thoughtful way to put the fact that we are all, in some way or another, facing what life sends us. You do it with such grace and insightfulness. I appreciate your blog so much. Thank you!

This coming weekend, our daughter and son-in-law will be going on their first ice fishing adventure. Your picture helped me get an idea of what they are in for:)

Tammy said...

It's all a matter of perspective. How we choose to see the world around us. Having an attitude of gratitude for even the smallest things makes handling the bigger things much easier. That, and always realizing and reminding ourselves that so many are suffering in this world, therefore we should never, ever complain. Hope you are having a lovely week. Tammy

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Couldn't agree more! I was born and raised a Californian, and now I love my New England winters! Such a cozy, wonderful time of year. Love your photos of your gorgeous winter!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

What beautiful photos ......and words that go with them! Life is just so HARD at times that we need to grab the joy that is in the everyday. How do people manage who haven't discovered the Savior who is just waiting for them? Hope you have a beautiful, sunny day tomorrow!

patty said...

beautiful, suzanne... and these images... just lovely. i love your heart. :)