Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: Just more winter bits….

Another week, another column…
With January winding down – there’s only four more days – that must mean there’s only a couple more months to get through before spring arrives again.
That seems like a long time, but the way the days have been flying by this month, maybe my old nemesis February will “melt away” in a hurry too. That month is dark, cold and always seems to last way too long.
March is always a better month because you know you are going to have a few warm days in there to look forward to and the Irish Festival to enjoy and when it’s finally over, spring will really arrive!
I can’t help it; I am just not a winter person anymore. These days my winter outings consist of trips to the car, or into and back from the store, or occasionally from the car to the office door…
My feet get cold.
As a youngster that never seemed to happen. Growing up, I thoroughly enjoyed the snow season up around Roscommon, sledding, skating, skiing and more.
We always had plenty of the white stuff, or at least that is the way I remember it. Back then every season was an adventure, even cold, blustery winter ones. There was always something to do, snow forts to build, snow ball fights on the playground, sledding parties sponsored by our church…
I spent as much time outside as I possibly could, coming in to “thaw out” only when I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I remember hours at the village ice-skating rink on Saturdays while my mom was at work. I remember going skiing with my brother Jim when I was barely big enough to ride a bike.
We lived on a hill, so sledding, especially with some giant snow banks in the yard, was always loads of fun.
Even before we had a television, I don’t remember being bored, or ever having cabin fever, although our house would have fit into our big house on the river at least twice. Indoors there were always radio programs to listen to, books to read and even jigsaw puzzles to put together.
I used to love that activity and always asked for a new one for Christmas. Not so anymore as I seem to be way too busy for it and anyway there just isn’t a large enough spot in this little place to put one together…it’s only a touch bigger than the one I grew up in.
I don’t sled, skate or ski anymore, but I still enjoy winter’s indoor activities – watching the birds frantically emptying the feeder, TV programs and movies, making quilts and of course, books, which are my first love and a great escape during the cold winter months.
These days I keep most of my favorite ones on my Kindle but have discovered that it is now too old to access the “cloud” where many are stored. This one is my fourth Kindle and you would think they would make them to last, but every few years the manufacturers make it imperative that you have to buy a new one, just like computers and phones.
Speaking of that, Jack paid off his smart phone and now he is being bombarded with texts trying to convince him to trade it in on a new one!
And now they cost five times as much as my first car, which admittedly wasn’t a keeper…
Monday was interesting for me. Spent most of the day at the hospital having tests on my heart, which seems to be in pretty good shape for an old lady like me.
I was waiting for the next one, when Dr. Mienk came in to monitor it. He asked how I was doing and when I said fine, he said my last column didn’t seem like I was “fine.” My answer was “I was having a bad day (month actually) when I wrote that one!”
Now my eyes are getting better and my tests are nearly complete for this year.
My thanks to the great staff in Clare who made my day long process if not wonderful, at least pretty good overall. I was feeling a bit spoiled by the time we finished up…and after that nuclear stress test, a bit radioactive!

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