Posted in Health and Wellness, Running, Winter Blues

Get Outdoors!

Last week, I got slammed with a case of germ induced cruds: sinus headaches, dizziness, stuffy ears, dripping nose, coughing, and fatigue.  After seven days, I took action, laced up and made myself run, OUTDOORS.

I dreaded it and said so, and Elena, my twelve year old daughter, asked me why I was doing something I didn’t want or have to; I explained that life is filled with doing things we don’t want to but should because they are good for us.  This was my mini-lesson in self-discipline.   

I got out there and found stores of strength that I felt depleted of and was able to go four miles. I am pleased to report that after my run, my energy surged, my week-long headache disappeared, and I found clarity in my head.

Exerted movement is invigorating. Being outdoors can be too. Moving outside is healing, therapeutic, and medicinal. I must always remember this to battle the winter blahs of Northwestern Pennsylvania where snow comes and goes from October to April.

If you are struggling with any health or wellness issues, I swear by a little extra time outdoors. While there: move a bit, listen to some music, play with a pet, walk with your kids, talk to yourself, pray for your soul, restore your health, resurrect your zest, thank nature, keep your senses open, and seek wellness.

May the rest of your winter be filled with days of exuberance, outside painkillers, and thoughts to cheerlead you to personal health and wellbeing.


Posted in Recycling, Winter Blues

White Trash all over the Neighborhood

March 1st, 2017, certainly came in like a lion, roaring with windstorms and drooling with downpours.  Our neighborhood was strewn with broken tree limbs and debris.  Our driveway even caught a dismembered piece of soffit from our next door neighbor’s roof.  

It was garbage and recycling day and ours and many others’ receptacles were knocked out by Mother Nature. With their lids wide open, they lay like corpses in puddles of their own filth.

That morning I had just enough time to pick up our fallen cans and the spewed out trash bags before Marc the garbageman arrived.  On my way to work, the sky kept gushing out, pelting off of  the many 35 gallon trash cans still tipped over. It would be a tough day for the sanitation department.image

When I returned home, I put on my rain boots and headed out to pick up our sticks and
litter. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun peeked, but the wind still blasted. I was surprised to see so many loose papers all over my yard and beyond. It looked like a copy machine exploded.

As I started filling a small grocery bag, I realized that the papers all over our yard and beyond were from our computer desk. My husband cleaned out the clutter and threw the remnants in a big cardboard box. These scraps were my old lesson plans, homework, manuscript drafts, and other unneeded printouts. He dumped them into our big blue recycling bin right before wheeling it up to the top of the driveway.  Like a responsible recycler, he broke down the box that held the papers, neatly folded it, and slid it down into the bin. Who knew the bin would collapse and release our refuse like a fleet of airplanes?  

WE were the source of the neighborhood white trash, and our names, mostly mine, were written all over it. Yep, I went up a house to examine their pinetree that I hoped was decorated with crumpled origami doves.  No such luck!  I plucked and peeled away “Donna Lucas’s Lesson Plans” from our homeschooling neighbor’s property. The next house, got a mixture of my memoir and poetry; at least that stuff had my pen name, D.S. Lucas.  

A Poem in a Tree, Poet-Tree

Because of the rain, the paper stuck like postage stamps to neighbors’ windows, houses, and sheds. I had to get a bigger bag and recruit my family to help.  I felt like we were on an Easter egg hunt, but there was no reward of jelly beans.  After 100 pieces of paper, I stopped counting and started swearing, in numbers, but that didn’t mother-fiving work. (FYI – It’s the kick off of Lent and I’m trying to give up swearing.  I guess I will have to tack on an extra day and start over tomorrow. Dammit, Donna!)

After slogging through eight muddy yards for over an hour, I’m pretty sure we retrieved it all and secured it in recyclable bags tied in a knot (what a novel idea.)  I even picked up a smashed grape pop can that I know was not ours. Just call me the good samaritan, the neighbor who will Adopt a Highway in her own backyard.  

Happy March.  As I watch another snow globe display out my window, I look forward to this month going out like a lamb and gracing us with litter-free lawns (and trees), perfect for Easter egg hunts, jellybeans included.