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Kansas City MO 64131

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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Well...it's happened. It actually started weeks ago. The weather thing. It's cold. Some parts of Kansas City even saw snow on Halloween. Coming from a place where you might, just might, have to wear a jacket over your costume on Halloween, the idea of having to wear a coat and gloves and mittens is boggling. I kept thinking that it was just a fluke, that we'd get some kind of warm front and an Indian Summer would settle in, but it's just gotten colder. Sunday, I helped Michael winterize and cover the camper and then we spent the rest of the day pouting about putting the camper away for the winter. We all know how I feel about winter. 

Here's the upside to the cold weather:

  • The cat, who is not a particularly loving cuddling creature (October was squirrel murder month), will curl up or stretch out in my lap. The dog will either stretch out alongside the cat or sit on the cat. They'll stay this way for as long as I will let them. 
  • Josephine sleeps under the comforter curled up next to my side. In the mornings, she will go outside and do her thing and then run right back in and dive back under the comforter. If I leave the bedroom door open, the cat will follow her and then curl up in the bottom right corner of the bed. 
  • The other night, I was cradling a hot bowl of ramen in my hands and I said "this is all I want to eat all winter long." Many people might be thinking that I'm talking about the ramen noodle packages we all consumed copious amounts of in college and feel a little sad for me. This is not the ramen I am talking about. I still use the dried ramen noodles because Michael doesn't like the fresh ones, but I make my own miso broth. I sauté green onions with shitake mushroom and bok choy and maybe some shrimp or a white fish in a Hoisson/Tamari sauce. Then I cook the noodles in the miso broth and when they're done I pull them out and place them in a bowl. Sometimes I poach a couple of eggs in the miso broth. I top the noodles with my sautéed vegetables and fish and poached egg and then I pour the miso broth on top. It's not as cheap as a ramen noodle pack, but it's cheaper than eating out and it is delicious and easy. 
  • I can touch Michael's bare arm with one finger and make him yelp like he's been hit with a cattle prod because my hands are soooo cold. 
  • I think about (but only think about) starting some sort of knitting/crochet project. I don't even know how to crochet, but I feel like I need a new winter hat and I've been seeing some really cute crocheted stuffed animals. 
  • The sun has shifted so that now when it comes in the window at work in the mornings, it reflects off the glass of my cubicle and makes rainbows on the walls. 

Here's what I am learning about myself. I am a doer and a mover and a shaker. I am usually the first to deny all of that because I don't think I do, move or shake enough. This is why I am never still. The cold weather makes it easier for me to be still. Not mentally easier, but physically easier. It's hard to pry those animals off my lap.  They are also warm. It's like having my own personal furnace. Actually, most of the benefits of the cold weather all have to do with warm things. I am thankful for warm pets and warm bowls of ramen noodles. I probably shouldn't be thankful for the sadistic joy I get out of torturing Michael with my cold hands, but it's something that makes me laugh and therefore worthy of gratitude. I am thankful for inspiration and I am thankful for that shift in the sun. Because..RAINBOWS at WORK. That's pretty special. 

I am thankful for you.