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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

Things I Learned This Winter (2017)

Hootie Hoo folks!  Thank you for coming over to this little, quiet space.  Every once in a while I speak (or write) and today is one of them.

I’m joining Emily Freeman with her “Things I Learned” group, that now shares what’s been learned every season, so here’s some things I have this past December-February.  And believe it or not, those pictures above were taken in between those months.  Miss Spring seems to have knocked on our door and walked herself right on in early this year here in NC.  We had our good snow in January so I’m fine with the unlikely and unusual warmth and beauty of spring in February.

1. And speaking of Spring, have you ever heard of Hoodie Hoo Day?  Well there is one, and it’s February 20 every year.   I stumled across this interesting fact a few weeks ago.  “So what IS Hoodie Hoo day?” you may ask.  It’s a special day only celebrated in the USA, usually in the  northern states.  The purpose of this holiday is to scare away Winter and bring on Spring and to do that, people go outside at noon and wave their hands over their head and shout “Hoodie Hoo!”   OK.  Random.  Maybe I’ve never heard about it because I live in the south.   That’s an amusing way to encourage warmer weather but if many people did that this year, it  must have worked  because Spring definately started in February this year (at least here in NC).  How nice it’s been a have a shortened winter this year.  We got our one big snow in January, so after that I was ready for some warmer weather. (But we had a thunderstorm earlier this week and as the old wive’s tale says – if it thunders in the winter, 10 days after it’ll snow.  We still winter for a couple of more weeks!)

2.  Have you been watching This Is Us?  I’m not the type of person who watches much TV.  I watch the 10pm news and while in season Dancing With the Stars.  But after I had seen many references to it on social media and with my husband repeated invitation, we watched the first series in a month.  Golly geeze. It’s so good.   I learned how the writer, director, prodcer, actors and actresses have done an amazing production. They captured my attention and shook me all up.  The story is real, raw, and relationable.  We caught up right at the timing when the most recent episode was shown in February and I cried and cried. It was worth the tears.  Now I can hardly wait until March 7th for the next episode. If you haven’t watched it, this person who doesn’t ususally like to watch TV, highly recommeds watching it.

3.  I enjoy lettering.  As a birthday gift, my husband’s grandparents treated me to go to a lettering class.  Maghon Taylor, who lives here in our town started  her own business called All She Wrote Notes and teaches how to write with some fun curls and swirls that can catch an eye and for some, are enjoyable to write.  She also has a store filled with all sorts of things she’s lettered or titled.  At the class we were given a bright pink notebook of blank pages and a bright, pink Sharpie pen and we were taught how to relax our hand and write each letter of the alphabet and how to give it *a pop*.  It takes some practice but since then, I’ve enjoyed doodling with them, and have even created some signs.  So, if you’re intersted in having one of these, send me a comment or email and I’ll be glad to make you one.

4.  I’ve learned how fun it is to work at Salvage Sisters.  I’ve been looking for a job the past year and doors are just staying shut for some reason until this past February when I was hired to work at Salvage Sisters, “a fresh, modern take on vintage.”  These two sisters took an old warehouse and turned it into an eclectic store filled with  what some people may have thrown away as junk.  But these gals can restore, renew, and creatiely repurpose things to become beautiful pieces of furniture or decorations to brighten up  your home.  They’re open a couple of Saturdays each month, so if you live around Burlington NC (but some drive a few hours to come shop!) check out Salvange Sisters (nc) on Facebook and Instagram  for the dates and to see pictures of what will be for sale at the next opening.  It’s a blessing to work there!

5.  I’m learning about taking detours.  There’s always construction underway at the university a few miles from our home.  Occasionally there’s detour signs that directs us to go a different route that we didn’t necessarily want to do but didn’t have much of a choice.  Have you ever felt that way in life?  Where things just aren’t going the way you think they should go?   Then you might want to purchase Tony Evan’s new book Detour.

6. Coffee beans clear your senses when smelling candles.  My daughter and I over the holidays were in a candle store and the lady working there overheard me telling my daughter that the candles all started smelling the same because I had sniffed so many of them.  The employer came over and told us to smell the coffee beans in the jars placed intemitently around the store amongst the candles for sale.  The reason being is because they recharge your sense of smell that had been overwhelmed with scents of candycane, winter berries, and sugar plum dancing in your head.

7.  I learned what it was like without my dad this past Christmas.  The chair that he ususally sat in was empty this year except for presents awaiting to be opened.  I’d rather have him in the chair than wrapped boxes.  My dad passed away six months ago, so it was our first Christmas and holiday season without him.  This year of “firsts” is halfway through.  It was hard and sad but we know he wouldn’t want us to dwell on missing him but instead celebrating Jesus’ birthday with him this Christmas.  My mom gave each  of us in my family, and my sister’s family, something special that was his.  We shared memories and laughed.  We grilled cheeseburgers and made homemade french fries like we have for many-a-holiday through the years.  I missed you, daddy but the gift of Peace this past Christmas was the gift I needed and cherish the most.

8.  Lenton season has begun – the time of refinement and reflection.  On the last day of February I read the introduction to a book I’ll be reading this next 6 weeks by Kris Camery, Holey, Wholly, Holy.  On those pages, these words rolled on out to me, and I roll them over to you.   Although Lent is a time of fasting and “giving up” something – to suffer, Nikki said that….What Christ did for you on that cross, take it PERSOALLY.  Over the next six weeks, may redemption be intimate for you.  “For Christ suffered…to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18)

So those are some things I’ve learned the past few months.  What about you?  You’re welcome to share something you’ve learned recently by making a comment.  Have a wonder-full spring, folks!

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