Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 57°. I will not return home for a couple of weeks unless I am called back to work, so today I am enjoying sunshine with a high of 65°. It is nice to travel a short distance and experience a temperature change like this. I’ve lived in North Idaho long enough to appreciate the effects of the weather on the human spirit. A few days mid winter in a sunny location will fix the doldrums every time. Another fix is a weekly five to ten minute visit to a tanning bed. Say what you will about tanning beds but I have had years where I couldn’t get out of the area and to someplace warm, and short periodic trips to the tanning bed did the trick. To each their own!
Today started out slow which is how I like it. I showered and decided on no make up, torn jeans, boots and a t-shirt. I then discovered there was zero coffee in the house so I went for a short drive for a perfect cup of coffee and some ground coffee to go. I like to sit with coffee and pour out my thoughts. The warmth of the liquid, the taste and smell all seem to motivate my drifting mind. How many of us have created a sort of muscle memory response with coffee. Normally we are swilling coffee while getting ready for work or while getting the kids ready for school. Just that smell makes me think I should be doing something necessary!! A perfect example of a certain smell and its attachment. Maybe I should start carrying coffee beans AND Frankincense!! Possible!
The area that I’m visiting has a pretty serious homeless population. I always find myself wondering how they got to the point of living on the streets. Of course the first logical thought is drugs. I also know that mental health issues are another problem and that often drugs and mental health issues go hand in hand. The homeless have no age discrimination. I drove past a “tent city” and there was a twenty something and a sixty something sitting outside of a cluster of tents looking very dirty and tired. I consider their safety and health. I consider what possibly lead up to this moment and if they are happy with that life. I wonder why it is that I didn’t end up living a similar life.
It takes a village. I lived with my grandparents from third grade to middle school. I can truly say that they saved my life. I came to them after living with my mother and her abuse boyfriend where I heard and saw more than a young child should. I literally asked if I could go live with my grandparents when I was seven years old. I knew the life I was living was not “normal” and I desperately wanted normal. I remember sitting on the stairs listening to my mother through the wall and waiting for the right moment to ask. When the time came she immediately agreed and a phone call was made the next day. My grandparents wasted no time in collecting me and do not recall being upset or sad about leaving my mother’s house. I remember being relieved and feeling safe.
My grandmother might not have realized what she got herself into in hindsight. Though if she did it never showed. She loved me unconditionally. I didn’t sleep through the night when I first came to her. I had night terrors. Sit up in bed, scream at the top of my lungs, uncontrollable crying fits of terror. My grandmother was up for the challenge with a slow patience that still boggles me today. Slowly she would help me find the light switch. Slowly she would lead me to the window to open it so fresh air would come in. Softly she would whisper to me how much she loved me. Fierce she would hold me until I went back to sleep. All of this she would repeat more times than I can count and in that time she would save me over and over again until I could sleep through the night without ending up in her bed. She was a walking talking miracle and she died without knowing this truth.
So my gift to you is to know your people. The people who know your direction and keep you on a positive path with love and support. You will always have work to do and surrounding yourself with the right people is key to your success. Let them know right now! Now is the time to let them know!