My sister and I were walking into mass yesterday and she was like, “ARGH!!”
And I turned around like, “What’s wrong, Ceebs?”
And she motioned at her pant-leg and said, “How did this get salt on it already??”
There, on her black pants, about calf-high, was the mark of the bottom of a boot…the outline left there with the white dust of salt.
I have cousins-once-removed who live in California. Once they visited, in the summer. We were talking about winter with them, a group of kids comparing notes. They had never heard of snow pants. They didn’t know how to layer clothing. They had never heard of CHAPPED SKIN. (“What do you mean that your ‘hands get chapped’?” <–actual words.)
First of all, I’m astounded that people can live lives without knowing about the plague that is chapped skin. (And, like, happy for you, too, obviously. I’m sure you have your own version of cross. Sunburn? Maybe?).
Secondly, that was kind of one of those conversations that you have where you’re like, “Oh, right. Not everyone has the same life experience that I do.”
Like, generally, you know that people don’t know everything that you know about life. For instance: your grandmother might make legendary carrot cake (mine did), but most people wouldn’t know that. You kind of expect people to know the other, bigger, more generic things, though.
But, if you’re not from here, sure, maybe you don’t know about the salt that covers everything this time of year.
What you might not know about Detroit is: it rests over miles of salt mine. The mine is over 1,000 feet under the surface of Detroit, with roads that stretch over 100 miles. The mine was first opened in 1910, and, these days, the salt mined there is spread all over our roads this wintry time of year, to keep the ice and snow melted. (Salt water has a lower freezing point than fresh water/ snow. #science).
The salt is spread liberally by cities and businesses and people everywhere. Every road, parking lot, and sidewalk is covered in the little salt-pellets, the size of gravel.
And, the salt gets all over your car, too, and your clothes and your boots and your shoes. I was going to take my car to the car wash last weekend, just so it would be clean again, but then I was like, “Meh. Everyone’s car is salty these days.”
I feel like everything has the grey tinge of salt this time of winter.
Everyone is like, “Uggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
1. It’s just winter. It will pass. Hang in there.
2. “Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.”
I got sick last week with a bug that almost every single member of my family has had. Apparently, while lying ill, every single one of us thought, “Well, I guess this is it. I’m an invalid now. I’m an invalid forever. Better call up the Missionaries of Charity and become one of their invalid prayer-partners.”
But, it’s just a bug. It will pass.
Another sibling had a falling-out with a friend.
It’s just the winter. It will pass.
One night last week I needed to run some errands but I was like, “But it’s so cold outside! And so dark!” And then I realized that it was seven o’clock p.m. and, in the summer that would be, like, prime timing to start a ten-mile bike ride with frozen yogurt at the end and singing Broadway showtunes the whole time. But, now, in the cold and in the dark, it was all I could muster to drive my car to Walgreens which is maybe a mile away. (Also, I’ve been to Walgreens more in the past two weeks than I have in the past year. Wellness WHAT).
It’ll be brighter one day, though. It will be warmer, too.
Wherever you are today: under-the-weather, antsy, a little winter-blues-y…hang in there, friend. Feeling a little coated in salt? You’re going to make it.
Keep taking vitamins. (Vitamin D!! ESSENTIAL!)
Keep trying to rest well under warm blankets.
Go to the library and learn/ read/ research something new.
Call or write to a friend (I feel we all crave connection this time of year, but are too cold to meander out and about).
Bundle up and take a walk outside to clear your head.
Buy a new chapstick or fragrance to perk you up.
And maybe, maybe…look at flights. Maybe buy one somewhere warm and cheap. And dream about that a little, why dontcha? 😉
Winter, winter, winter.
Hang in there, friends.
(How are you feeling these days? How are you hanging in there? Hit up my commentsssss!)