I just came in from a Saturday afternoon walk in the sunshine.

It has been almost three weeks since we’ve seen the mid-50s with (for Nebraska) a modest south wind. It was good November walking weather.

We’ve had the polar vortex at work in the Great Plains for what seems like a very long time. We’ve had sunny days that didn’t make it out of the teens or below-zero wind chills. Some overnight lows dipped below zero, and we’ve also had the clouds roll in on winds gusting to 45 mph.

I am in no way comparing our situation to the terrible snow conditions in the Upper Midwest and especially along the Great Lakes. I’ll take some below-zero wind chills by themselves any day over 7 to 8 feet of snow.

Our forecast is for clear skies on Thanksgiving Day, but with highs only around 32 degrees. In the meantime, 40s and windy conditions will prevail.

So, I guess I’ll have to savor today’s walk in the sunshine and return to daily workouts on my elliptical in the basement.

I’ll also use today as a reminder to treat myself to small pleasures and look for even a few minutes of joy at times when work, family or others issues weigh heavy on my soul like the more common gray November skies.

My kitties, Tas and Thai, seem to understand the value of sunshine moments. They like to sit in a window even on cold days to look for some sun and anything else that might be interesting.


Throughout every winter, Thai follows the sunspot on the floor that comes in through our bay window each morning and circles the dining room table into the afternoon.


That sunspot was of even greater value on Wednesday when the furnace went out.

I had a dentist appointment after work, so I didn’t notice the chill until I got home around 5:30 p.m., which of course is just after most businesses end their work days. I called my current furnace guy/plumber who excels in customer service, but he said it would do no good for him to come because he didn’t carry parts, if one was needed, for my brand of furnace.

So I called the local heating and air-conditioning company that installed it. I left a voice mail message, expecting a call back that never came. Meanwhile, I turned the oven to warm and left the door open until bedtime.

We did find. Clothing layers, blankets and kitties provided enough warmth to make the night bearable.

I went to work at 6 Thursday morning to make sure I could get my newspaper deadline work done before the furnace repair folks finally called to say they needed to me to come home to let them in. It was an easy fix – a faulty switch – completed in less than an hour.

Yet, I carried a load of aggravation with me all day Thursday. An issue with my managing editor and a terrible headache added to my grouchy mood when I went to see my mom after work. After I snapped at her, I did take her advice to go to bed early, which was a cure for what ailed me.

However, I really felt bad about how I had acted. I’m never Little Mary Sunshine, but I’m usually nicer than I was Thursday evening.

So to seek forgiveness, I took flowers and chocolate chip cookies with me on my Friday-after-work Mom visit.

She acted like she didn’t remember my bad behavior. Part of that is her memory isn’t that great anymore and part, I’m sure, is that moms are programmed to overlook such things as long as they don’t continue.

So as Thanksgiving approaches, I hope the sun shines on you and it takes a good long time for you to count all your blessings.