Towels, Noses and Wine, oh my

“This must be a Thursday,” said Arthur musing to himself, sinking low over his beer, “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Happy Towel Day my dear friends! How fitting is it that this auspicious day also happens to land on a Thursday? Poor Arthur would be deeply discouraged to learn of this little happenstance of fate. I also find it rather thrilling that Towel Day coincides with Red Nose Day as well as National Wine Day (cheers!). This lovely Thursday started out a bit slow, I was a tad worn down- but alas, now that I know what I have to celebrate, the tides have turned.

For those of you who are squinting suspiciously at your screens wondering what type of gibberish I am spouting about now- allow me to explain. I anticipate that National Wine Day needs no introduction, we can all assume the purpose behind it, and I trust that many of you can get behind the occasion and send a salute with your chosen glass/bottle(s)- no judgment coming from me. Personally, the past year I have been dipping my toes into these little beauties, trying to find the right one to make my taste buds sing. I have a few favorites- but I have learned that even the worst wine will taste amazing when you imbibe after a long hike/fitness routine. (Side note: if you have a fear of calories, then partaking after a work it is actually the best possible time, proven scientific fact. Just be sure you don’t ignore your water in process- I know, this can be difficult).


As for Red Nose Day, this is a fun little charity event held every year to raise money for disadvantaged people. It’s put on by the charity ‘Comic Relief’ which tries to raise money for good causes using the universal art of humor. It started in the U.K.  back in 1988. The US was a tad late jumping onto the bandwagon, and didn’t launch until 2015. The bright red clown noses (which you can buy at Walgreens) are meant to be a fun, family-friendly way to raise money as well as awareness. They can be pretty fantastic conversation starters, if I do say so myself. If you feel like participating, please- post the pictures. A bit of humor can go a long way to cast a glimmer of hopeful light into a world that can appear far too dark at times.


And now, to close the trifecta- we have Towel Day; probably the one most of you are questioning as you read this. It was created as a tribute to the late (and ever so great Douglas Adams). If you have read Hitchhiker’s Guide, you will understand the reference. If you have not- I strongly suggest you run to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy- you will not be disappointed. The towel is an important feature in the universe, you see; it has infinite uses- and if you manage to cross the galaxy and still happen to maintain that little bit of cloth- then perhaps you are one hell of a creature to be reckoned with.

Douglas Adams was able to do what few authors ever truly attain; he created a cult classic with nothing but twenty-six letters all couple and jumbled, squished together and pulled apart. Just as Monty Pyyhon created the oddly humorous Holy Grail, which I liberally quoted through high school- Douglas Adams emulated the same mastery in his own craft. Many of his lines and stories can be found lurking across the interwebs, inspiring impromptu smiles and fond memories. There is something timeless with his work; it transcends generations- but not in the traditional way. His books are quite strange, but they flow so naturally that you can’t help but follow right along and nod your head at the thought of an alien race reciting rather boring poetry, or a depressed robot who is painfully loyal to his living companions. And the whale- oh, don’t even get me started on the whale and his hopeful desire to make friends with the ground.

A silly common humor that can entertain both children and adults like is difficult to come by. But a few books are able to encapsulate that essence and carry it forward with their readers. One of the things that I truly loved about Hitchikers Guide is how relatable it is; in all of its goofy off-the-wall glory, you still come across these rare gems- whether they contain the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything. (42), or simply good advice; such as the gem reminding you that it is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem with just potatoes.   Or perhaps you are more interested advice pertaining to your love life- more specifically, that you should avoid it at all cost.


The beautiful thing about today is that it’s all about what gives you joy. Wine- well, we all know the joy that wine can bring. Red noses are a fun reminder of the simple joys that come with childhood, and the charity is all about ensuring that every kid has an opportunity for that same carefree childhood that they all deserve. Growing up is hard, adulting is a challenge for even the best of us; we all deserve that tiny little solance which can be found in the simple happiness that childhood can bring. And the towels are a reminder of the creative inspirations that spark inspiration in the souls of both young and old alike. The world is full of small wonders and andvetures we all deserve to celebrate. So cheers, my dear friends. Celebrate joy and happiness today. We all deserve it. And never forget your towel- you will never know when it will come in handy.

Cheers to the weekend, you weekday warrior (find your kindness)

Happy Friday my dear friends, we have survived yet another week like the Warriors that we are! We zigged and we zagged, we lost some battles and won others. No matter how daunting or exhausting things got, we put one foot in front of the other and kept on pushing through. Here we stand, on the cusp of a well deserved break (unless you work weekends, then I offer my deepest apologies, feel free to send curses my way for unintentionally bringing it up. Please save this and read it when your own weekend is set to begin and revel in the fact that I will probably be at work at that time). 

You deserve to kick up your feet, lean back and take a long sip from your favorite beverage. You have earned this, and damn, does it feel good. For once just forget about the trials and tribulations of your daily life, the to-do list you’ve written, the frustrations of the past week- right now is about living in this one moment, something we do far too little of, I am afraid. It is all too easy to wish our lives away, waiting for the next best thing. I am just as guilty as any other.

It is no secret that we live in a tumultuous world right now, the daily frustrations are hard to escape. And if you are anything like me, that constant barrage of negativity finds a way to seep into your soul like rain through a sweatshirt. It leaves you cold and exhausted. So this Friday, I think we owe it to ourselves to take a different angle. We live in a tumultuous world, true; but if you start looking in the right places, you will see the beauty hidden amidst the turmoil.

I live for small joys, tiny moments of peace and hope that sustain the soul and refresh the spirit. I wouldn’t be able to survive doing what I do, surrounded by the things that I hear without this little trait that reminds me to look for the simple joys. They give me hope in a world that I don’t always understand, in a life that does not always understand me.

Another storm hit my town; harsh winds and freezing rain peppered us all night, leaving our roads slick and shiny this morning, covered in a layer of ice that did not want to give up its new residence. It wasn’t until I made it out to Ellie (that would be my car, I like to name inanimate objects), that I remembered I lent my ice scraper to my fiancé during the last winter storm- and he broke it (no blame cast, just a fact). Frustrated at the prospect of being forced to wait for the ice to melt off my windshield, someone presented me with a small act of kindness in the form of their spatula. It worked surprisingly well at scraping the frozen sheet off my car, once I got over feeling silly weilding cooking utensils at my 3,000 lb vehicle like a witch with her magic wand. I thanked them, and was able to slowly creep down the road on my way to work- I even managed to make it in on time and get a decent parking spot (yay for little victories)!

You see, these small acts of kindness are what tie us together, they are the things that bring back our humanity in a society where we find ourselves far too emboldened to demean one other from the safety of our social media screens. All it took to change my day and my mood was a spatula- a regular, plastic cooking utensil. Grand and profound gestures are not always required when real people are at stake. Spreading joy is what will bring us back to our roots, remind us of the good that resides in us all. We cannot categorize one another as good and evil, friend and foe- when there is so much gray area in terms of real flesh and blood people. These smalls kindnesses can be found in the most mundane details of life. Even something as simple as asking a co-worker if they’re feeling better will remind them that someone cared enough to worry about them.

The other day someone paid for my coffee at the drive-thru when I was just having one of those mornings. So I paid it forward and hoped the red truck behind me would find a smile to light up the beginning of their day, just as I did. When I got to work last week there was a feather and a flower sitting on my desk- no note, no one running in asking if I saw it. Just a feather and a flower that left me with a sense of peace. When my sister was out standing on a crowded street in the rain, a stranger came over and held their umbrella over her head simply because she looked cold. The other day a Judge that I work with came to my desk to personally shake my hand and thank mefor publicly   standing up for a cause that deeply impacts his life and the lives of his family members, he said it meant a lot to know that it mattered to someone. Last weekend my mom was in a car accident, and the other driver made a point to find a blanket from his car to wrap around her because she couldn’t stop shivering. After his car was towed from the scene, my mom was able to drive him home, surprising even the police officers who responded. Kindness attracts kindness, one smile will be contagious to those who receive it. 

People seem to thrive on contention and frustration, some get satisfaction in the fight, in the struggle, in slashing at their opponents. There are time in our lives when we are all guilty of this- it is universal. But that does not have to be our driving force if we do not wish it. Stand for kindness, embody the values you wish to see in this world. There is a time to gear up for the battle and fight. But it is not all the time.

So this Friday, to celebrate the end of another crazy week, find the joys amidst the chaos. In a world that is constantly moving, you deserve a chance to sit still. You’ve fought like hell this week, take a break, remember the joys that sustain you, revitalize your soul. Have a beautiful weekend my friends, don’t forget to look for the sunshine in spite of the clouds.

Snow Nights: Never Grow Up

I don’t know when I graduated into the world of adulthood. I can’t tell you when I began to understand (albeit loosely) aggressive retirement investment plans or the fact that pizza is not always the best idea when it comes to nutritional breakfast options. No, I am not sure when I became one of those muggle-like adults who watch the weather report while biting my lip and wondering how on earth I will make it to work on time the next morning. We grow up, we lose our magic and we get a bit boring. There- I said it, the truth is out. And while there are perks to this world of adulthood (aforementioned possibility of pizza for breakfast among them), there are a lot of moments I look back on wistfully, remembering the untempered joy I found in the most mundane things.

I remember the gleeful excitement that melted my heart every time the word ‘snow day’ was uttered. Oh, how I would run to sit in front of the tv on a school morning after the flakes had fallen the night before, desperately reading through the running scroller on our local news channel that listed every school that was blessed with such an impromptu holiday, holding my breath that the dreaded words ‘snow routes’ were not trailing behind my educational establishment’s name. 

I lived for snow days, in fact, one of my all time favorite moments was that year in middle school when I swore at the end of winter break that we needed just one more week. A snow storm granted that wish. To this day I am still a firm believer that wishing hard enough will occasionally make your hopes come true.

I catch my boring adult self staring at the news when there is a whisper of a snow storm on the horizon for a very different reason than I did as a child. Now I’m watching traffic reports, planning and plotting the safest way to work, checking and rechecking how much gas is in the car and asking myself for the fifteenth time why I didn’t buy a big truck when I had the chance. As an adult, snowy flutters have become more a game of logistics and planning. Earlier to rise, listen to the news as I get ready, bundle up until I can’t put my arms down and slowly creep my way to work where I will spend the day staring longingly out the window. As an adult, I don’t get to embark on the joy of snow days. My workplace simply doesn’t really do them- I think we’ve closed perhaps twice in ten years due to inclement weather. And yet, I can never help that little flutter I feel when the first flakes fall, that ease of contented excitement as I sit by the window watching them dance after everyone is safely home. There is a magic to the snow that even my muggle-like adultness cannot quell. 

Tonight it snowed- in fact, it is still snowing. It’s windy and white and beautiful as the street lamps glow against the pale blanket that covers my little corner of the world. My nephews are thrilled that they don’t have school tomorrow, my fiancé is ecstatic that even his college courses are cancelled. Politely, they all keep trying to feed my hope and offer ‘you never know, you might get a snow day too.’ I smile, but I know the truth. There is no snow day in my near future.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t take matters into my own hands and give myself a snow night. All of those joys that I will miss tomorrow- I took tonight. It was late, the world was dark and quiet when I pulled on my boots, fuzzy bathrobe and gloves and ran out into the world. Snow ball fights, snowmen, being chased by the energetic puppy- we ran, we played; we breathed life back into these old bodies of ours (well, they feel old at least). Tonight we forgot about the traffic reports, we didn’t complain about how long the snow plows take, we didn’t grumble because this means we have to get up even earlier tomorrow. No, tonight we remembered what it was like to feel that excitement we felt as kids. We stole a snow night when the world wouldn’t give us a day. The world was peaceful and calm, the quiet only shattered with the peals of our own laughter (sorry neighbors).

Tonight the little girl inside beamed with pride. Perhaps I’m not such a boring adult after all. Never forget to live in the small moments, my friends, choose joy and adventure at every turn. Even if it’s as simple as running into the snow on a cold night when you have to be up early to adult the next morning. Never grow up- not all the way, at least.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Right now I am sitting bundled up in blankets in my little office (I use this term loosely, as this little room doubles as my impromptu living room and occasional dining area- I live small). We put up our own strand of white christmas lights around the single window, and we are both working by their comforting soft glow tonight. There is a chill in the air and talk of snow next week. Yesterday at my dentist’s office we listened to all of those old holiday favorites everyone can sing along to. And tomorrow morning I have a date with my mom and sister to bake (hopefully) delicious holiday treats. It seems this year ran away with me before I could take a second to enjoy the scenery. 

It is the time of year for thankfulness and small acts of kindness. A time to remember all that we have and make sure those in our lives know their importance. I can occasionally appear to be a cynic (I prefer the term realist) on the outside, but inside I have always been a hopeless romantic who falls head over heels in love with this time of year. As cliche as it sounds, it isn’t about the bows and shiny wrapping paper. It’s not even about the twinkling lights and eggnog. What I love about this season can only be found in the smallest of moments.

It’s in the way my sister’s eyes light up when she finds the perfect Christmas tree. Even at 25, the magic is never lost on her. We will tramp through the lines and lines of trees, scrutinizing every detail until our noses are as red as cherries and we can’t feel our toes. And then she spots it. She grins like she did when we were kids and she stole my first dollhouse. We make our way back with our prize slung carefully over our shoulders and warm up over hot apple cider and rice crispy treats. And then onward home to trim the little beauty in all its glory. That’s why I love this holiday- because it puts a smile on the face of a girl who doesn’t catch many breaks the rest of the year.

It’s in the way I can dance in my car on the way to work and not even feel silly (I strongly suggest Jim Carey’s The Grinch soundtrack for this activity). It’s in the pay it forward coffees as Starbucks. It’s in the excited way my nephews tell me all about their letters to Santa or proudly hold out their freshly cut paper snowflakes. It’s in the midnight snowball fights on the front yard (in which Zach will, at some point, drop some down the back of my shirt). It’s in the small little thoughts of coworkers who try to make the office a little bit brighter. It’s in the way we all speak to one another a little more kindly, smile a little broader, listen a little bit longer when we ask how the other is. It’s in the calming twinkling of those beautiful lights that dance across our faces on late night walks with the dog, all bundled up with gloves and scarves.

There is a magic to this season that is unparalleled. When you stop to enjoy the life that it breathes into a soul during these dreary winter days. There is a warmth to it that you won’t find come January or February. It’s unique, it’s comforting, it’s a hopeful conclusion to a long and busy year, holding delicately a promise for the year to come.

Welcome back, my dear, sweet holiday season. This year, may we remember what is truly important and learn to find some common ground. May we bring one another smiles and friendship without ill intentions. It is the time of year for openness and hopeful endeavors. My friends, may you find all of the love and promise that you had hoped for this season, may you rediscover the childhood joy that still sleeps within, and may you embrace the simplistic beauty that surrounds us. This year, may we find comfort building bridges to one another instead of constructing walls to hide behind. May we remember who we once were and who we still hope to become. Cheers, my dearest friends. May we all embrace this magic and hold true to the true meaning that breathes life back into our weary souls.