Squirrel Nutkin. Lillian Lake photo

Today was the kind of day that made the week previous to it completely worth the effort.

Sunday was a great day. My son and his girlfriend were here all weekend plus a day; I baked up a storm and spent hours drinking coffee, playing board games, and catching up on each other’s activities.

Along with Monday came life-threatening technology disasters, several successive nights without adequate sleep, snow removal chores, and minor interruptions that got lost in importance compared to everything else. Throughout each day, I struggled to have a good attitude, wishing I had control over things I didn’t.

On Thursday, I was writing in my office, and I kept seeing something move out of the corner of my eye. When I looked directly, nothing was there. Finally, my timing was perfect, and I saw our resident Squirrel Nutkin. Looking more closely, I discovered he had built a series of tunnels through the drifted snow, and what I had been seeing but not seeing was him popping up, looking around, then going back into his tunnel.

Mr. Nutkin and I have had a long love-hate relationship, but we have come to an understanding. I fill the bird feeder, and he eats the seeds. I say that in half jest. One day, we had a “come to Jesus” moment as I had more than enough of him eating more than his share. Now he still enjoys his fill but leaves enough for everyone else. I wish I could say the same about the Blue Jays.

From the beginning, today was filled with grand promises. I enjoyed my coffee in the living room, checked out Twitter, read my emails, and then faced the rest of the day. By mid-morning, the sun shone brilliantly, and I set my seedlings in the sun streaming through the front door. A few of them were ready to be re-potted. They all seem happy now. New parsley leaves were apparent by mid-afternoon!


Mid-afternoon arrived, and I went outside to discover it was even warmer than I had imagined. Of course, we’re only talking a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit, but still, dressed in a light cardigan, I was pretty cozy. So I measured what, in economics, they call opportunity costs, which are based on the idea that all resources are limited, so one has to weigh what will be lost with a transaction. I quickly rationalized that compared to what else I might be doing, what I should be doing at that moment was sitting in my Adirondack chair and soaking up the sunshine.

Mr. Nutkin was not happy with my sitting so near his feeding area. He started screaming expletives at me, some of which I’d heard before, but I’m pretty sure he made up some new ones! Finally, after a very long while, he gave up and went over to enjoy the fresh spread.

Mental health is an ongoing, everyday, every-moment necessity. So I honored my need to renew myself after a tough week.

I lost nothing and gained much.

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