Welcome back to January edition of A 'lil HooHaa's Photo Blogging Challenge.
This month the prompt is Change and Hope, and of course, a month ago, when this subject was published, it sounded, well, hopeful, and of course we were hoping for positive changes.
Even though I tend to be an optimistic person, I felt like things got even worse though. Lockdown prolonged, the darn virus mutated, more people got sick and died, some fanatics caused an insurrection at the Capitol, what ever happened to a brand new start and be kind to one another?
Looking at the bright side, President Biden's inauguration went down smoothly, and he has gotten to work to try and make things better. Oh, and may I mention the Bernie Sanders Mitten Memes? They did make me smile, and I may have created one or seven myself.
So, yes, I did this month what I always do: try and make the best of it.
At work we are a group of ten people. About half of them enjoy working from home, so that's what they keep doing. The rest of us is glad to still be able to leave our house and go someplace else to spend the day even though we do not enjoy the mask wearing part.
One morning there was so much snow I decided it was wise to leave my car at home and walk to the office. Luckily, under "normal" circumstances it's only a 12 minutes' walk. It was snowing heavily though, and I didn't take the main road, meaning I tried to walk on unplowed territory, I was carrying an umbrella, plus I stopped at every corner to take pictures... so it took about twice the time.
When I arrived I spotted a car with the hazard lights on, blocking the road. Poor guy, I thought. As I got closer I realized the guy was my coworker, and it wasn't like his car had broken down - there was no chance for him to park said car.
Two years ago the person who previously took care of "second priority" early morning winter maintenance for our village, quit, and I had spent quite some time to find a replacement. Where were they when we needed them?
With second priority I mean we do have a community worker who plows the main roads. Where does the snow go that he removes from the lanes? Into people's private or corporate driveways and sidewalks. So individuals have to take care of their own snow.
I said to my coworker "we do have shovels in the basement, you just need to clean a narrow path for me to get into the building, and I'll get them." How was he supposed to do so, I didn't care. To my surprise he opened the trunk of his car and removed a shovel. He had a good laugh and pointed out that he had to get his car snow free at home somehow!
True. Very foresightful of him to keep it in the trunk!
We shovelled for over half an hour just so he and another coworker were going to be able to park their car. In the meantime I was ready for another shower. Talking about being knee-deep in snow, right? I did pay for his Chinese lunch delivery that day.
PS: the guy who was supposed to plow our driveway? He was stuck en route due to fallen trees. He arrived at 8:45am, apologized and did a great job cleaning our parking lot.
Restaurants are still closed, and you're not supposed to gather in crowds, so we're not inviting or visiting friends Nobody said anything against a small group of two sitting on the deck though, didn't they?
A fellow Hockey Mom friend and I had a little Sushi Snack with temperatures around freezing point, and we felt good about it!
Speaking of food. My son asked for "fake meat". A YouTuber he follows keeps talking about the environmental impact our meat consumption has, and Colin wanted to be part of a positive change. This is him, making plant-based meat lasagna.
While it wasn't bad as such, it did not taste and feel the same. I'd probably rather have no meat at all than this alternative, but I was proud of him for doing this, and we're trying to keep our Mondays meatless.
I was proud of myself this month as well. I may have mentioned that two years ago we lost a coworker due to brain bleeds, and we haven't been able to hire anybody to take over his workload, so it comes down to overworked hubby and I to take on (even) more. December and January are the busiest months because of financial statements and getting the new year started in accounting and payroll.
Both are not my favorite subjects, and it is physically and mentally exhausting me. Of course it doesn't help that most clients procrastinate until the last minute, and then a dozen people call on the same day and need help right away.
Anyway. I somehow managed. Coffee and Cheesecake Brownie, a hard earned treat.
It's sort of comforting to know that chocolate does help make things better. Just the other day I heard a child screaming right outside our office. He had fallen with his little kick board and was inconsolable. His poor Mom held him, trying to calm him down, passengers stopped and stared... Not a nice situation.
We still have lots of chocolate candy laying around from Christmas, so I grabbed some, put on my mask and went outside. This could go both ways, I guessed. Everybody was looking at me now, not what I wanted.
I approached the little boy and said "oh my goodness, you look sad. You know what helps me when I'm sad? Chocolate! I wonder if this might work with you, too!"
He looked at me, sobbing, fat tears running down his rosy cheeks.
"What do you think, should we give it a try? Do you like chocolate at all?" He nodded, still crying.
"Mom, is it OK, may he accept chocolate from me?"
Sure, she was desperate.
I extended my hand, and he grabbed a bar. As if I had hit a switch, he was now smiling.
"Thank you!" he beamed.
I had some for his older sisters as well, and as I went back inside I heard the Mom say "that was so sweet of her, she saw that you fell and wanted you to feel better."
It was just some chocolate, but it did a good thing. So I guess chocolate is hope. Chocolate can change the world for the better. Even if it's a tiny step.
How was your January? Did you experience any (good) change, and if not, is there some hope for things to become a little bit better? In other words: did you have chocolate in your life?
Let me know in the comments below and don't miss my fellow bloggers' contributions over at A 'lil HooHaa's blog.