What’s happening in your corner? Has January ushered a smooth or rough start to 2022?

Coming off holiday activity and into our usual routine can be a difficult adjustment. Social events and stimulation of balsam fragrances in our surroundings, make heading back into our uneventful normal a challenge. With a different perspective, some look enthusiastically at January as a fresh start, and head full speed into addressing goals and projects.

Small Joys in January          Here in South Carolina, January was marked with several inches of snow. Like Dorothy who wasn’t in Kansas, the snowfall didn’t compare to my days growing up in New York, where snow was measured in feet, not inches. We made the best of it, bundling up, shoveling snow, and continuing to work or school. No exaggeration here: I walked to school in the snow. No exaggeration in measurement: feet, not inches. Pictures in my photo albums testify. It was rough, frigid, and inconvenient.

Now years later, for me, one of the best parts of living in the south (when it comes to snow), is hunkering down. Everything closes, and unless you lose power to cause stress and a need for layered clothing indoors, life takes a slow pace. You can’t go anywhere, so it’s time to clean cupboards for a fresh look, or time to refresh, personally.

I refreshed so much that I haven’t written or posted a blog since the first of January. And I did not rearrange cupboards. I gave myself permission to take life at a slow indoor pace. I didn’t have satellite connection to TV (snow covered the dish and my deck was ice covered, so I couldn’t walk out there to knock off snow with a broom). I read two books while sitting under a blanket and sipping hot cinnamon tea


Hearing the South Carolina weather reports, a longtime family friend from Georgia called to see how I was doing. Connecting with a live voice and catching up was a gift. Pictures via text of my grandsons playing in the snow and watching social media videos of families sledding, brought me smiles. My caring friends stayed in touch with each other to see if we were safe. My Bible study over zoom was a connection with the outside world. Small joys.

My alone time-sipping  tea and reading, hearing from friends, and seeing the smiles of children remind me of words from Pearl S. Buck “Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” 

I didn’t miss or lose out. Those small joys were big happiness.

And as for my cinnamon spiced tea, I couldn’t let January slip by without a reminder that it’s National Hot Tea Month. It’s an especially good time to refresh your heart and body with a cup of hot tea. Stop over under categories and you’ll find other posts on tea and refreshment.  Choose your favorite hot tea, pause to rest and reflect. It’s a small joy that could turn out to be a big happiness.

How do you take time to refresh and renew? Not just on snowy days-but any time?

Well into the first semester, here are 15 Timely Thoughts to Encourage College Freshmen

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