Loraine Anderson

I wake up Sunday morning to a real January winter day in the era of global warming. Oddly, I feel relief.

Hints of a drab morning light dab at the window and finally seep through the curtain, inching toward my bed, waiting for the momentum to climb up and creep across the covers to my face. I burrow deeper under the blankets.

I take a deep breath and decide to follow it instead of scattered thoughts already gathering for a busy day.

Winter is a fallow time, when all seems quiet on the surface, but something happens underneath. The ground is plowed but not seeded to kill weeds and make the soil richer. A time to let sleeping dogs lie, I tell myself as I peek out at the corgi who remains curled in a stocky fur ball on her blanket. I want to laugh whenever I look at her. Nothing fits on her body. Her perpetual smile stretches from horse ear to horse ear across her face. Her long, low body sits stodgy and solid on four short legs. Busy, bossy, big-hearted, a droll troll of a dog.

Winter is a time to watch thoughts, not think them, and see where they lead. So I do.

The bumper stickers I saw last week on a Ford pickup -- a "We are Traverse City" rainbow sticker, another that says "Christian Not Close-Minded," a red-white-and-blue "Buy American."

Headlines that caught my eye as I put two weeks' worth of newspapers into bags for recycling: "Wombs for Rent/Cheaper Babies for Adoption in India." Books with titles like "How to Say No and Mean It" or "The Book of No" or "Pleasing People: How Not to Be an Approval Junkie" and "The Power of a Positive No."

A late 1950s Record Eagle story I came across about the Saginaw Ski Club coming to Traverse City to ski at Hickory Hills and Holiday Hills. My mother, brother and I were in that group. We must have driven right by the house where I live now to get to Hickory.

How she must have saved to make that weekend possible after our father died. She knitted us ski sweaters, too. How she loved us. It doesn't seem possible she died six years ago. She would have been 93 on Jan. 29.

So, that's what this is about. Winter is a time to embrace life's cycles and let them transform.

The light finds my face. The sleeping dog stirs and casts an eye my way. Her ears perk up the full four inches. She stands, stretches and swings her whole back half as she wags her imaginary tail.

I swear she is smiling, and once again I am laughing.

Local columnist Loraine Anderson can be reached at or 933-1468.

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