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Hart Beat

Gray days call for desperate measures

This morning I saw a glimpse of blue sky, a joyous sight after a week of being surrounded by damp, gray fog. The fog's presence has been near claustrophobic in its persistent shifting around buildings, cars and trees. It's just been there every day, every night with no clearing in sight.

Telephone calls to people in Bickleton have been my only grasp at sanity as there is actual sunshine warming the distant Horse Heaven Hills.

So, that tiny sliver of blue on this morning's horizon was a sight worthy of celebration in my book.

I'm fortunate that I'm not, unlike millions of other people, seriously afflicted with seasonal disorder, a nasty, depressing aliment which makes living through the dark days of winter a misery. Usually, I'm not adversely affected by the weather, other than suffering from the usual list of stiff muscles and joints and headaches from peering through the mist.

To keep myself from succumbing to winter's blue moods, I try to keep my doldrums at bay by spreading bright colors throughout my house. I strive to offset the dreary conditions outside of my home by using lights and decorating slights of hand. I shift my Christmas decorations into what I like to call "pre-Valentine's Day decor," scattering bright,l red and white knick knacks around the house. I use colorful fabrics draped on windows, chairs and tables in wild abandon.

I do the same thing in my workplace, although to somewhat of a more modest degree. I surround myself with an eclectic array of favorite calendar photographs of relaxing summer porches and flower filled mountain meadows.

This year, thanks to the thoughtfulness of a co-worker, there are tulips trying to bloom on every desk in the building. She forced the spring bulbs and potted them before giving them to all the women in the building. Soon we'll all have our own little ode to spring.

It's tricky thumbing our noses to winter's gloom, but we are having fun seeing whose tulips are growing the fastest and taking bets to see which plant will bloom first.

I realize there are people who have to set up special lighting units to help get through the winter darkness. Others actually take medicines to avoid falling in depressing moods. Some lucky folks get to fly out of the fog to the sunny and warm weather of Arizona, Cabo San Lucas or the Bahamas.

I'd like to be one of those lucky stiffs, but until my ship comes in with an all-expense paid ticket and appropriate wardrobe and luggage, I'll have to be content to light candles, and watch the travel channel to lift my attitude.

Maybe, instead of Valentine's hearts, I will go for an Hawaiian themed decor. The tropical burst of color would be soothing, plus the drinks are better.

Who wouldn't feel better sipping on a frothy drink served with an umbrella. OK, so it's not Honolulu! But it'll have to do this season.

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