Reason for optimism

The wind is howling in St. Joe tonight. The clouds were sparse all day — enormous, Word-document-white clouds spotting a blue sky, the temperature climbing into the 50s — until about an hour ago, when slowly the trees began swaying and the outside world darkened quickly, the storm arriving with dusk. The sky became a deep gray, clouds swirling in layers, the wind picking up dead leaves and hurling them horizontally across roadways and into various crevices, where they will remain until it’s nice enough for working types to pick them out, pile them up, set them ablaze.

It’s an odd storm for February 23. It’s been an odd winter.

It’s been this kind of winter: the other day, it snowed an inch and a half overnight, and the public schools were out for the day. Nobody really even questioned it. It was mid-February and these poor kids hadn’t so much as a weather-related early out.

It’s also been odd for me in the sense that, though I’ve had as much time as ever to do so, I’ve found myself nearly unable to write. It is a tough sensation to describe. I want to write things, whether it’s for you or for myself. I still have the desire to chronicle even my most neurotic of brain activity. But when I sit down to do so, the words just ain’t a-comin’. And probably more to the point, I’m not forcing myself to make them come, because my mind has been wandering off to a thousand other places, not limited to but usually concerning my lack of occupation at a journalistic publication, and how the time I’m spending pretending to write might be put to better use exploring one of a billion different job paths.

Well, I now have one less excuse as to why I’m not making it rain, as the kids say, out here in the blog world. Monday I accepted a job offer to become a business writer at the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Ill. It’s a great opportunity at a great newspaper, where I was lucky enough to have interned a couple summers ago. And obviously, it means I’ll be once again doing a lot of writing. I hope it also means I’ll find it in me to start updating this blog more often.

The unfortunate part: it’s snowing in Crystal Lake right now. Something tells me my mild Missouri February will be punished by a never-ending Illinois winter.

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