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I am struggling.

Wow. I am struggling with the last few challenges. I live in an alternative universe where I am one of the few who hates everything about winter with freezing weather and grey skies every day for weeks.

Show us the things you love that makes your world spin or something about your world that make you delirious with joy.

I love hiking and bathing in the light falling through the leaves of the forest canopy. I love warm (but not hot) weather and barbecues in the back yard with close friends and family. I love a day down the shore. I love photographing Warblers that visit from the Caribbean. I love hanging out at the local tavern on a Friday after work and long mid-week lunches with my friends. I love hiking for hours in the forest and woods. I love touring craft micro-breweries.

If the current situation with vaccine distribution offers any glimpse into the future, it looks like I won't experience any of that joy for at least another year.

Author: Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

14 thoughts on “Glimpse”

  1. Tina Schell says:

    Well Khurt, I had a hard time pressing the "like" button considering your frustration with the situation these days. I loved the image and hope it's not too old meaning maybe you've at least been out for a cuppa lately! I find getting out for a walk helps me when things are difficult and hiking is certainly something that's pandemic-safe. Hope you're able to get out a bit sooner vs later.

    1. Hi Tina,

      Facebook has a more nuanced set of emoji responses, including anger, sadness, joy, etc. Perhaps WordPress will implement some of those.

      In the Spring of 2020, when things were challenging, hiking in the woods helped relieve my stress and anxiety. At least until all the federal, state and county parks and trails were closed and barricaded. Fortunately, some private trails were still open. Although not as enjoyable, hiking in Winter can be pandemic safe, assuming the roads are safe, the trailhead has been ploughed, and the hiking trails are not iced-over. Assuming that the third snow-storm in three weeks will be the last for a while, I'll venture out once the snow has melted. I sprained a tendon while out hiking last winter while hiking and wore a foot-boot for weeks. By the time it healed, it was March, and I went out winter hiking with a group and sprained it again. What made the trek worthwhile was the camaraderie of the group during the hike and the post-hike craft ale we drank together at the Brick Farm Tavern.

      … you’ve at least been out for a cuppa lately

      During this pandemic, my wife and I are dining outdoors only (a challenge when the temperature dips below 4ºC). From what we have read, regardless of what the government allows, it is risky to dine indoors for the length of time people typically stay at a restaurant/cafe (60-90 minutes). This is especially true right now, with the new variant of the virus spreading more easily. I brew a carafe of fresh coffee.

      I may be reaching the end of my ability to cope on my own. None of my existing coping skills is working. I’ve been trying some of the things mentioned in this article, What to Do When Coping Skills Don’t Work.

  2. pattimoed says:

    Hi, Khürt. Stay warm. I know what you mean about winter, after living in cold weather climates for my entire life! The secret is to embrace it...and dress properly. Do you have a 'system' of cold weather gear/layers/clothing? That has made all the difference to me. And yes, as Sheetal says, spring is not far behind. We will all celebrate the return of warmth!!

    1. Hi Patti, to fend off the "sad season" and get some fresh air, Bhavna and I decided that in 2019 we would find our way outside despite both hating the cold. We joined the REI co-op, bought some base layers, new Patagonia down coats, hiking boots, etc. After three months of staying indoors drinking craft ales, I start to look and feel “round“, especially in my mid-section.

      When I choose to go out in the cold, I wear a top and bottom thermal base layer, thermal socks, then a layer on top of that, then a down coat, hat that also covers my ears, hiking boots with a thermal layer, gloves, etc. It's so much work getting dressed and undressed. It also didn't help much with the slipping and sliding and falling. We each injured a foot while on a beginner’s hike with the local REI hiking groupm just a month after I injured myself on another winter hike.

      I’ve lived in the USA for over 35 years, and I’ve just never liked winter. The cold, grey skies, leafless trees, etc., is tolerable during normal times, but I think it's just too much while living through the social isolation of a pandemic. The Spring weather can't arrive soon enough.

  3. JohnRH says:

    Excellent. Be careful!

  4. Move south. No snow in piedmont plains of NC or SC, just cold air. I’ve seen more NY tags here. Taxes and housing prices are cheaper per square foot, I hear from people who moved from NY to buy a house here. Hiking is three hours west and beach is three hours east. We had a relatively short lockdown compared with NJ. We still wear masks and sanitize but restaurants are open everywhere. SC has higher numbers than NC because they are more lax. I have been still taking photo trips through all of it except for the first several weeks of lockdown while everyone else was figuring out how to avoid getting it. Daylight bulbs will help reduce your depression, stay away from the warm yellow lights.

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Outside of Austin and Atlanta, I don’t feel safe living anywhere in the Southern USA. The general lack of acceptance of people who don’t fit the culture's idea of "normal" is one reason among many. All of our friend and family (dark-skinned people) who moved to North Carolina all moved back.

      Restaurants are open in New Jersey, but the CDC considers dining indoors to be higher risk. The new SARS-Cov2 variants spread more easily and quickly. It's winter in New Jersey and dining outside is an uncomfortable option. We'll have to wait for Spring so we can go back to outdoor dining.

      We had a relatively short lockdown compared with NJ.

      Yeah. That is not smart.

      SC has higher numbers than NC because they are more lax.

      Even less smart.

      Our house has had daylight CFL ( and now LEDs) since we moved in 20 years ago. I also take large amounts of vitamin D supplements. It doesn’t work as well on dark skin.

  5. I doubt people like the freezing cold and grey skies. I certainly don't. North German winters are notorious of for being just grey, slightly cold and windy for weeks on end. Maybe the cold is bearable but not the grey sky. You are not alone in this.

    I think I have a similar lens...just learned they were branded Rokkor-X in North America. Any reason why you shot at F16 or was just a snapshot? Nevertheless...nice framing of the man and the in the bottom left and the sign top/middle right. I like it.

    1. Perhaps New Jersey should have been named New Munich. After all, New York was originally named New Amsterdam. 🤣 FYI:

      According to the Rokkor Files website:

      In line with Minolta’s practice of labelling products differently in different markets, the lenses were labelled “Rokkor-X” in the North American market, and “Rokkor” throughout the rest of the world. It is noted that apart from this minor cosmetic change there is no difference between the Rokkor and Rokkor-X version of the same lens.a brief history of Minolta lenses

      Some websites I discovered claimed that the Japanese companies were convinced Americans associated "X" with high tech and quality. 🤷

      I don't have a reason why I chose f/16. At this subject distance (about 20 feet), I could have had the same depth of the field at f/8 and perhaps f/5.6.

      1. Fuji X-T3, Sony RX100, Panasonic GX8...there is something about this X 😉

  6. We've not had a coffee out in over a year. Don't really miss it. Stay safe, you and the family, Khurt.

  7. Marsha says:

    I love all those things, too, but I hope you get your joy back sooner than a year from now. That's too long to wait. 🙂

  8. Forest bathing, beaches, warm weather, time with family and friends, your words conjure a beautiful world indeed. Your post reminded me of PB Shelly’s famous lines, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Thank you for sharing your world. Stay warm, stay safe, stay healthy.

    1. We’re in the very early days but much of the February snows has melted and the air is warmer this week. The ground may be too muddy but I want to venture out for a hike today.

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