“Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forward.”

Twice – once New Year’s Day, and again the day after when this was being written – my Good Earth teabag tag has had this anonymous quote. Well, I’m not so silly as to think that I should find that bit of unsolicited advice or wisdom twice within a 48-hour period that it was planted there for me.

And I don’t think the philosophy was anything I didn’t already know, or wouldn’t have come upon if I had thought about it. But it’s been presented, twice, and so I am thinking about it, along with a multitude of other beginning the new saying goodbye to the old ponderings.

Not coincidentally, the top-of-the-front page headline in today’s San Angelo Standard-Times read, “Sit tight; icy weather staying.” Yes. Don’t have to tell me twice on that either. And yes, this is the beginning of my third day on self-imposed lock down.

I am only a little stir crazy. Provisions are getting a tad low. Sigh. I am officially out of cheese. But could I just say, when it’s colder than a well-digger’s shovel in Idaho, there really isn’t anything better than a grilled with real butter and real cheddar cheese sandwich? So as not to be completely decadent I fixed mine with fresh spinach between the two slices of cheese.

And I made tomato soup. Well not homemade tomato soup. Who does that? Canned, but with a half can of water and a half of a can of half-and-half stirred in. You know, a meal like that can feed you on so many levels. I remember my mama making us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch on snow days when we were growing up. She said it was because we were poor, but I didn’t believe her then and I don’t believe it now.

New Year’s Eve, when the high for the day was 21 degrees, I found myself pitying anyone (rich or poor) who couldn’t have such a feast as a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

New Year’s Day, when I opened a brand new blank journal I intend to fill with a daily entry of what I am thankful for, I wrote my greatest blessing of the day was that I would not have to venture out of my apartment. The parking lot and sidewalks around our building were a solid sheet of ice, and I was warm and cozy, with food in the pantry and little chores and things I could do. I was safe, happy and content.

This year will mark the 15th anniversary of me writing a weekly newspaper column. Since the fall of 2013, I’ve written two columns a week, one for the Bulletin and a different one for the Standard-Times.

For the paper that publishes nearest Jan. 5, I always at least mention that date is the 12th Day of Christmas; that the date has significance ranging from the silly to the serious to the nondescript in how it is observed. In liturgical churches, Jan. 6 is observed as the Day of Epiphany, the day the magi found the Christ child, and knew him to be the fulfillment of God’s promise. The bottom line is, Christmas is over.

“At some point, you know, you’ve got to move forward,” I wrote in last year’s Bulletin column. “Regardless how you choose to observe, or not observe them, the seasons do and will change – not only in climate, but in heart, mind and soul.”

I have learned over the years – having resided in Peoria, Ill., Tampa, Fla. and Central and West Texas – every place has climate conditions to love in addition to its very good people. When I move to the new place, I miss the place where I was, but I make an effort to love where I am and I always succeed. Florida was my least favorite climate, because it had so little weather and/or seasonal changes.

Distinctive seasons give the illusion of life progressing and we need that.

What do we know as we forge into 2015? Only that seasons change, and so will the weather. We’ll be forced to cope and may not understand for years life’s why’s and wherefores.

What do I believe absolutely? Just this. Life is not a destination. It is a journey. May your stops and your travels be blessed with kindness, caring and sharing for the process and patience to endure what it is too soon to understand. 

Candace Cooksey Fulton is a freelance writer, formerly of Brownwood, living now in San Angelo. She can be reached at ccfulton2002@yahoo.com.