+ CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR: M. Green
As I age I have found what one loves is not always constant or lasting. Let me relate to you how something I once loved with a passion became something I now passionately dread.
As child and teen in the 50’s and 60’s, I adored snow and everything winter. One of my earliest fond memories of winter is of making snow angels in the fresh new fallen snow. Another cherished memory is of my dad pulling my sisters and me about on our brand new wooden sled. We were bundled up against the cold, and my siblings and I all chatted and giggled while the metal runners created a squeaky crunching sound as they glided over the packed snow. When I grew older, I learned to ice skate and spent many happy hours flitting to and fro on the glistening ice rink of our small town. The volunteer firemen’s group had created the skating area on a vacant lot by building up the sides of the empty lot and filling it with water.
As I grew out of childhood, wintry weather lost its glitter for me. My attitude changed from one of admiration of wintertime to one of tolerance. When one resides in a state alongside the Canadian border of the Great Plains, winter is a fact of life. Midwinter in the early 70’s meant trekking through the freezing air and over snow-packed walkways between classes on the university campus. Later after earning my teaching degree winter meant being outside for recess duty each day. This was lovely when the weather was pleasant. But in wintry weather, our school’s policy was that recess was to be held outside unless the wind chill was below 0 degrees F. On some days it scarcely seemed worth the effort to pull on my boots, ankle length coat, neck scarf, mittens and stocking hat to go out for a 15-minute recess. This was the time in my life when I began to tolerate winter.
Then came the fateful day during winter in the 90’s where my little Toyota Camry skidded off the highway because of a patch of black ice. Not long after the auto mishap, winter dealt me another unpleasant hand having to do with unseen ice. I stepped out of my car on to what appeared to be a skiff of fluffy fresh snow. However, old man winter chortled as I slipped on the thin layer of ice hiding beneath a blanket of downy fluff. My fall resulted in a broken ankle for me. My lower leg was encased in an ugly white plaster cast, and I was given crutches to facilitate my getting about. I endured 6 arduous weeks of moving about in compacted winter snow and icy pathways. My opinion of winter fell to a new low that winter.
Thankfully, when I turned 62, I decided that I had enough of driving the icy and snow covered roads for the 40-minute journey to school and back each day. Early retirement was my escape! Because of having a teaching pension I had means to pay my bills. However, to earn money for the little extras I desired in life, I decided to teach as a substitute in a high school that happened to be only one block from my home.
I enjoyed my new job because I could choose to work a little or as often as I desired. Another benefit was the people, both adults, and students. Nevertheless, after that first winter, I discovered that I had found yet another nemesis in my life besides winter weather and walking on icy and snow-covered pathways.
I was getting to sleep in 4 to 5 days a week. It soon became a lover of sleeping in and rising after the sun was shining through my bedroom windowpanes. Conversely, I did not like arising from my warm, cozy bed in the darkness of winter mornings. Also, there was still snow and ice-covered sidewalks to be transversed in the frigid winter air on my way to the school. With resolve, I began to seek out an alternate method to earn income to buy the little extras I get pleasure from in life. I knew I wanted a job where I could enjoy working from home. I also desired to be able to work the days and hours I chose to work. And so my quest began.
It was at this time in my life when I joined an online book club. There I met an author whose book I purchased via the Kindle app on my phone. As I began to read it, I found multiple errors. I ended up proofreading the authors entire 10,000-word book. My new found friend was so impressed with my proofreading he recommended I join the freelance platform, Fiverr, as a proofreader.
I checked into Fiverr, a safe platform for freelancers, and discovered the work I had done for that author may well have earned me $50! I had stumble on my way out of the need to go beyond the walls of my snug home on frigid winter mornings. I was as happy as a dog with two tails.
Presently, I no longer need to walk with care over icy wintertime walkways. No more do I endure temperatures so bitter that my nostrils stick together with every breath I take in. I have found work from home retirement career. I am now a proofreader and letter writer on Fiverr. Nowadays, some mornings I work on the computer in my pajamas as I sip a hot mug of my favorite morning brew. Life is good!