RAOKA: Palm Tree State of Mind

March 2, 2011

This month’s RAOKA (Random Acts of Kick Arse) topic is warmth. Each month a new theme is explored. To get involved, please visit Zeenat Merchant-Syal at Positive Provocations.

I’m not going to lie to you…this winter has felt like it’s been around for years, not months. In Chicago, we’ve had a blizzard and too many cold, cloudy days to count. Other parts of the United States have also seen record amounts of snowfall this winter. Sure, I’ve got heat at home, but I can still feel a cold draft through my windows and I usually wake to floor tiles that feel cold. I need summer and the feeling of sunlight warming my face – but it’s still months away. So I’ll settle for a palm tree state of mind.

As someone who has lived in the mid-west my entire life, I’ve always associated palm trees with warm weather and paradise.  I can still remember my first trip to Florida when I was in my late teens.  The first sight of a palm tree filled me with a sense of wonder and awe. As I think about these majestic palm trees and imagine the sound of crashing waves along the beach, I feel a little warmer.

In these dog days of winter, I’m grateful for so many things that offer me warmth and a palm tree frame of mind…my heavy comforter, flannel sheets, Jimmy Buffet music, hot coffee, hot tea, soup, Cholula hot sauce on my eggs and in my tomato soup, a cardio workout, a hot shower, my favorite hat, flannel shirts. You get the idea.

How about you…if you live near palm trees, I’d be curious to hear about your take on them. Do they feel like paradise to you or just another type of tree? And if you don’t live near palm trees, what’s your favorite way to stay warm?

Creative Commons photo courtesy of robertpaulyoung.

1 Gayze (Gazehound's Animal Communication) March 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

So true! That palm tree state of mind will get us through what’s left of the winter. I’m in the US northeast, and we’ve had a bear of a winter here, too.

Staying warm for me means being surrounded by home and family, lighting the occasional fireplace fire, and cuddling with my dog.

Visiting RAOKA posts each month helps a lot, too!

2 The Exception March 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

Tim – We saw blooms on the trees this morning… Spring is so close we can touch it though it has yet to fully arrive. It is amazing how quickly one can forget about ice and snow and freezing temperatures!
I am a desert rat from the southwest though I grew up in the mountains with snow and ice… I love the desert, the cactus… the mountains and the amazing sunsets. Oh, and regardless of the season, I love bamboo sheets!
Thank you for your comment on my CV post – I appreciate it. Right now it feels like I am sending things directly into a black hole as no one responds *sigh* good thing that spring is on the way, I have trust, I have time, and I am energized! I will be in touch.

3 Lori | JaneBeNimble March 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Hi Tim,

Great post and interesting questions, too. It’s kind of funny, but I totally can see you hanging out in your hat and flannel. Vivid image! 😉

Well, as someone who has lived next to tons of palm trees for over ten years, I can say that they still seem like wondrous, majestical creatures — I have to Phoenix palms outside of my front window who I talk to every day. (Under my breath of course…)

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Midwest and have a similar experience as you did: seeing palms as a young kid when we went on vacay once. Or maybe it’s because I’m a tree-hugger, but I really love palms and all trees for that matter.

You asked what makes me feel warm? I’m with you regarding flannel, I’ll add to that a hot cup of tea and a warm email from a friend.
😉
Thanks for this great post, Tim. Enjoy your week.
~xo

4 Tim March 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi Gayze: Being in the northeast, I know you’ve had a really tough winter, too. I like your methods of staying warm, especially the fireplace and the dog. Somehow, I hope this crazy winter has built some character in all of us – or at least a greater appreciation for the summer. Stay warm and thanks for stopping by!

Hi Exception: Ah, the southwest–I really love that part of the country. I have family down there and remember calling home at Thanksgiving in my shorts a few years ago – I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. I know what you mean about blogging…it can feel lonely at times. Many times, I have wondered if it’s worth it. But ultimately I determine that it is. In any case, I enjoy your blog and your perspective of the world. Keep up the great work and enjoy the end of winter!

Hi Lori: Thanks for your comment…a couple weeks ago I lost my winter hat…it was a cotton/wool blend and I had it for a couple years. I don’t know how or why I got attached to it, but when you find a good hat that has kept your head warm (without looking silly) you gotta really love it. As far as flannel sheets go, they are the bomb. Even better than an electric blanket. I am really glad to learn you don’t take your palm trees (or any trees for that matter) for granted 😉 There is just something special and as you said, “majestic” about them. Your other choices for warmth are also great…I bet you have a great tea ritual. Thank you, as always, for stopping by my blog neighborhood!

5 Zeenat{Positive Provocations} March 3, 2011 at 1:55 am

Hi Tim,
So enjoyed your palm tree state of mind :) Warm and so inviting…
By the way..I love hot coffee soup and my comforter too 😉
I dont have palm trees here..but i do have butterflies and lots of other trees…which are all good to give that warm feeling inside and out :)
You made me look out my window in hope to spot a palm tree here 😉
Thank you for your lovely warm and full of life contribution to raoka this month.
Much Love,
Z~

6 Tim March 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi Zeenat: Those items you mentioned…especially the coffee sound great. And I’m very intrigued about butterflies, so cool. I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking at butterflies. Thanks for stopping by and for hosting another interesting and timely RAOKA topic!

7 Joy March 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Hi Tim,
I was born and raised in upstate NY..lived there until college. Now i live in So CA..the land of palm trees. As I walk from my boat to my car in the parking lot, I look to the skies and say thank you, I look to the birds in the palm trees and say thank you! Each and every day..on my way out into the world, on my way back home. In life, I’ve always had internal warmth..but when external temperature is below zero with a wind chill factor, it’s sometimes harder to access that warmth:) Sending you lots of sunny So CA sunshine..and a few butterflies and glitter:)

8 Tim March 4, 2011 at 8:37 am

Hi Joy: Thank you for your comment, I really enjoyed what you said about living with internal warmth. It’s a great thought and image to ponder especially on cold days. It’s good that you’re also thankful to be living in the land of palm trees. I suspect that your upbringing in upstate NY really gives you a deeper appreciation of where you’re at right now. Thank you for sending the sunshine and butterflies my way! Have a great weekend!

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