Last week I contacted the local Salvation Army to inquire about donating some furniture that wouldn't fit in our new house. They were happy to arrange a pickup, but the representative was apologetic that he couldn't give me a more specific time frame other than "between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m." "Oh, that's fine," I said agreeably.

"Really?" he sounded surprised. "Many people are unhappy that they might have to stay home all day."

"Really, I don't mind at all," I replied, smiling.

Larsson_Carl_An_Interior_with_a_Woman_ReadingLittle did he know, he was actually doing me a huge favor. Like a child on one of those snow days we get here in the midwest, when the weather is too frightful and school is called off - being forced to stay home is a delightful pleasure.

Sorry, can't run errands or go to any meetings. I've got to stay home.

Even though I don't work full time or have regular office hours, I harbor irrational guilt feelings  about taking "snow days," days to putter around the house, catch up on the laundry, organize my desk, clean out the refrigerator. Or to put some music on and lie on the couch with a book. Or to sit quietly in my favorite chair and simply ponder things.

Why do I feel as if I must run full tilt at all times, squeezing some activity into every minute?

Not today. Today I'm happy to stay home, eager to get out of bed when the first notes of music rise in a gentle crescendo from my radio alarm. I hum a tune as I measure coffee into the filter, smile as I settle into my chair with that first cup and my brand new copy of Alice Munro's new short stories.

I'm homebound and happy.