Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blue Sky Weekend

      I took this picture two days after our last big snow/ice event, feeling so thankful that we made it through without any damage. We were one of the lucky families to keep our power.  During the storm, many trees were lost, inflicting damage to businesses, homes and vehicles.

       Winter here is different than I was used to during my life in the north.  While incredibly heavy snows and steady sub-zero temperatures have been  frustrating  maddening for my family in Michigan and Ohio, I cannot even mention the weather without seeming ridiculous.  Yet when winter strikes us in NC, it means damage and danger on the roads.  It means layers of ice, which makes it unsafe to go out.  During a typical Michigan winter, one embraces the snow, straps on a pair of skis or skates, and enjoys the white wonderland.   Here, we are lucky to have a few hours for sledding on a half mud, half snow covered hill because as soon as it snows, the sun generally appears to melt it.  And in the short time that winter descends in all her ferocious glory, people have to struggle with loss of heat, water, and lights, closed business and schools, and cabin fever.

       The cabin fever that arrives after two days of ice tells me how soft I have become in the last 12 years.  Living in an extreme climate instills an undefeated resilience within.  For years I lived in remote areas of northern woodlands, isolated from community in winter and spring, where melt water made the roads so muddy that it was impossible to drive.  We used to park our car nearly a mile away and hike in to our home.  I would put our groceries in a plastic sled and drag them to the house.  When it was time to take Emily to preschool, I covered her in snow pants and boots and we walked to the car in mud so slippery and deep that she fell several times.  When we got to school the teacher wondered what in the world could have happened.
   During the heaviest snows, I went for weeks without going anywhere or seeing anyone other than my child and my husband.  Cabin fever was a big reality.  I've noticed that here in the south, where I am used to getting out every single day, two days of being stuck inside can bring on a grumpy mood.   I am completely spoiled.

Recently we had snow that came down in feather sized flakes, so much more magical than the icy slush storm.   For Elliot, snow is peaceful and magical.  I hope he always keeps that sense of wonder.

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