This morning Paul and I bundled up the kids and ourselves and headed up the street to investigate the neighborhood and grab breakfast at our favorite local coffee shop. I never realized how fake snow in this quantity can look. It's so funny to me. This kind of snow is surreal. The way the sun hits it and it glistens reminds me so much of the Christmas decorations around a Santa's Workshop display in a mall. And the icicles! Paul keeps commenting on how many photos I'm taking of the icicles, but these babies are three and four feet long. They're incredible! While we walked (and slipped and trudged), I took a few pictures and contemplated my next blog post. Today I'm writing about a few lessons I've learned from the incredible winter that we are enduring.
1. There can indeed exist too much of a good thing. And I'm not just talking snow. I'm talking cookies, s'mores, and playtime.
2. A winter like this brings out the best and the worst in people. For the most part, people are feeling some sense of community, some excitement. On our walk this morning, I felt this warm energy exuded by our neighbors, even those deep in the hard work of shoveling. There's this we're-all-in-this-together feeling being shared. And I love it. But there are many people who have hit their limits. And I'm not judging. I'm trying to remember, while I'm off of work and enjoying spending time with the family and romping around in the snow, I have no idea what the next guy is going through. Which brings me to my next lesson . . .
3. There's always somebody who has things worse. We are so lucky (and so thankful) to have power--MANY people do not. I have no idea what we would do without power. I guess we would dress in many layers and bundle up with blankets. I have a friend who offered to bring over a small grill so that we could heat up a few things to eat. And I suppose we would survive with candlelight and lack of radio, TV, and Internet access. So, we would survive, but life with power is so much better than life without. There are also many people with several days of lost wages, which is crippling to the working poor. We are very fortunate to be receiving wages even though we're not responsible for our regular work hours these few days.
4. Know your limits, and be okay with them. After all, there is only so much Candyland a mom can play before things start looking like a scene from "The Shining," and before you know it, someone is muttering "red rum" or hacking at the bathroom door with an axe. When cabin fever sets in, it's okay to turn on your child's favorite video for a few minutes and take a nap, take a bath, or read a book that contains no pictures.
Watching from the window:
Our front door:
See what I mean?:
A few views of the neighborhood: