ICE! So it’s winter here in Western NY. Sort of. We don’t have much snow at this point, which is weird. Most people are happy about this. I am not one of those people. I won’t say I love driving in really nasty snow, though I definitely find an overwhelming satisfaction in arriving safely after driving through treacherous road conditions. Other than the driving, I love winter. LOVE it. It’s not the icy pellets of snowing spiking into my cheeks while I’m shoveling or the frigid days when temps are in the teens (or lower!) or the salt covering every inch of my vehicle. I don’t despise any of that, but it’s not necessarily what I would call pleasant.
But there is SO much that I do love about winter. I love sledding. I love how much more I appreciate my cozy little house. I love CUDDLING. I love how absolutely stunningly beautiful every window view is. Even looking at the curmudgeonly neighbors’ house across the street makes me smile because they put on a stellar Christmas-light display and they do have a great property that looks even more amazing blanketed in sparkly snow. That reminds me: I love blankets…and sweaters and wooly socks. I even like shoveling. I love the little moments of neighborliness that are triggered because everyone is just more likely to lend a hand or do something nice when we’re all struggling to get out of our driveways. Our most recent slice of that pie is that our new neighbors shovel out the fire hydrant ALL THE TIME. Every time I trudge down the front of our lawn to dig it out and it’s all cleared, the heavens open up and angel song can be heard. Seriously. I hear it every time. And I’m also kind of excited when it’s not cleared (that’s only happened once so far, and they were all at work and school, so I just happened to catch it before they could) because I want them to get that warm and fuzzy feeling of neighborliness, too. Ahhhh…SNOW much to love about winter here.
Yes, it can be insanely cold. Yes, the roads can be dangerous. We try to be home when it’s really icky out. But if you live in this area and you really hate winter, that has to be a huge challenge. I can’t imagine being immersed in this and miserable for—let’s be real here—sometimes six months. That hasn’t been the case this year, but we often start seeing flurries in October, and that stuff is hanging around well into March and often even April some years. That’s a long time to be hating weather patterns. There are parts that I don’t love, sure, and I can be a total nervous nelly when anyone I love is out driving, but I don’t hate any of it.
Freezing rain started about midday Tuesday this week and fell all through the evening. It was kinda crazy. I was at work for three hours, and my entire car was coated in a shell of ice when I left. I scraped and chipped it off most of the windows and went to hop in and begin the creep home when I realized that the first windows I had cleared were already coated again. Quickly scraped them back off and made it home. Within 10 minutes, my car was totally encased in ice again. I was anxious for the kiddos to get home safely and was extra grateful that they have a fairly short bus ride and an amazing bus driver. I was also counting our lucky stars that Daddy only works two miles away. I know a lot can happen in two miles, but he’s a very careful driver and he drives a tall brick O|||||||O, so I worry a little less than I would if he had a longer commute and a shorter vehicle.
The result? Glassy gorgeousness in the morning. Oh my GOSH—it was beautiful. And it wasn’t going to last long. The forecast called for temps in the mid-40s Wednesday and over 50 yesterday and today. There was no “oh I’ll catch it when I get back from errands” or any of that dawdling business. If I wanted to capture that beauty, I had to go do it THEN (and I’m motivated, see, because I have committed to this project). I brought my camera out while Owen and I were waiting for his bus to arrive. The driveway was too slippery for our normal game of name tag anyway. He happily Hulked through the crust of snow all over the yard while I caught some pictures (where he wasn’t stomping). I’m so glad I did. It truly was amazing, especially in the soft morning light. There really wasn’t much snow at all—you can see grass poking up all over the yard. It was a unique vision. And I’m glad I took those few minutes so I can savor it now that everything has melted and it’s just muddy and drab out there. I’ll appreciate other things today, like this: leaving is such a breeze–no snow brush! Silver lining, people. It’s always there waiting for us to discover it.