Considering what’s going on in other parts of the U.S., I know we’re lucky. We’ve only had arctic cold and a few inches of snow. One water pipe made a half-hearted attempt at freezing the other night when the temperature dropped well below zero, but my husband thawed it pretty quickly. Still, other than going to work, I’ve been hunkering inside a lot, as high temps were in the single digits for several days running, with predominantly gray skies and not much to lure me out.
Today the sun came out and we reached 30 degrees in the afternoon. I was able to walk a mile and a half without ever once feeling a body part might drop off. It was comfortable, in fact, other than some small spots of treacherous footing.
I don’t know if sunshine is more important to my emotional well-being than it used to be or if I’m simply more aware of how it affects me. But I experience a marked difference in how much life seems worth the effort to me depending on the amount of sunlight I experience. Same with my walks outdoors. Maybe they’re a bigger part of maintaining my mental health than they were in days past, or maybe I’ve gotten better at noticing. Whatever it is, I know I feel much better for having gotten outside and walked in the fresh air today. I remember that doing so needs to be a top priority.
“Walking is man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates. “Walking is also great medicine for people who are not men.” – Me.
In the timeline I currently inhabit, winter storms are scheduled for Wednesdays. Or so it seems. It’s been brrrrrrrr with wash-water gray skies since last Wednesday’s snow, so it didn’t really start melting until today.
This afternoon, the sun is out and it’s a balmy 48 Fahrenheit. Perfect for a jaunt around the neighborhood. I found just enough snow remaining to provide clues about who had preceded me on the journey.
We all leave our mark on the world in one way or another, I suppose, even if it’s temporary.
One thing I adore about my husband is that he loves to play in the snow. The first Christmas we were dating, he gave me a sled. Living in Missouri, we get two or three decent snows each winter, which is about right for me. I like snow, but not enough to live someplace like Buffalo, NY.
We’ve tried to pass on the “snow is for fun” attitude to our kids. Following is a collection of photos I’ve taken over the past few years of snow creations and activities involving my household.
In late 2006, we had a pretty big snow. Took us a while to get our van out.
Not that it mattered, because someone else’s car was stuck at the bottom of our driveway.
My daughter was 11 at the time and always wore a pirate hat, checking out the depth of the snow.
My son was eight and had his own methods for exploring the depths.
We ended up with an unconventional snow person that time.
In the front yard, a giant peace sign.
A couple of months later, we got more creative. An eagle/human hybrid.
Here it is from the back.
We have a nice little hill in back of the house, and my husband builds a curved sled run, so we don’t crash into the neighbor’s fence. This was his first one.
As the years went on, he made enhancements, including constructing a launching ramp.
Around the curve!
Dec. 2009 – we had a snow cat.
My son named it Snow Star.
We’ve had a number of old skool snow people over the years, too. Simple can be fun.
In February, 2011, we had a historic blizzard.
And another snow cat. This one in a shelter. My husband and son collaborated on this.
This is what’s in our front yard right now. A snow elephant.