Sunday, February 14, 2010
picture-perfect winter day
I love winter. In theory. I've lived all but three years of my life here in Minnesota, which amounts to a fair number of winter memories (I'll leave the actual numbers a little hazy, I think!) Memories of winter are either romantic and infused with large doses of happiness and hot cocoa, or they are ridiculous and awful and infused with large doses of "it's funny now, but at the time..." (an entire winter during my sophomore year of college comes to mind, complete with images of crowds of people running outside to help push my car up the hill to my apartment building every day as I fish-tailed past their buildings...)
The good memories involve sunny days spent building snow forts with the kids (or snowmen, even when my husband then shoots our snowman with a shotgun...yes, it did look pretty cool, even as Monkey's face twisted up with dismay--"What happened to Fwosty?") or nights spent playing hockey with my little brother on the ice rink in our backyard.
The Valentines Day hike up on the Superior Hiking Trail with a bottle of wine chilled in a snowbank.
The backyard fire pit party the night before our Minnesota wedding.
Afternoons curled up on the cat-lap chair behind the fireplace, writing poetry in my journal as I watched the world fall still under the weight of those crystalline drifts.
And yesterday. After a long spell of cold interspersed with several episodes of icy, dangerous driving conditions and more dark, cold, cabin-feverish days, we had one gloriously perfect winter day, complete with a sunny snowshoe hike on the frozen river, snowshoe races with the kids, snow tunnels, cats flying into snowbanks, a nice backyard bonfire (David and I cooked hot dogs on sticks we collected on our hike), and ending with everyone tuckered out and cozied up in front of the Winter Olympics. Overall, exactly what I needed to remember what I actually do love about winter, which isn't the gray cold days stuck inside with two crazy children bouncing off the walls.
Here's Jabber about to take the plunge on his snowshoes. Granny commented, "My, you have great balance on those shoes, Jabber!" to which he responded, "No, it's not about balancing with me. It's about pure skill."
Here's Monkey hauling wood on his sled for our fire. He's such a hard worker!
Niece K. challenged David to a snowshoe race around the backyard. If you look closely at the background, you can see D. dusting himself off after his exuberant sprinting resulted in a pretty spectacular fall. K. fell, too, but she still managed to snag the finish line with her gloved hand before losing her boots in the snow!
Monkey enjoyed making fun shadow shapes and tracking animals in the snow on our hike around the yard. Here he is growling at his shadowmonster.