We woke up to a real snow day today – not icy/sleet days like last week. We spent the morning sledding and are back home for some play, crafting, and Harry Potter movie watching. Off to a kids yoga class soon, too, as the roads are not bad and the temps are well above those of last week.
The cold and ice of last week brought with it a growing dissatisfaction with winter and and growing longing for spring (at least for me). I watched my sweet little snowdrops and the first lenten rose blooms keel over and touch the ground with their sweet blooms as the temperatures dropped last week. I expected, and hoped, they would perk back up, but they haven’t yet. The lenten roses look even more bedraggled and browned than before.
We did have enough ice on the local pond to skate and play hockey on Saturday. I was so tired of the cold that I did not even want to get out, but I finally did and was glad I did. It felt good to glide over the ice and was lots of fun to play and watch the game.
On our good thaw-out day, Sunday, I made it up to the Big House (the beautiful, old, rambling house of William’s great and grand parents and now of his aunt and uncle). William’s great grandmother, Elizabeth, planted scores of snowdrops and English crocuses in what is called the rock garden in the late 19-teens. There, I found the snowdrops just opening, unhurt by the recent weather – hardy, beautiful, standing in the remaining snow. I took hope, as I always do, that spring is coming. It also reminded me of one of Cicely Mary Barker flower fairy poems – the Song of the Snowdrop Fairy:
Deep sleeps the Winter,
Cold, wet, and gray;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow!
January has been a relatively cold month for us this year. We are not expected to get above freezing for 4 days this week (more pond hockey, hopefully). We have had 4 “snow” days this month–school canceled, basically, for cold weather (it did snow in the north and west parts of the county which are at higher elevation than we are). No snow is a little disappointing. Growing up, the few snows that we got were good for snowball fights and snow angels, but here in the mountains, sledding and hiking in the snow are so much fun! Will we get any this year?
We have been out hiking some–no school makes it easier to work hikes into the schedule–and getting out into the woods can be magical, especially with frozen falling water. I hiked with all the children to a small waterfall near our house one day this weekend when it was not so cold. Then William, the boys, and I hiked to another waterfall near our house that is tall and impressive, but does not have a lot of volume. The ice on these hikes was fun to find and explore.
On a side note, I cannot get Hythe to wear a coat (or hat) most of the time. I thought natural consequences might work (i.e. he gets cold, then will put on a coat). But, he might be shivering, teeth chattering, and he still refuses to put on a coat insisting he is not cold. I remember fighting with my mother about wearing a coat and being frustrated that she wanted me to wear one when, obviously (in my mind), I did not need one (was it too warm, was the coat itchy, did I not want to be burdened with it inside?). Who knows what goes on the minds of children? So, he doesn’t wear a coat (but I do carry it around wherever we go, just in case).