The warming weather has brought about some distinct behavior changes in all of us. We are certainly gravitating toward the outdoors. Meals are taking place more and more outside, the younger ones(especially Hythe) spend lots of time in the creeks around the house hunting salamanders and crawdads. I am spending much more time in the gardens – vegetable and flower – weeding, planting, hoeing, watering. William cleaned off all the porches yesterday (and we got some new furniture to lounge on the porches – thanks Mom!) and they are now even more inviting. This long season of warmth means that we sometimes neglect the inside of the house. The table is piled with papers, projects, and leftovers from lunch. The office work piles up. Laundry accumulates on the couch before it is moved upstairs. The floors are definitely dirtier as tramping form outside to inside to outside happens frequently (and totally unconsciously of the muddy shoes). I won’t post any pictures of those things :).
Just like farm animals (picture frisking lambs, leaping goat kids, frolicking foals), the children have gotten a bit sillier since the weather has warmed. There is lots of chasing, wrestling, gymnastics, and tickling. There have been fits of uncontrollable giggling at the dinner table, which I try to be disapproving of since it does not fall in the category of good manners. But child giggles are cute and potentially contagious, so we adults succumb to it or put up with it. We know it won’t last.
I do love to see them playing with each other, laughing with each other, enjoying the spring.
The past week has brought with it a few special things–not the least of was a special girl’s birthday. But, there were some other treats, too.
I absolutely love the first flowers of spring. They are so sweet, yet hardy–bringing beauty and letting us know “not to despair”, winter will soon be over. I certainly am ready for some color and green-ness to come our way. Waiting (patiently) . . . .
I got a sweet package from my blog swapper. Melissa from Sqrl&Bee drew my name and sent a beautiful trivet (on my dining room table–loved by the family) and some wool dryer balls (have not used them in the dryer yet, but the children have enjoyed throwing them at each other and William gave us a great juggling act–best juggling balls yet!). She also send a lovely hand salve which I have been using liberally since I’ve been able to get out to dig weed and spread mulch in the garden. Those two chores in the spring dry my hands out like nothing else.
This week has also brought some warm spring weather which I have truly enjoyed. It pulls us all to be outside, working and playing. There is actually snow on the ground this morning, so it has turned quite chilly now. We enjoyed the warmth while it lasted.
My grandparents had a beach cottage at Kitty Hawk when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time there. It was built about 1/2 mile back from the ocean on top of a sand dune. The dune was steep and covered in Bermuda grass in front of the house. It was a perfect place to sled. My cousins and brother and I would sled down that hill on cardboard boxes and sheets of heavy plastic–spending hours at a time shoving each other off the top of the hill. It was a fun, fast, short ride. I sledded a lot growing up, but I never sledded in snow until moving to these mountains.
This week, though, our sleds still stood in the yard–left where the melting snow deposited them. They became a big attraction for our young boys. Hythe pushes Steven down the hill, then dumps him out (sometimes right in the mud puddles at the bottom) and they walk back up and do it again. Our hill is not steep enough for the sleds to go on their own momentum in the grass, but it is still lots of fun for these boys. It is joy to watch them. Reminds me of our fun days sledding down a grassy hill at the beach.
Weather in our area is always a bit (or a lot) unpredictable. It also makes a great conversation topic with people you don’t know very well (i.e. the person in line at the grocery store) and with people who really care (farmers and people with children!). My grandmother wrote me frequently when I was in college or away for the summer and she always had a paragraph about the weather.
Yesterday we had beautiful early spring weather–sunny, warm (low 50s)–and spent the whole afternoon outside gardening and playing. We even found the first early spring flowers.
But, we woke up this morning to grey skies. It started snowing at 10 a.m. and snowed all day, despite the weather reports all day on the radio which said snow would start on Tuesday. It was a very wet snow and piled up beautifully on all the trees and plants. The kids enjoyed a fun afternoon playing in the snow–snowball fights, slipping and sliding, and making snow angels.
By evening, the snow had nearly stopped and the light changed in a way that everything became more clear and it truly looked like a winter wonderland.
What do you do on the first almost-60 degree day in a long time? Go play outside.