November 4, 2003

It's Official No Sense Denying It Any Longer... Well it is true there is officially snow on the ground and my denial needs to end. I need to face the facts and head out to the store and pick up the winter boots and snow pants we need for the season. I already have the hat, mittens and coat knowing and accepting that the weather was getting "chillier" but today there is no hiding from the fact that the snow has fallen and will continue to fall.

Each year I struggle with my denial that the snow really does start here in November and each year I am caught unprepared when I truly should have been. The reason? I don't want it to snow yet, I LOVE fall and hate to see it pass and the first snowfall always is the rude reality check for me that autumn has passed and we are headed into winter.

Serona loves to listen to a Prairie Home Companion, I do not. However, one episode sticks out in my memory where Garrison Keiler talks about what it is like when winter settles in here in Minnesota (no I don't live in Lake Wobegon) and that is what I think of when the first snow falls. It's not that I hate snow, I don't. It's not that I mind the cold, I don't. It is truly letting go of cool fall nights jeans and a sweater weather and bringing out the parka, mittens and layers of clothes.

Last year I tried explaining how much harder life is with small children during the winter. To which Serona promptly gave the absolute wrong reply - "It's just another layer." While logically he is completely right any mother of small children can relate to me and how I felt at that compassionate response. Don't get me wrong Serona truly is a compassionate and empathetic man - he just truly did not understand. Perhaps I exaggerate because I miss fall - or perhaps the reality of a bouncing off the wall two year old and the feeling of cooped up children comes slamming me back in the face and I want to run and hide under the nearest blanket in front of the fireplace.

But we don't hide, we embrace winter and soon will be enjoying it. Sometimes I just wish it could wait until the middle of December - or atleast Thanksgiving. There is something special about a White Christmas I will grant you - but must there always be a White Thanksgiving and sometimes a White Easter?

Still even as I complain, I would not trade even a snowy November for another hot Georgia August (oh wait I mean May-September) for anything. Sometimes I miss the temperate climate of the Northeast - where it truly felt like four seasons. But then I hop online and realize that I could afford to live in a shoebox in a neighborhood I would not feel safe in and then I am thankful for the snow outside and the warm house we have inside.

So tomorrow we will make an attic run and bring down the sweaters, mittens, and my favorite - flannel sheets that make you want to crawl into bed at 4pm and never get up in the morning. I will be thankful for the new carpet we put down when my feet are warmer than on the hardwood floors I miss. And I will snuggle up on the couch with my three beautiful children and bury ourselves in pillows and curl up and read books all day - while I bake an apple pie in the oven. It's too bad this isn't "B" week we could make a cave and hibernate in it. Oh wait - we can make a "cave" and continue the lesson we started tonight about caves and spelunking.

It's moments like these that I am truly glad we homeschool - noone needs to leave our house tomorrow - or even all week if we don't want to. We can just enjoy the warmth of our home and watch the snow fly outside the window - perhaps we will bundle up and play outside and come in for some hot apple cider or cocoa. Or perhaps we will just stay inside and give ourselves time to come to terms with the reality of a Minnesota November.


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