When I finally do what frozen things do in summer, I may feel a tinge of longing for a flake or two of this refreshing fluff.
But that is sooooo difficult to envision in this chilly moment. Similar to tales from the crypt this tale is from the dunes, snow dunes specifically. If you’ve been around these parts, then you’ve seen them with your own eyes. The way the collective snowfall has been winded in all directions to create beautiful snow dunes. They’re lovely to look at but frightening to drive through as small mountains magically appear in the middle of roads as though seven inches has freshly fallen in an isolated row of several square feet. It’s a wonder I can actually type. That my fingers are actually moving and thawed and still attached to my body, and not cracked and falling off as I had anticipated they would after my exposure to the outside this morning. Brutal, bitter, blistering cold doesn’t even describe it. And yes, I’m aware that it’s coldER in other places, and maybe consistently so, but for around here, it’s just been too cold for too long. So I’m fearful that some of those premonistic promises or maybe they sounded more like threats, the ones that ended with the phrase “When Hell freezes over” may now come true. It seems as though, Yes, in fact Hell has frozen over and disguised itself as this winter here in Arendelle, I mean the Northeast.
Maybe you can’t tell, but I’m not one to feel strongly about seasons, truly. While I do show slight favoritism to fall for our familial attachments to it, I never wrote off the other three seasons. Similar to children, each one is unique and offers its own opportunities for wonder and fun. And I actually kinda like winter, regular, cold winter is fine. I like watching the snow fall creating magical white landscapes. Watching the kids delight as they frolic in the snow, building snow people and the finale of steaming hot chocolate. Yes those are winter wonders. I don’t even mind the hour-long dress-up and clean-up for the exhilarating fifteen minutes outside. But that’s not this winter. This winter is not regular and is pushing the limits with its sub-zero temps, ice rinks for roads and frequent school closings. These are ‘ice days’, not ‘snow days’. Ice days which mean there’s no being outside. There’s no ability to travel to indoor places as you chance freezing in motion. Ice days which mean risking your life driving even the shortest distances. This winter has taken us hostage, rendered us frozen, having to watch Frozen, and frequently sick. It’s amazing the continuous rotation you can upkeep with three kids who are only in school long enough to catch the trendiest germ and then sentenced to several snow days at home, so that they can share their illness with their loved ones. It’s a curious thing seeing your practitioners daily and having them give you that sideways glance which silently questions, “Really? Again? Already?” And looking them directly in the eye so they can see all the answers they ever needed in your exhausted, dark-circled, frozen-red-nosed expression which screams, “Yes! Really! AGAIN! not only ALREADY, but practically before we left the last visit!!!” I’m waiting for the insurance company to call me and investigate whether these consecutive recurring charges are authentic or fraudulent. Perhaps I could Skype them and share some of our winter wonderland magic more authentically.
I suppose much of this wouldn’t be an issue or even a thought if we didn’t have to spend so much time outside or in transit, or be expected to function. But since we’re constantly on the go, up and down our frosty mountain, winter and the frigid cold is very evident and demands acknowledgement. Everything is just harder in extreme weather conditions. While most of us adults, despite our public rants, are able to grumble and typically move on, for little ones, it’s a different story. Extreme weather disgruntles them to the point of immobility at times. Every task or errand takes twice as long and is profoundly more miserable. The chorus of complaints over the cold, the disdain for their gloves/hats/jackets, and the refusal to hustle. These things are magnified when you can no longer feel your face, blinded by your tearing eyes, and sniffling your stinging nose because you’re waiting on them. Begging them to leave or enter the car with or without their favorite toy that they can’t grasp because of their mittened paw. And prolonged recurring experiences like these just further drive the point of how right nature got it with that whole hibernation thing. Thankfully we’ve been finding ways to stay warm like an ongoing rotation of soups and hot beverages, snuggly movie nights huddled in the same bed, and sweetly drawn pictures of flowers and all things Spring, which is promised to arrive exactly one month from today. Think warm thoughts.