This is written by Nancy, who is in a reflective mood tonight. Sorry, no pictures. Just words.
I am all settled in by the fire with Ink keeping vigil (actually she is zonked out on the chair and I can hear her snoring from here!). I've watched my old movie and read through blogs. How fun that so many of our kids updated tonight, and we got Courtney in on the whole blog thing too. That means we are all bloggers now!
I know it's not very uplifting to blog simply so you can complain, but can I just vent for awhile? We have lived in Rexburg for almost 15 years now. The first winter here I didn't have a job, didn't know a soul, and had literally no place to go. You know your life is pathetic when you get excited because you get to go to Wal-Mart. Well, I didn't really get excited because I was terrified to drive in the snow and would creep along at a snail's pace all the way there. I'm sure the other drivers hated me. By April I knew I'd better find something to do during those long cold days or I would go crazy. That's when I started working at Lincoln. And I've been there ever since.
My little plan worked because the cold has never really bothered me since that first winter. I would brave the elements long enough to get to work and back, and then maybe have a few places to go afterwords, but I was so busy that it didn't really matter. When I was an aide for all those years and would go from classroom to classroom all day, there were many times I would pass by the big windows in the hall and gawk at the blizzard going on outside, or the wind drifting the snow in great white gusts, or even the wind blowing off any blossom that had managed to finally come on. I have always been in awe of the forces of nature, but felt so grateful that they didn't really effect my life one way or another. Safe inside the protection of Lincoln Elementary it could be 100 degrees or 30 below zero and it didn't really matter.
Until this year.
I don't know what happened, but this year the cold and seemingly unending snow is really bugging me! We haven't had a snow day in years, and this year we've already had 3 or 4, the most recent due to unbelievably low temperatures. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing I love more than feeling cozy and warm when it's cold outside, sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and knowing that you get to just stay home and do nothing because you can't go outside anyway. But this year, that's not good enough anymore. I long to go outside and not feel the cold sting my face. I yearn for the sun to actually be accompanied by warmth! We have sun, but it is purely cosmetic. I want to be able to walk without slipping, drive without hearing the crunch of ice under the wheels, and the fear of sliding through intersections. I'm tired of the monotonous landscape the whole town shares right now, mounds and mounds of colorless white snow and long spearlike icicles hanging from every roof. I want to see the sidewalk again, and even the street, for that matter. I am sick of all my dark winter clothes and long for bright happy colors. I'm just tired of winter, but it doesn't change anything. Tonight the weatherman told of more snow we will be getting over the next few days, and more to follow next week. He loves to continually remind us that "we're still into winter, folks", like we can't figure that out ourselves.
I have a dream (borrowing from Courtney's blog) that someday I will be able to walk out the front door with lightweight clothes on, no coat, and maybe even sandals (!). The sun will be shining and I will feel it's warmth spread across my face and my bare arms. The grass will be green, the flowers in the front flower bed will be bright and blooming, and there will be birds singing in the trees. I will walk to the sidewalk and head down the street walking fast and free, seeing children outside riding bikes and playing in their yards. I'll stop and talk to neighbors that have been strangers all winter because we've all been cooped up in our own little worlds, and look down into the valley at the green green landscape that I love. I will walk and walk and walk. There will be a gentle breeze that makes it comfortable, and I will sigh and be so grateful that I live in this wonderful place.
There is no place like Rexburg in the summer. I have lived that dream many times over the last 15 years, so I know it can be a reality, but right now it seems so far away. So I will do what I always do. I will put my head down, brace against the cold, and keep busy until that day finally comes. And it will. Living here teaches us patience, but only if we're smart enough to learn.