I aplogize now for the melencholic tone of this post, and quite frankly, I’ll be surprised with myself if I even hit “publish”, but I just needed to get all this out of my head.
I can’t wait for winter to be over.
As I look out my window, the snow seems to be tapering off. Yes, one more day this winter I looked out my window and saw beautiful white flakes falling peacefully from the sky. And my spirit dropped. Because if its snowing, then its still winter. And I really need winter to be over.
On my Facebook page today, there are many people, many my friends, who are reveling in this. After all, if its going to be winter, it might as well snow. Usually, I’m right there in that crowd. But not today. I’m just looking forward to spring.
I really couldn’t put my finger on it, when I was disagreeing with them over their excitement over the snow. And then, while bagels were burning in the toaster, and and windows were being flung open to the fridged air so as to avoid all the smoke alarms going off at once, while all six kids clamored around my feet in the kitchen noisily…. it just hit me.
This winter has been tough. And it’s not over yet.
On December 13th, before winter even technically began, my father died. It was awaited and expected, but nonetheless, its never easy to say good bye to someone you love. We drove through the snow to get home, slogged through mush and mud while visiting with family, and I stood in about a foot of snow and mud next to my father’s grave while listening to Air Force Honor Guard play taps, thinking about how much he’d love that.
While this pregnancy was the easiest morning sickness wise, it was still there, and besides the usual nausea, I was plagued for about a month with the worst intestinal pain and “issues” I’ve ever had in my life. As it finally subsided, my GI doctor said it must have just been a virus, and thankfully, its over. I don’t want to go through that again.
Cold winter air means dry skin to me, and between the “Polar Vortex” and gas heat, my hands took a beating again this year. Dry skin means moisturizing, right? Apparently, it means eczema for me, plus an allergic reaction to latex gloves I wore to protect my itchy red hands while washing dishes. I had a horrible time with this several years ago, trying to treat it homeopathically which landed me with a skin infection and several very worried friends. This year, thankfully, a trip to the dermatologist and a $7 cream cleared things up before they got too far. But the looming dread of what happened to my skin a few years ago and the suffering I went though with that looming over my head before I found out what the problem really was, it just sunk me deeper and deeper.
Ah, yes. The “Polar Vortex”. Between days too cold to even think of going outside, and not enough snow to do anything in, and six sets of boots, jackets, gloves, snowpants and a million questions of “have you seen my’s”…. Basically, the kids have been cooped up inside for a Very. Long. Time. When I can get them out, I do, but this weather isn’t conducive to hours of outside play. And I need them out for hours.
God has been so good to me. We’ve had several unseasonably warm days thrown in the mix, and while some call them “unnatural,” I see them as respites. I needed those breaks. I need them like a tall, cold glass of water when you feel like you’re about to pass out. This weekend was just that. We went for a small hike at a nearby battlefield as a family on Sunday, and the kids played at the park. It was glorious. I felt happy. I literally felt “filled.”
So when I looked up this morning and saw snow falling outside my window, I just felt defeated. And to hear the gleeful cries of, “well, of course its snowing, its only February!” serves only to whack me down as I try to get up.
Did I mention Lent starts next week? I’m convinced there’s a reason why this holy season is placed at the end of winter, just before Spring finally peeks through the ground and starts to burst with color and promise and warmth. Just as the night is darkest just before the dawn, Lent is always just before God allows nature to bring forth life again.
So, yes, I’m looking forward to spring. I’m looking forward to warm air, open windows, and kids playing outside. I’m looking forward to meeting this new life growing so quietly inside me now, just as spring turns to summer. I’m looking forward to seeing days that remind me of my dad, drinking coffee and reading his morning paper on the patio under purple lilac bushes, planting flowers in the yard, and smiling and saying, “Hiya, tootse!” to me, before Parkinson’s crippled his limbs and robbed him of his smile.
I’m sorry if I’m not sharing your enthusiasm for snow this year. I probably will again next year. Its just that right now, every flake that falls buries me, and reminds me that we’re not done yet. And I’m ready for spring. Has it been months of depression with nary a smile on my face? Of course not. But its been really, really difficult. And I promise, I won’t complain about allergies or over the top temperatures this summer.