Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The cold and the snow...

Yesterday I worked from home. It snowed around 5" at our house on Monday, which was no big deal, but it made traffic just awful. My 38-mile commute to work took over two hours Monday morning and another two hours on the way home Monday evening. The 5" at our house wasn't anything to speak of here in Minne-sconsin, although the roads were apparently treacherous. However, it snowed more to the north and west of us, which was where my Mom was coming from to watch Gavin yesterday. I knew that my Mom wouldn't want to drive the 40 miles from her house in the prime of rush-hour traffic, in the dark, on treacherous roads yesterday, so I decided I would work from home, which meant that she wouldn't have to be at my house as early as usual and could leave her house a couple of hours later than if I were driving in to work. Gavin slept until 8:15 and then sat in his high chair with a bowl of cereal, watching Dinosaur Train, while I sat in the living room at my computer. After his breakfast, he sat in his high chair and painted with watercolors. My Mom arrived in perfect time at 9:00 and I took my computer and got right back to work until lunch time, when I took a break for lunch and shoveling.

It was nice to be there with my Mom and the boys for lunch (my brother-in-law dropped my nephew off mid-morning as well).We all sat down to lunch together and then I took advantage of being there and went outside with Gavin for a few minutes before I had to get back to work. It was cold out, but he and I both needed to get outside for a bit for some fresh air. We both bundled up in our boots, snowpants, coats, hats and mittens and headed out to shovel off the steps and sidewalk. It wasn't just chilly, it was frigid! It was only a couple of minutes before the sting of the cold air and wind had his eyes shining with thick tears, one or two escaping now and then and rolling down his frozen pink cheeks. He didn't want to go in though, he was loving being outside. After shoveling I got the bucket of kitchen scraps to take out to the compost bin. I quickly realized the snow was too deep for Gavin to walk all the way to the compost bin with me, so instead I started clearing a path (with my boots) toward his sandbox under the screen porch. I figured he could play there while I took the compost to the bin in the woods since he would still be within view. Even my "cleared" path was too tough for a little guy who's just shy of three feet tall and bundled up like an eskimo. The snow on that side of the house was deep - really deep. He finally stopped walking and said "kaywee me, mom", so I scooped him up under his armpits with my left arm and held the compost bucket with my right arm and trudged to the sandbox. I set him in the snow covered sandbox and he was happy as he could be. He uncovered a few shovels, a couple of rakes, and a vehicle from the snow and sand and played just as if it were sunny and 70! As I walked across the yard to the edge of the woods to dump the compost in the bin, he filled his wheelbarrow with snow and sand. When I made it back to the sandbox again and asked if he was ready to go back in the house, he left no doubt in my mind that he was not ready to go in yet. I gave him a big smoocher because I just love so much that he likes to be out there, even when it IS only 5 degrees above zero! His frozen cheek felt icy on my lips and I knew I had to get him back inside. We compromised and brought his big sand shovel in the house with us. I carried him all the way from the sandbox to the house, with him in one arm and the shovel and empty bucket in the other. The snow was up to my thighs at one point and we stuck the shovel in and it was completely covered. The snow was about 3' deep there. It was so good to get outside, even if just for those few minutes. I headed back to work and he headed off to nap. When I quit working around 4:30 and told my Mom she could head home if she wanted to, Gavin was still asleep. I think being out in the cold is refreshing and exhilarating, but also wears you out!       

Two weeks ago (Jan 16th), the thermometer at our house said it was -18 when I left for work. The weather man on the radio that day said it was -27 in my town. So, either my thermometer froze up at -18 and quit working or the six miles between my house and "town" made a nine-degree difference. Either way, it was cold. This morning it is -6, not nearly as cold, but you wouldn't know it. It feels cold. The woodstove downstairs is going strong, the heat is on, and it still feels chilly. Cliff headed in to work early this morning and shortly after he left, I got a phone call from my sister who lives just a couple of miles away. They didn't have water this morning at her house, so she was asking if she could come over here to wash her hair and finish getting ready for work. Cliff's Mom is coming over in a while to watch Gavin today. I'm getting a few things done around the house since I was up anyway. I made a pot of coffee, started a load of laundry, packed my lunch, had a bowl of cereal, took the garbage and some recycling out to the garage, made the bed, and brought some Christmas decorations downstairs that have been piling up at the top of the stairs, waiting to be carried down. It feels good. Cliff and Gavin picked up the toys in the living room last night and I got the kitchen cleaned up before bed. That always feels good - to wake up to a clean kitchen - ready for a new day! We also put clean bedding on the bed last night and the first night in freshly washed sheets is always the best. They feel smooth and crisp, they smell fresh and light, and they induce good, solid sleep... usually. Gavin stayed up late last night and I am tired today. We put him to bed between 8:15 and 8:30, but he was not ready to go to sleep. He was out of bed a few times and ended up crying a few times. Cliff finally went to bed and I was on my way there, but had just a couple of things to do in the meantime - one being finish the bowl of ice cream Cliff had gotten for me. Each time I sat down to finish the ice cream or headed to the laundry room to put something away, Gavin came back out of his room. He was hungry, he needed to poop, he needed his milk, he needed me... the list goes on. It was one thing after another. I let him sit on the potty chair for a while, but he didn't really need to go. When he said he needed supper, I reminded him that he had his water in his bed, but that it wasn't time to eat, it was time for sleeping (I know, this while I was trying to finish off a bowl of ice cream... but, I ate all of my supper!). I finally headed for bed too. I say "finally", but it was actually only about 9:40! We were tired! I got into bed and a few minutes later, Gavin came into our room. I carried him back to his bed and kissed him goodnight again, reminding him that he needed to stay in bed. I must have been really tired, because I was asleep already when he came back in about 15 minutes later. Cliff brought him back to his bed this time and he stayed there... I think. I was asleep, so I can't guarantee it. So, it was probably 10:30 when we got back to sleep and yet when the alarm went off this morning at 5:40 it felt like we had just dozed off minutes earlier! Cliff got up and headed to work, Carrie called and then came over. I am glad I made coffee. I think I might need it today.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your stories- so vidid! You're a great writer! Keep them coming! -Beth