Winter. You aren’t my first choice, but I’m learning I can live with you.

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The weather has always had a strong hold on me. My mood, my plans, my sheer happiness existed around what weather was predicted. Checking my weather app in the winter and seeing a warm day on the horizon felt like winning the lottery. I never liked winter and basically could live without it. I do not need the Four Seasons. As a matter of fact one is fine with me. Summer.

Growing up an old neighbor used to joke that spring must be coming because the Albert children were shoeless. As soon as the temp neared 60, I was ready for bathing suits and beach visits.

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Fast forward to 2015 and my husband tells me he wants to accept a job in Lake Placid, NY. The lake part sounded the great. The average temperature calendar online, however, did not. The man who complained about Philadelphia winters wanted to move the girl who dreamed of living in Florida {despite Florida being the weirdest state alive (sorry Florida)} to one of the coldest places in America. We moved and I must admit I feared winter with each summer and fall day that passed. I was paralyzed with thinking I was trapped inside for over half the year.

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However, a few weeks ago, as I drove alone to my doctor’s appointment I realized it was really a tad bit cold in the car. It was -4 degrees. I laughed and thought how in this short time my view of weather has changed. While I check my weather app – I no longer fear the cold temperatures – I no longer plan my life around the winter temps. -4 before meant not leaving the house. Heck, not leaving bed. Basically, anything below 40 degrees demanded I be inside a place and if you dropped below 20 I wasn’t even going out of the house. However, now, we are outside nearly everyday. The kids bundle up in their winter gear and we go outside. It might be to sled. It might be to walk around. If it is dry enough, it may mean to ride scooters or bikes or things I limited to warmer days before. My weather checking no longer dictates what I can do – it just reminds me what we need to wear. I joke that nearly half of Dominique’s income this year was spent securing warm gear. While this may be somewhat true, I also know that this move has shaped how I respond to the weather – be that in Lake Placid, NY or Lake Placid, FL. While I use to dream of 60 degrees and sun, I now am pleased with 40 degrees and rain. I have expanded my view of what one can do outdoors in cold weather and even more it has expanded how long my kids will play outside regardless of the temperature. While it still takes us 20 minutes to get ready to go outside – we now can spend well over an hour before someone begs to come inside (or pees up their snowsuit). This move is forcing me to grow in so many ways and at times the growing pains exhaust me into a whiny mess of a person. Other times I realize how this move is helping to erode me of something I have been plagued with since childhood — letting weather dictate my mood, my plans, my ability to enjoy being outside. I am embracing winter and all it has to offer (even if my growing baby belly limits my outdoor options). Wherever we land next (whenever that may be) I am hoping that my newfound ability to not only accept colder temps, but to enjoy them will carry with me and more importantly with my kids. While they become the annoying kids who prance through southern winter in shorts and fleece vests, commenting on how warm it is while everyone else is freezing in parkas and snow boots – I also hope they will become the kids who can take any temperature and find an outdoor adventure. I just hope they learn this as they learn to also stop peeing up their snowsuits.

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