Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Long Winter

"It can't beat us!" Pa said.
"Can't it, Pa?" Laura asked stupidly.
"No," said Pa. "It's got to quit sometime and we don't.  It can't lick us.  We won't give up."
Then Laura felt a warmth inside her.  It was very small but it was strong.  It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.
-- From the wonderful book, The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

It's only a small exaggeration to say that I hate winter.  Even in the best of years, winter is an expected yet unwelcome visitor that lingers and lingers and lingers till we won't even look each other in the eye--there's a mutually understood hostility.  I don't remember how strong these feelings were in my youth, but now I can hardly wait for the sun to come back and make everything all better.  I'm sure there are places in the world where winter looks natural, perhaps even an improvement, but not here.  This year, with its double-digit snow days and unrelenting cold, was harder to bear than most.

Now that the light is back and the warmth is back and May colors are everywhere, I can hardly remember the winter at all.  The world is transformed, and for the next six months leaves and blossoms and laughter will cover winter's chilly bones.  Still, judging by the pictures, even the barest bones of winter were enough to support a warm house, a good new job, and a loving family.  If winter sets the baseline, it's not a bad place for the year to begin.

Snow caves on the front lawn.

A New Year's visit from Uncle Alex and Aunt Amy

Lucy accidentally made a burr-puppet.

I finally succumb.

Nora gets toothier and toothier.

Holly pretends she's a grad student.

K. and the kids all submitted art to a contest for families of state employees.  Here's Nora's abstract creation.

And here's Sage with her felted flower fairy.

And Lucy with her still life.

And Ian with his Celtic knot.

And K. with her B&W photo of Lucy.

Fortune Tellers predicted a good birthday for me.

Okay, winter, I guess you're not so bad.  No rush, but maybe 
we can do this again some time.  How does 2028 look for you?