I enjoy watching the seasons change. We are still in winter here in eastern PA, and will be for another month. But the light lasts longer (close to 6 p.m.!). The 9-year-old and I walked around the yard yesterday afternoon and spotted lots of buds on trees and vines. There are some overnight freezes still on the horizon, but as the calendar turns toward March, any warmer during-the-day temperatures aren’t quite as dangerous.

(One year a warm February and a frigid March meant the magnolias didn’t bloom — very sad!)

Anyway, this was a lower key weekend than the previous two (I mean, Disney!) though “low key” is relative around here. The 12-year-old went to her school dance, my husband took the 9-year-old skiing, the 14-year-old had an all-day robotics tournament, the 4-year-old had a birthday party, there was another playdate, parkour, and a voice and trumpet lesson. And 5 out of 7 of us went to church. I think the 16-year-old met some friends too in there.

On Saturday during the day I didn’t have either of the little boys with me for several hours, which brings the still slightly-rare question of how to spend small kid-free downtime.

Time will be spent on something…I assisted the 12-year-old with her Saturday morning crepe making (which involved a quick run to the store to get strawberries — there and back in exactly 11 minutes!). While eating a leisurely breakfast I read the print Saturday Wall Street Journal.

At some point, I went for a walk around the yard (I’m still not running, but I’m trying to get some exercise…). I went back to the grocery store for a real shop (solo) and to put gas in the car so the 16-year-old could take it. I went to the library with the 12-year-old and got several design and poetry books, and spent some time reading those. I practiced my music for choir. After my husband got back he and I went for a walk with the dog at a nearby nature preserve. All in all reasonably relaxing. Sometimes I feel like a few lower key days are my own “thawing” after a busy stretch!

Anyway, a few fun things over the next week — I’m hoping to go to the Flower Show this next weekend – that’s always an end-of-winter highlight. (And is always a memory — that was the last thing my family went to four years ago before the world shut down.) I also realized this past week that I’m now familiar with every weekend date in March, April, and May — a sign that there are just a lot of things coming down the pike. It’s all good — kid competitions, concerts, trips, etc. But it will be something…

I’m having fun writing over at Vanderhacks — my new Substack newsletter. I’m now up to 2500 subscribers after three months, which I am really grateful for. No importing addresses from other lists — that’s people who’ve taken the time to just go sign up! Today’s post is about the virtues of checking the news once a day.

Also, as we come into basketball tournament season, please consider reading my novel The Cortlandt Boys. It’s about a small town high school basketball team that wins the state championship on an improbable last minute shot. The ramifications of that lucky shot then play out over the rest of the characters’ lives. I re-read the novel (currently only available as an ebook) over the summer and was reminded that it is my favorite thing I’ve ever written. Thanks for checking it out!



2 thoughts on “Thawing

  1. I woke up this morning and realized IT WAS LIGHT OUTSIDE. What a thrill. January felt like a slog and we’ve had snow/ice and very cold temperatures in February but today, walking home from a chilly trek to school with the kids, I realized I had a bounce in my step all because it was light when I woke up. Spring is coming!!!

    I’m glad your back is slowly feeling better. Sounds like a busy, but fun, weekend. Crepes – yummy!

    1. @Elisabeth – yes! The morning light is awesome too. Winter has been something of a slog but like all things it has to end eventually….

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