Is it Thursday, really? I feel like the last week has been a blur, and the days are all merging together. Winter seems to do that to a person, especially when you’re stuck indoors. This weekend promises some sort of wintry mix, and around here that means the town is about to shut down. Guess we’ll just have to set up camp in the living room and hang on to our flashlights until the storm passes.
1. Saturday mornings are my favorite. I’m sure people have reasons to wake up and go do things on Saturdays, but I much prefer a slow start, breakfast on the porch (weather permitting), and a quiet beginning to the day.
2. Keep in contact with your loved ones. Sometimes we remember what it was like to be really cold and then gloat a little that we aren’t so cold anymore. I know this next weekend we’ll see some winter conditions, but it’s just for a weekend, not for months on end. Considering our lovely Saturday morning, it seemed only right to share a piece of our life with my mom as well as a little friendly “encouragement” considering what she was up against. It’s the perfect way to tell someone you’re thinking of them.
3. Being sick is the worst. I go on and on about not having expectationsand looking at life more realistically…and then I go and get sick, causing me to cancel every plan and commitment of the week. I thought I had it covered by just not making plans more than a few weeks out. Wrong again. Let’s just take it one day at a time I guess. Some sort of bug hit me on Saturday night and just won’t quit. I won’t share any photos or my symptoms (you’re welcome), but will take your pity, prayers, and Netflix recommendations.
What is it about Thursdays? You look back at the week and think it was ages since the weekend. What did you even do last weekend? Gosh. Yet it’s marks the beginning of an end (or vice versa I suppose) to the week that has something great about it. Besides, who knew I could start so many blog posts just talking about Thursday? I sure didn’t.
1. We said YES. This past week, friends of ours asked us to be in their wedding this September. Friends we met here, in North Carolina. Something about that is crazy to me. We were both really honored to be chosen for these roles and especially after only knowing them for the past year or so. When we moved we really hoped and prayed we could both make close friends and be close friends. While being in someone’s wedding is far from the deciding factor on your friendship status (please, don’t even get me started about how weddings weirdly make you rank your friends), we are really excited to be a part of their big day and their lives.
2. Shut the front door, there’s snow outside. I know I went on a mini-rant/lecture on what is and is not cold last week. This time, it actually is. I wouldn’t say all of the snow days the kids got away with were totally justified but hope they had a good mini-vacay anyway. I decided to embrace a new-to-me Southern recipe by putting a bowl out on the porch to catch some flakes for snow cream. It tastes about as exciting as it sounds: milky sugar snow. As long as there’s sugar involved, it’s a bona fide Southern dish. And alright already. There’s something really pretty and even kinda fun about snow. I said it.
3. There’s a lot of people in the world. Yep, I’m going big with this last one. But it’s true. People are everywhere and I keep being reminded we have to work at things together. People can challenge you and frustrate you but they also strengthen you. It’s worthwhile to come together, even if it’s sorta inconvenient or outside your comfort zone. They’ll rub you the wrong way and sometimes you want to say, “I can do it all without them!” But there will always be someone else that will annoy you in almost the same way. Might as well figure out how to bring out each other’s strengths and work as a team.
Let’s just go ahead and talk about the weather for a chilly minute. It seems I cannot comment about it without offending someone, but I’ll go ahead and try anyway. To start off, weather is a fact after it’s happened, but how we think or feel about it is based on our experiences. To understand my experiences, I’ll tell you that as a kid I lived in Virgina Beach, VA. I remember the time when it snowed enough to stick around for a few days or when we wore winter coats for 40 degrees and couldn’t imagine being colder. But then I moved to the Midwest the week of a blizzard and used my boogie board as a sled because I wasn’t equipped for that kind of winter.
For over a decade I lived in the heart of Iowa. One year snow covered the ground 43% of the time, and I lived in what was considered one of the 25 coldest cities in America. Snow means waking up an hour earlier to shovel the driveway, scrape your car and hope it will start only to come home and do it all over again. A blizzard means it starts snowing and feels like it will never stop. Snow is no longer pretty and white, but piled high and dark grey from cars and snowplow trucks driving by all day. Salt and sand cover the roads and slowly ruin your cars, shoes and floors. When it gets really bad you might get a snow day, but don’t plan on it. You have to learn to drive through a few inches of unplowed snow and know when you slide how to avoid hitting cars, people or light poles. It becomes a part of life. Snowball fights, going sledding, making snowmen and winter fashion are fun perks but often come with months of cold and weather-related responsibilities.
A year and a half ago we headed south, with warmer weather being one of our objectives. We moved in the middle of August and thought we’d never stop sweating as we lugged our things inside from the humidity. After that passed we had a long fall, followed by a winter that barely graced freezing temperatures for more than a few days. When friends from the Midwest posted about blizzards and snow all the way through May we exchanged high fives for avoiding it and went outside. In the spring we witnessed what I think should be called a yearly pollen storm as you can visibly see clouds of pollen in the sky and covering your car. Summer had a lot a rain and then got hot before we found ourselves in fall again. We purchased what we call our “North Carolina winter coats” (read: softshell jackets) and started claiming it was chilly if it dipped below 60.
When we visited Iowa a few weeks ago, it was bitter cold with one of the days never even reaching 0 degrees outside. Upon returning back to North Carolina ten days later it felt like spring and we loved it. Within our day of travel we experienced a solid 50 degree difference. Literally. It was crazy. Last night in Raleigh, snow was predicted so the grocery store was a madhouse, schools closed early and either cancelled or delayed for the next day and a storm of social media posts took place. What ended up happening? I couldn’t help but giggle. It rained for a little bit and then snowed for maybe an hour or two before dropping into the 20s for the night. In some places the snow stuck but in my yard the grass was far from covered. This is not common weather for January and might even be crossing into record temperatures for the month.
Can we all agree that there’s a difference here? Because I can’t help but see these winter experiences as total opposites. Neither is better than the other, it’s incredible either way. As humans we can’t help but talk about the weather and that’s okay. I just think it’s not worth getting upset or defensive about whatever your weather may be. So to those in the colder states, when I say how warm it is here, I am not trying to gloat. I’m happy to live in a place that has milder temperatures and allows me to avoid a winter hibernation or seasonal affective disorder. That’s what the weather here has resulted in for me. To those in the warmer states, I’m sorry that when you say it’s cold it doesn’t seem like I take you seriously. I know it feels cold to you and the weatherman is calling it a winter storm. While I’ve seen it so much stronger and colder, I’m not trying to one-up you. I’ve lived in cold weather and it wasn’t for me, that’s why I’m here! Let’s agree that weather is crazy and our experiences are all different. Deal?