There's talk of a new storm before we've finished shoveling out from the last. I'm keeping score in this season long battle of the driveway versus James. Now an obstacle course of frozen humps and mounds that sends one of us flying with every attempt at the car, the driveway is certainly winning. I've resolved that we are being punished for an extra week-end away, the endless cycle of snow, rain, flood and freeze must have seized that moment to run wild without chaperon. Poor James, chipping and shoveling and dragging around buckets of salt, no match for a shady driveway and a relentless winter.
A loner by both nature and nurture, I actually welcome an icy front stoop. Clearly it mandates another day indoors for us; decline invitations for play-dates, take baths at noon, bake and eat and bake again, a fire, a puzzle, a project... punctuated by the occasional roll in the snow. I do know how to pass the time in some unforgiving weather.
Breaking with tradition, my little boy loves being surrounded by people. He thrives with browsing shops and always prefers eating out. 'Can we go down town?', he'll ask, though he's never certain where that might be...
So when it hit 48 degrees on a Thursday and the skies were clear and blue, I broke out the double stroller and remembered that I live in a city. Even for an introvert, that can be a good thing. There is joy to be found amongst the energy of people, even strangers. Especially strangers. Debating options for lunch, browsing through a bookstore, stumbling into a museum, these are true luxuries in the depths of winter.
This season has a lot of cold and dark left. Every melted puddle our sunny day granted will undoubtedly revert to ice, and I will find more excuses to close the doors and hide beneath wool blankets. Still, I'm grateful our hibernation comes by choice. Staying in feels all the sweeter when I can see the path out, buffered by a good coat of ice and a slippery stoop.