Despite the challenges this winter has put on any travel, we have been finding ourselves making the two hour trip out to my mom's more often than ever. Snow just looks better in the country... or maybe we're totally desperate for a change of venue (a snowed in winter will with two small children will do that).
Little Smith has a brain that is so driven by science, it's fascinating to watch his interests develop because they are so different than my memories of my own. He is in constant search of uncovering a process; how flowers grow and bees pollinate, what everything looks like inside, and (to my occasional horror), death, rotting, and the full circle. My mom is fueled by many of the same questions, and it's such fun to see them tear apart flowers and poke at them with sticks, identifying all the pieces and consulting a tower of reference books.
Baby Roo has proven to be an animal lover (torturer?) and is thrilled to present Blue, the dog, with apples, cookies, and hugs... again and again. She has also become such a bossy little lady, and constantly directs everyone where to sit, crying whenever anyone exits the room (the bigger the audience, the better!).
James is never happier than when skiing, and while his days on the mountain are far fewer than he'd like, and my hometown mountain is small, I think seeing his son get just a little more confident on his 80cm skis has made up for the loss of turns this season. He's also partial to my mom's selection of micro brews, and her number of televisions (4!).
My highlights are getting to sleep in late (sometimes), wearing my 'little house nightgown' (one of those purchases that has made this winter tolerable), and curling up by the wood stove with a good bar of chocolate.
This week has brought the first legitimate hopes of spring to our permafrost, sunshine and rain and even a little snow melt. I am lunging forward, towards longer days and milder temperatures... but I have to say that this winter has been a lovely one for our family. James always laments the receding snow, and I won't go that far! But I am certainly going to miss my nightgown and the wiggle room to eat an extra chocolate bar when spring does find us.