As a child, I always told people that when I grew up I was going to live where it was summer all the time. As a young adult I researched tropical destinations suitable to relocate to. As often does in life, circumstances changed and I found myself putting the notion of the sun and beach aside to raise my family. Many times throughout the years I thought that the day would come when I would actually relocate to the climate of my dreams. Recently that changed, when the reality of what I really hold dear became very evident.
Stuck in Northern New York with a Smile
I always envisioned my adult life being spent on a warm, sunny beach. All of that has changed for reasons that are rooted deep in my heart.
Having been delivered on a warm summer day in 1964, I was a “summer baby”. I am convinced I was destined to be one my entire life. I love the sun and the hotter it is, the happier I am. My entire essence is affected. I feel years younger and am utterly joyous. My energy is comparable to the energizer bunny and my mind is a deluge of grand ideas, projects and highly ambitious ventures.
It is currently below zero according to the thermostat outside my kitchen window. I am sitting 10ft. from a roaring fire in the woodstove, wearing thermal undergarments, and dreading the reality of how many more days of snow I will have to endure before the arrival of Spring. I believe my mind and body are hibernating.
My son just came in from outside. He is followed by my husband. They have been out in this miserable weather for hours. With smiles on their faces they discuss the depth of the snow in the woods behind our house. I shudder at the thought of walking through it. Over coffee they talk about the snowmobile and of course, the need to plow the driveway before dinner. They are part of the reason I live where I do.
The other reasons that I live here will be arriving shortly. The rest of my family. They all come home to have Sunday dinner together. I tell myself that as long as I am fortunate enough to have living parents and adult children that want to spend time with me, then I need to be here. I also want to see my grandson grow up along with any future grandchildren I am blessed with.
The chaos begins around 4:30. They all arrive and final preparations are made to sit down together as a family. Extra chairs are retrieved from around the house. I sit down last, after I am sure everything has been served. I listen to the conversations spinning and swirling around the table in between the requests to “please pass” this or that and the appropriate “thank you. I suddenly hear my grandson mention building a snowman, my son reminds him of a promised snowmobile ride, and my daughters start reminiscing about winter activities of the past: ice skating, snow angels, snowball fights, and days of sliding followed by warm cocoa. I laugh along with them as one recalls the day we made the fake bobsled on the porch so my little ones could become the “stars” of their own personal mountain dew commercial. I remember how they held up snow covered empty cans and smiled for my camera.
Hours later, as they are pulling out of the driveway to go home, my husband restocks the woodstove. I make my way into the living room to catch a few minutes of the weather channel. Snow in Texas and they don’t know what to do with it, tornado’s and hurricanes elsewhere. Hmm…maybe I should simply count my blessings, embrace the diversity of each season, and throw on another sweatshirt!