Thursday, January 21

The Sixty-Third Day of Winter

Like I said, a shining sun makes a lot of difference.

Today I went biking and while it was (theoretically) only one degree cooler than my last outdoor bike ride, it was foggy... and I wasn't quite as comfortable.

But you wouldn't know it. Doesn't this outfit look to be the epitome of comfort?

Can you tell I'm smiling?

Wednesday, January 20

The Sixty-Second Day of Winter

Double digit temps! Warm enough that I can get away with flip-flops to and from the laundry room. But still cold enough that the trees are wearing sweaters.

Tuesday, January 19

The Sixty-First Day of Winter

I didn't go outside at all today.

Poor SOS was not so lucky. Since parking permits cost upwards of $1,000 a semester, he relies on the bus to get to and from classes.

They have yet to invent heated bus stops.

Or bus schedules that are adhered to with 100% accuracy.

No frostbite yet, though.

This being the first week back of classes, a few of SOS's classmates returned to Wisconsin from their homes. One classmate had a 100 degree temperature change between boarding her flight in Barbados and stepping off the plane in Madison. I thought it was special that I experienced (and survived while pregnant) 115 degree temperatures in California back in June and subzero temperatures now. At least I had seven months in between.
115 degrees in June at the splash pad.

Monday, January 18

The Sixtieth Day of Winter

There's the indoors, the outdoors, and then the underground.

That is where we went today to escape the sameness of our indoors and the single digit temps of the outdoors.

Fifty degrees!

Sunday, January 17

The Fifty-Ninth Day of Winter

Last Sunday I braved zero degree weather to make it to church.

Well, okay, perhaps there was no bravery involved as it was accompanied by altogether too much complaining.

Today was even colder.

Yesterday, when SOS and I were discussing the forecasted high for today rising all the way to -4 degrees (with the windchill settling it down around -25), he joked that maybe this downward trend of Sunday temperatures was my own little version of John 21. "Do you love me?... Then feed my sheep." Only, "Do you love me?... Then attend church in [increasingly cold] weather."

We both laughed, although perhaps there was a fair bit of internal squirming with my laugh.

So I didn't complain at all this morning (not even to myself!). I dug out my warmest layers, stuffed my purse full of extra cold weather accessories for the kids for when they started complaining, and off to church it was.

(And it was only -1... three whole degrees warmer than forecasted!)

Musing about the ironies of this all, I didn't really tune into the church service until halfway through the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and then it was only because my distracted brain registered the word "winter."

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest

It's been awhile since I've looked at the words for this song. I sing it somewhat frequently, but more on my own than in church, with the lyrics scripted for me to follow. And somewhere along the way, I had internalized this line to be merely a bit of poetic metonymy observing that God is faithful year round.

But that's not what it says.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Can it be? Winter testifies to God's faithfulness, mercy and love? Even -25 degree windchill days? 

It seems that instead of me proving my love to God on these below negative days, these days are proving God's love to me. There's a tendril of internal recognition affirming this to be true. But merely a tendril. 

Fortunately, I still have plenty of winter to think on it.

Saturday, January 16

The Fifty-Eighth Day of Winter

I did it! I found a winning combination for biking in 19 degrees! (and sunny. Never underestimate the power of sun.)

Of course I have to wear enough layers that you can't tell I've lost twenty-five pounds in the last three months (okay, some of that was a nine and a half pound baby).

But still! I felt very successful as I comfortably biked around the lake polka-dotted by ice fishing parties.

I felt so successful even, that we deemed it a perfect day to take the kids to the zoo. And we were so excited to be out in the sunshine on a glorious family Saturday, that we took a small detour to take a group selfie on the frozen lake across from the zoo.

We were doing just fine, too, until the wind picked up and our exposed skin began to ache with the inconvenience of existence.

So we hightailed it as quickly as we could across the parking lot and into the heated South American exhibit. I've always thought South America was a fabulous place to defrost. And while we visited with the stingrays, piranhas, and macaws screeching loud enough to cause SmilesBabyGirl to burst into tears, we enjoyed the sensation of having ears and cheeks and noses.

And then before we hurried back to our heated car, we just had to stop and say hello to the polar bear because it seemed fitting.

We were in good company in our decision to enjoy the glorious sunshine today. Everywhere we went, there were people ice fishing, ice skating, ice hockeying, ice sailing, ice wind gliding, etc., etc., etc.

Oh, another ice-related activity of choice today: washing the salt-grime off cars. The line at the carwash stretched around the parking lot and backed up traffic on the street. Today is a good day to be in the carwash business, but a bad day to be washing cars.

Friday, January 15

The Fifty-Seventh Day of Winter

Another warm day (above freezing!) but foggy. We had plans to go out, but a fever and a few choice two-year old quotations from Curious George Goes to the Hospital has us calling for an indoor family game night.

Those are nice. Even if it does involve a fever.