Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Things I DON'T Miss

We just returned from a two-week vacation to cold, snowy Wisconsin. Prior to this trip, our last encounter with such extreme temperatures and weather conditions was two years ago, when we visited my sister, bro-in-law, and brand new (as in six days old) niece in Illinois for Christmas. We were basically still Michiganders back then, having only moved our belongings to and spent five days in our rental house in Texas, so the cold and snow were nothing new.
Just because the cold and snow were nothing new
doesn't mean that everyone enjoyed it.
Since then we've traveled north, but we haven't encountered what waited for us in Wisconsin this time around. We'd missed participating in the sports and activities that are only possible when the ground is covered with the snow and the temperatures are below freezing (more on that in the coming days), but we discovered during this trip that there were also quite a few things - things we'd completely forgotten about - that we DIDN'T miss.

- Slush. On the mats and floorboards of the car. On the rugs, carpets, and floors in the house. On my (non-winterized) boots and tennis shoes. On the bottom two inches of the legs of my jeans.  Slush, slush, everywhere slush.

- Salt and sand. In all the same places as the slush.

- Dirty cars. Cars are so covered with slush, salt, and sand that they're kind of scary to touch. Dirty cars kind of gross me out (and they REALLY freak Tom out) because my kids like to rub up against and run their hands across their car doors, and twice I've caught Will licking water off the bumper of the car. (He claimed he was thirsty.)

- Snow pants. Not snow pants in and of themselves, because they really are a great invention, but helping kids put on snow pants, helping kids take off snow pants to pee, helping kids put back on snow pants after they've peed, and helping kids keep their snow pants pulled down far enough so that snow doesn't get into their boots.

- Cold and coats and carseats. For short trips, we're buckling puffy-coat-wearing kids into carseats and then snugging the carseat straps tightly around them. The kids are warm, but they can't move and are completely dependent on us for everything. For long trips, we're taking off their coats before buckling them in and then having to readjust the carseat straps so that they fit our suddenly smaller children. The can move, but they're freezing cold and crying and completely dependent on us for everything. Cold + coats + carseats = frostbitten fingers and pounding headaches for this frustrated mama.
Happy road tripper?  There's no way to know.
- Falling. For as long as I can remember, I've wiped out at least once each winter. (It was more like two or three times each winter before Tom and I got married. Now, whenever we walk outside he stays really close to me, with one hand poised below my elbow and ready to break my fall. He caught me at least three times during our two weeks in Wisconsin.) I don't usually physically injure myself too badly, but more often than not I fall in front of a crowd and severely damage my pride. This year was no exception - I crashed to the icy, wet pavement while walking with Tom and the kids to a UW men's basketball game. (Tom couldn't catch me because he was pushing the kids in the stroller.) I bruised both knees and jarred both wrists, and gave the crowds of people walking to the arena with us something to talk about later. I also got my mittens all wet, so my hands were freezing the rest of the way to the game and all the way home two hours later.
Thankfully, no one has ever taken a picture of me mid-fall.  I think.  I hope.
So while there were plenty of wonderful, wintry experiences we'd missed - sledding, ice skating, NOT sweating - throughout the two years since we'd seen snow, after a few days of slush and salt and snow pants and falling, winter in Texas sounded pretty darn good.


  1. never thought I'd hear you say that............

  2. I think I shed a tear reading this. Yall (Texas lingo) have crossed over into the Promised lands. ;)