Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Best Place To Be {Is Spending Time Together}

 The weather was predicted to be -20 Celsius with large accumulations of lake effect snow flurries piling up on us that day.  The permission form had been signed and returned granting permission for Evan to join his class in a day of outdoor activities including bird watching and snowshoeing.  Arrangements had been made for the youngest, not yet in school, to spend the day with my mom, freeing me up to join Evan on his class trip.

After enduring the previous week of sick in our house, I had ended up with a really nasty sinus cold.  I felt miserable!  There was no way I really wanted to participate in anything so...cold and uncomfortable.  Winter and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship.  I love its beauty.  I love how the world is covered in a beautiful blanket of white concealing the brown and bare beneath it.  I love that winter is a time of slow down and stay home all warm and cozy.  On the other hand, I am not a fan of being cold.  Nor am I a fan of driving on winter slippery roads. 

With careful consideration I made sure Evan wasn't aware of my lack of enthusiasm for joining him on the outing.  After all, I was looking forward to spending the time with my Evan, it was the cold itinerary and nasty sinus cold that had me bemoaning the fact I had so readily agreed to accompany him.  Since snowshoeing is a winter activity I enjoy, I knew it would be alright.  Still I just did not want to.

Checking the forecast for a final time the night before, Evan and I laid out extra layers of clothes to wear beneath our snow clothes, packed a hearty lunch and had our backpacks filled with only what we would need to carry.  I pulled my warmest snowmobiling suit out of the back of the closet and found myself a cozy toque to pull over my ears that would meet my soft scarf.  I was not going to be any colder than necessary.  I carefully planned the limited time I would have in the morning and went to bed a little earlier than usual.  All the while I was still apprehensive about the following day predicted to be one of the coldest we had yet experienced this winter.

Although the morning held a few challenges that started the day offtrack, the day turned out to be nothing like I had envisioned.  The sky was a beautiful clear blue and the sun was shining brightly.  There wasn't a snowflake to mar the brilliance.  Oh, it was definitely cold!  But we were in an area sheltered by trees for most of our outdoor time.  It was only when the strong, cold wind blew at us that our cheeks smarted and we burrowed a little deeper in our snow gear.  Spending part of our time indoors making bird feeders and learning about different types of birds before heading out to find them also helped keep us warm enough.

Throughout the day Evan leaned close to me, beaming all his happiness in my direction with his sweet gapped-tooth smile.  We held hands both while we walked and wore our snowshoes, even though it was awkward and hard.  Our chairs were pulled close whenever we sat doing crafts or eating our lunches.  Evan was not letting a single moment of our time together be wasted.  We'll always have our memories of our day in the snow to share together.

It was so worth spending every moment of the day trudging through snow and shivering with cold!  Even though it felt like the last place I wanted to be, it turned out to be the best place to be.