It's that time of year. The time of year when Spring grabs hold of the reins, but Winter refuses to let go. And so a tug-of-war ensues. Temperatures fluctuate by as many as forty degrees (or more) over the course of the day. Roofs are dripping, yet the water freezes when it hits the ground.
The settled snow across the tundra has sheen to it. Warmed by the sun and buffed by the wind, it has developed a glossy crust that shines and crunches with every step. The unpaved road has become fickle. In the morning it calls for snow boots, but by the evening it's clear that rubber boots would have been a better choice.
Carried by the wind, laughter playfully dances across the village. Like little parka squirrels emerging from their burrows, the children are out taking full advantage of the comparative warmth. Drifts and enormous piles of pushed snow create natural playgrounds perfect for sliding or digging or staging a snowball fight. Tonka traverses snow just as well as soil or sand.
Right this minute, it's snowing outside. Big, fat globs of wet snow are swirling around my window. Inch upon inch, the snow is building, covering the mud, making the world pristine again. Though the wind growls a little, the snow is quiet and inspires a coziness that smoothes those feathers ruffled by a busy, stressful week.
As I look out the window, my breath freezes on the glass. With a smile, I reach up and etch out a prescription: One full day of tranquility, to be taken slowly, preferably with hot chocolate, guitar music, and a good book.
Ah...just what the doctor ordered.
The mountain of snow beside my house has become something of the ultimate sandbox. Not only is snow fun to slide on and dig in, but it holds its shape much better than sand ever could. So roads and caves will last and last, at least until the sun breaks up the party.
The two dark spots to the right of the Tonka truck are the beginnings of snow caves. Having grown up in the South, I am basically fascinated by that kind of thing and I am tempted to get out there, myself.
My next door neighbor and summertime walking buddy makes the most of what's left of her swing set.
Two buddies take turns swinging each other. The swing's chains had to be looped over the top of the swing set frame to provide clearance for swinging. There is about two feet of packed snow under the children's feet.
Mud and muck alternate with snow and ice this time of year. My snow boots don't like it much and, I must admit, neither do I.