It's spring break at the school where I teach, so Caroline and I spent some time roaming around the east coast for the past several days, taking in the sea, sailboats, and even a bit of sun. Breaking away from routine is always nice, even for a few days.
Even though it's nice to be home with the people you love and a routine you feel comfortable with, it's still a little hard to adjust. It takes time.
But today there was no time. One kid needed to be driven to school. The dog needed to be walked. And the snow--blessed snow--needed to be removed from our sidewalks.
We returned last night, and this morning awoke to yet another three inches of snow on the ground. This, on top of the 69 inches we've already had this winter, making it the second or third snowiest winter on record, depending on which airport you use.
And what has usually been a light, fluffy type of snow (because it's been so unbelievably cold) this morning was "heart attack" snow. Heavy. Sticky. Thick. The kind that makes your back hurt and may even give you a heart attack (for real!).
You know what? Re-entry is hard.
My parents who live in a sunny, warm climate, have told me that I really haven't complained about the weather much this winter.
Maybe they haven't heard me say it, but I've surely complained in my heart because, you know, there's the persistent cold to deal with (I'm so DONE with the red, puffy parka and boots!), the neighbor who apparently doesn't own a snow shovel and also doesn't notice that SOME PEOPLE WALK THEIR DOGS AROUND HERE!, and the constant tracking in of slush that leaves my floors less than desirable.
I could go on, but I won't.
Because, honestly? I know people who complain incessantly about the weather and it gets a little tiring to listen to. Which is why I really actually have tried to hold my tongue this winter.
Winter is winter and there's not much you can do about it.
And besides, when I really think about it, I realize that I may have one reason to complain, but I have thousands of reasons to NOT complain. I'd rather focus on those.
Like my daughter taking a trip with me.
Or another learning to take brave steps.
Or the fact that Kate wasn't hurt in her accident.
Or "Phantom of the Opera," which we got to see a couple of weeks ago, or "Bye Bye Birdie," which Julia will perform in this week.
Or having the privilege of speaking to a marvelous, caring group of women who blessed my soul.
Or . . .
We all know it. We all know it's a matter of perspective, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of just what that perspective should be.
So this morning, as I painstakingly shoveled the back-breaking snow, I looked up and what I saw was . . .
. . . brilliant.