Last Thursday, I had a mid morning appointment that was an hour and a half from home. I got up, got dressed, collected my things and headed out the door. As I flung my purse in the passenger side and climbed into the van, I was shivering from the cold. The temps were hovering around one degree with a windchill lower than that. My first attempt to turn on the van resulted in a stuttering, coughing sound as I watched the instrument panel flicker and the arrows dance. Try as I may, it would not start. In its whining and sputtering, it was echoing my own sentiments about the temperature. Defeated, I went back inside and rescheduled my appointment.
It was a far cry from this afternoon, when the kids and I pulled up to the park with bikes and helmets loaded in the back. 73 degrees! It’s been months since we have been to our creek. In fact, I think the last time was before my dad’s surgery. As winter set in, I figured we would not see it until spring because of the long walk to get us there. But with the weather being so nice today, I decided to take the kids to see how our creek has faired during the winter.
C and Big E put on their helmets and road their bikes along the path to the creek. Baby E and I followed on foot. When we got there, we took some time to point out the differences. The water was higher. The pebble beach was smaller. The island in the center of the creek was gone. The kids dipped their fingers in the frigid water, rubbing the slimy stones that blanketed the stream bed. With the leaves gone, and the bare branches stretching to the sky, our stream felt exposed. Not two hundred yards away, construction has begun on what will undoubtably be a swath of townhomes and chain restaurants, but thankfully it is happening down stream and shouldn’t taint our water.
When the kids bored of the scene, they got back on their bikes and we continued down the trail until their legs tired, and sweat beaded on their faces. They were ready to go back. We made it to the playground and they ran and played and laughed for an hour. After weeks and weeks of harsh weather we welcomed the sunshine on our faces and the warm breeze playing with our clothes!