Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Good Kind Of Cold That Makes You Sleepy And Happy

Today was nice enough outside, with the sunshine and the mid-60s weather. We had two birthday parties to attend, but since Marta was due to nap during the first, she and I stayed back at home while B and Trevor went along without us. They circled back to get us just before dinner time, and we bundled on sweatshirts and jeans for the party at the state park.

I know I complain a lot about the winter months here in Petoskey. The dark, the cold, the never-ending snow -- it's just not me, and during those 8,000 months of winter each year, I continually wonder if we all -- me, the kids, the family, the marriage -- wouldn't be better, happier, somewhere else. 

But once spring is really, truly here, and there is no threat of snow or frost for at least four months, I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of gal. 

And evenings like tonight's just make me content. We went to wish our friends' daughter a happy 2nd birthday. They live adjacent to the state park, and had picked a private yet open area to grill hot dogs and hamburgers and let the kids run off the day's steam. The evening was brisk and got more so with each quarter hour. Our girls went feet-first into the big sandy area, where the rest of the kids played with little beach toys and searched for stones. There were bugs -- could there be more bugs in Petoskey right now? -- and even though we were constantly blowing the not-mosquitoes out of the girls' hair and reapplying the natural bug spray to their clothes, it was picturesque. The local sheriff drove by, taking his boat out of the water for the evening and waved, charcoal fires burned their rich, hard smell, grandmothers brought bean salads and fretted about keeping the buns away from the bugs. The kids ran safely yet not entirely supervised through the woods and the sand with hardly any real toys, instead improvising with sticks and imaginary obstacles. Burgers, bug spray and vinegar from the "famous" beans scented our clothes so that I can still smell the cold night, here in my warm chair. The thought went through my head that weren't we very Life In A Northern Town just now?

And to complete the vision, here we are at home with sleeping children, a sleepy house filled with the day's fun, and Trevor downstairs, going through his full playlist, each song bringing up memories of our courtship and marriage. 

It's all so very good right now.

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