Today will be the first big snow of the season, five to eight inches over the next twenty-four hours.
I am a seasoned New Englander now, one can tell this by my new waterproof, insulated boots.
For the last eight years or so, I have worn the same pair of cowboy boots all winter. Back when I bought those boots, I was still quite new to New England, having gone through only one or two winters where I didn't get out much. And coming from South Carolina where it hardly ever snowed, I really thought they'd do.
I loved those leather boots. I wore them till the soles split and then kept wearing them, actually. But for the last two or three winters, on the coldest, snowiest, slushiest of days, I would covet my friends' insulated, waterproof boots.
Today I got to wear my new boots for the first time to work at the Y. Morning classes were still on in spite of the weather, though afternoon classes have been cancelled now that the snow is coming down in earnest.
One may wonder why I didn't get better winter boots sooner.
We were/ are always on a budget and it always seemed to be a choice between me getting another pair of boots or doing with the ones I had and getting the kids the right sized snowsuits, boots, coats, etc. I'm not tooting my own horn, just keeping it real.
These are the kinds of decision parents have to make all the time. I know this now that I am a parent and I have to make those kinds of decisions all the time. I'm not special. I'm just a mom. And there is only so much money to go around when you don't use credit cards and only one spouse works full time, even when he or she has a good job.
So, today my feet were warm outside for the first time ever. It was kind of transcendent. I am so thankful.
As I look ahead toward the winter, which is quite long in New England, I am actually filled with great joy. That might also be a first for me. The joy comes, mainly, from having a relationship with the Lord and knowing in my spirit that God wants me to live here. With the Lord's presence, anywhere is bearable and even pleasant. And my desire to be where God wants me to be outweighs my desire to be on the beach... most days.
I have also found ways of making the winter manageable to me- a lot of fires, one almost every evening, actually, chess games with my kids, lots of silent reading and reading aloud, heaps of fresh green vegetables to keep me alive, hours and hours of vigorous exercise to keep me out of hibernation, gallons of hot tea, and, of course, coffee.
And so begins my enjoyment of it.
Thank you, Lord.