Monday, November 25, 2013

The drawbridge...

Playing with Legos together in the loft of the mountain cabin on vacation...

It's Saturday night. Baths are done, and boys are listening to the sounds of "Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All" upstairs in their bunk beds. Ben has a horrible cough, cold, and fever, so I was glad to get him to bed a bit early.

(Life happened, and I didn't finish this over the weekend. C'est la vie. :)

Anyway, I've been thinking about winter evenings. Well, winter evenings and the tired that comes with busy schedules and how they mesh together well. The fall schedule has had me running tired. We've got Bible study and kid's choir practice and park playdates and, and, and...

Winter evenings and early darkness are working for me in that. David comes home, and not long after he comes in, I lock the door and turn off the outside light. It feels a little like pulling up the drawbridge on the castle. Oh sure, its not really. But there's a little feeling of retreat from the world in early winter evenings, cozy under blankets, reading stories, lighting candles at dinner.

Summer is for flinging the doors wide open, kids running around the house, late bedtimes... But winter? Winter is for cocooning and resting and feeling the tired in your bones and embracing it a little. It's for laying down in the bed at night, your head on your husband's shoulder, and thinking, "This may just be in the best part of the day."

It's for a big tray of Legos on the kitchen table after lunch instead of chasing them all outside. It's for listening to the littlest one say, "Eggo? Eggo?", and watching him grin as he drops a piece and attempts to crawl on my lap. It's for smelling his hair while we all watch the "Charlie Brown Mayflower Voyage" before nap.

I finally figured out how to slow cook beef stew without either burning or rubberizing the meat in the process, and Seth and I came home from choir practice last night to a delicious smell and two freshly scrubbed little boys in their pj's. Ben came running for me to give me a hug, and I got dinner going.

Whenever I'm tempted to wish we had a gas fireplace because it would be so much easier, I need to remember their excitement last night at carrying in the kindling they have gathered and the logs from the wood box. I need to remember that we can't roast marshmallows over a gas fireplace. I should remember that I read a little bit of "Farmer Boy" around the fireplace after they had plenty of hot, burnt sugar in their tummies. It was the part about tapping the trees for maple syrup and collecting wintergreen berries in the snow.

We cut off the lights, and we used nothing but a few candles and the firelight for awhile. We talked about the past, about the cold and the lack of electricity and the blessings of light bulbs. It was good. It was slow and as quiet as it ever gets with little boys climbing up and over the sofas and chairs.

So I'm not feeling guilty about pulling in and not going anywhere for a few cold days before Thanksgiving. We'll paint with watercolors, play with play dough, make Goody O'Grumpity's spice cake, wait for the new dishwasher to be delivered, and make Indian headdresses.

We'll be thankful for winter. 

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

But you CAN roast marshmallows over a fire pit in the backyard. And hotdogs. I say go with the gas. Inside at least.