Yes, I know it’s not Groundhog Day until Monday.
Still, the last week or so in the neighborhood has left me with a better understanding of the concept.
We’ve had a couple of weeks of milder weather. That fact, coupled with longer days has brought new life to our little neighborhood. When you’re not coming home in the dark, and if the weather is dry, there’s a small window of time for us to stick our noses out of our winter burrows and even go out to play in the cul-de-sac.
The darkness of late fall and early winters, with the heavy rain and shortening days, had driven us inside, leaving the cul-de-sac largely silent, save for our intentional comings and goings.
But given a dry afternoon, we step outside. Scooters and bikes get ridden. Footballs get thrown. (Interestingly, it was quite easy to throw and catch before I pumped it up to normal pressure…just sayin’.) Adults start chatting again while kids play.
Soon enough, I started perusing weather forecasts for predictions of dry weather and comparing them with open time on the calendar, and when those two happy occurrences lined up, we were off to the park. It’s happened four times in the last couple of weeks.
One Wednesday, during conference week, I was watching 4 kids. I took them to park. Harry and I tossed the football, and we all went and explored the woods. Then last Sunday, we joined the world at the park. Annie and Alissa played while Harry and I engaged in a little spring training. (Little league stuff starts next week!) Last night, after picking up the kids, it was back to Twin Ponds park for more ball throwing and duck watching.
Then there was today. It really felt like spring was on its way, not because of the cold overcast, but because of the various activities of the day. Annie had a play date with a classmate. (Her mom walked her over.) Harry and I played catch (baseball and football). The neat part was that, at various times today, all the kids on the cul-de-sac were outside playing.
In the afternoon Alissa and Annie went for a walk while Harry and I went out to the park. Another family was on the baseball diamond, just wrapping up. They offered us the field when we arrived and even played defense behind me when I threw Harry some batting practice.
It’s not just me.
I know it’s not even February yet, and that Seattle weather can break your heart in spring, but it’s nice to see my neighbors again and know that longer, dryer days are coming.
And that’s it for January.
I’m not sure what I’ll write about tomorrow. Any suggestions? I think there’s a football game or something.