The temperature finally crossed the freezing line and for the first time in six weeks I was able to get my car out of the garage. Oh, sweet freedom! I ran errands. But it still counts as freedom, right? I had a coffee I didn’t make in one hand, and for a few seconds in each parking lot I paused to enjoy the slightly-more-than-freezing temperatures.
I am counting it. March makes me want to spring clean. Today, the kids were goofing around on the floor while wearing black fleece track pants, and now they look like they rolled in a box of puppies and lint, and I can’t stop bookmarking all those crazy link-bait DIY homekeeping sites that keep popping up, promising me ten, twenty, thirty-five, fifty ways to Get Organized. It’s a hate-read, really. A self-hate read. The more tricks I see for perfect organization, the more pseudo-clever innovations, the more frustrated I get. There is a lot of privilege in being able to write a blog post about how you organized your dedicated craft room, your over-sized mudroom, your enormous kitchen pantry, your three-car garage. After a while, I start adding the word ‘asshole’ to the end of every organizing tip I read, just to keep myself sane. I mean, really – I am all for being organized, and living in a clean home, but at some point we seem to have substituted ‘decanting everything into chalk-board label covered mason jars’ for ‘having a meaningful life’.
This weekend we went down to the lake with squirt bottles filled with food dye and water, and painted on the giant ice floes piled up on the beach, had lunch with another family and hung out at their house for awhile, and painted birdhouses in anticipation of spring. Tonight I am going to patch all the girls’ jeans, because they wear through the knees of everything they own, make a meatloaf for dinner, practice their sight words with them, figure out a grocery list for the week, update our calendar, and then have a cocktail. Its a perfectly ordinary weekend, only possible because we are out from the oppressive cold of the polar vortex. It isn’t the end of winter, yet: my front walk is a skating rink so slick that the post office won’t deliver our mail to the house, and we still have flannel sheets on all the beds, but for the first time in months, I have a little hope that the end of the long freeze is coming, and with it, Spring.