Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The long winter.

Right now the children and I are reading "The Long Winter" which is the 6th book in the Little House on the Prairie series. It's long, and the whole book is about blizzards and almost dying of starvation. We are all riveted right now because Ma Ingalls had a surprise piece of frozen codfish she was saving for really desperate times. You know, cuddly, feel good visions, right before bedtime...

What's funny to me is that we are reading this book, for the first time, during our longest winter. Well, really our only winter ever experienced to date, since Texas has no winter. And since I know ya'll have missed my weather updates as much as I have missed posting them (take that as you will) I thought I would share a little of what we have been experiencing this past week.

All of my Texas family and friends will appreciate these pictures as they frolic around in their jeans and t-shirts, and all my northern readers, including Poles, will be able to empathize...

Out my window.

Diversions. Indoor bowling with blocks and a baseball. Downstairs.
A rare moment of these two getting along  long enough to cook me a pretend meal as I sit and knit with Kacio in my lap and Felek staring out the window. Diversions.
The Church we go to on Wednesday mornings. Carmelites.
Directly across the street from the Carmelites... Economics University. Beautiful grounds.
He'll  be waitin' for the spring thaw I reckon.
Frozen trees. From a moving car. I am only one woman. And it's frickin' freezing out there.
Largest snow plow ever. Snowplows rarely get our house before 10am unless they are running all night, which they do sometimes. And sometimes they don't and Martin shovels out our cul-de-sac. Good exercise.
The roof of our front entry way outside. That's a lot of ice.
More ice under snow. Fred, are you seein' this?!

Driveway of death. Not to be confused with bathroom of death which only smells like death. This driveway could actually lead to impairment. We have discovered the amazing abilities of sand. What you are looking at is actually one huge thick sheet of ice covered in sand.
Badangle but that is where the driveway meets the road. Road in black, driveway in ice, about an inch or more thick.
Igloo built by the kids a couple days ago. Solid ice with snow on top.
More ice, on branches, with snow on top. It's crazy lookin'. I know this is normal for the Poles but come on, give me a break!  This is my first winter and all.
A cool bird.
What we give the children to fight off scurvy. Or gout. Or whatever it is you get when the sun don't shine.

Of course the ice makes it so you don't want to venture too far from home. It can be dangerous. And the air quality is such that Martin now requires the children to wear masks if they want to play outside (some would say he is overreacting but ya'll, it's really a problem) and kids inside all day can be tense. Everything is wet all the time and my feet are always cold, no matter what, but other than that...

...for whatever reason, I am loving this season. Maybe it's because I am naturally an introvert and this kind of weather makes it ok to stay indoors and curl up with books and games with just the family. Or maybe because it really forces us all to slow down in mind as well as body, which is hard to do when the sun is shining brightly and you feel as though you need to be thinking of the next activity. Whatever it is, it has been good. We have been meeting so many new friends, just in the past few weeks. Many of them are invited over to our house this coming week, some of them we have never even met in person. All of them, I have met, one way or another, through this blog.  The children are getting regular help with their Polish work from a wonderful college aged student who comes once a week to play with them and also encourage them to speak Polish as well as looks over their schoolwork. And lastly, but  most enthusiastically, I just spoke with a lovely lady today who has a lead on a great opportunity for the the boys and Lina ( Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, here in Krakow)!! I am so hoping this works out. We had this program in Texas and it was wonderful.

We have been meeting so many new families and  making new friends, I think I can say that now, "friends," not just online acquaintances or "contacts," but friends. And that's nice, you know? You start to feel like you belong. And once you might as well stay.  ;)

I would like to leave you with this quote from Pa (Charles) Ingalls that made me smile as I check my wireless furnace control and flip the switch on my electric kettle...

“These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves -- they're good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em.” 

Oh, Pa, if you only knew...


  1. That does look cold... no snow in our parts, but a sweater required the last few days... hopefully back to t-shirt in a few weeks :)

    Hey, Marcin - How are you adapting to life in Poland after going up (mostly?) in the US? Was it what you were expecting?


    1. I have been asking him these many months to write a "guest post" for the blog but he always says he's too busy. I think it's time, Martin. It's time.

      It's cold, although we don't stay out in it too long. We have the luxury of a car. The ice though. The ice is something else. Everything is just coated in a thick layer of ice. Incredible.

    2. I personally would be interested to know his perspective... esp. as I'm in a similar situation.

      That does look cold... incredible how thick that is. Wouldn't want to commute to work in that everyday.