Until I can upload pictures, this will be a wordy post.
Our flight over, we enjoy some car rental office hilarity with SpongeBob.
Well, for starters, we flew, we landed and we have all of our luggage, and the pleasure of this success is not lost on me. Maria has picked up some kind of flying phobia or anxiety. Hey, it's not my fault. I keep my white knuckle, prayerful flying challenges to myself. So, when we were buckling ourselves, preparing for take-off, Maria started breathing heavily, sighing and looking agitated, and then she started crying. "I don't like it here," was all she would say and she would not sit or be buckled. She would not be consoled, or bribed, and she would not stop crying and repeating, "I don't like it here." Oh dear. Seriously, I thought they would ask us to get off the plane. It got so bad, I started hoping they would ask us to get off the plane. She really got herself into a state. The cure? Exhaustion and repeated singing of a song she likes, softly repeated over her head. She spent most of the flight on my lap. Not sure how we are going to manage next week.
And now? Snow! Yes, we are the only family in Wisconsin vigorously, joyfully celebrating great big heaps of icy cold snow in March. And new snow has been steadily falling since this afternoon. It's so beautiful. Flakes, the tiniest crystals drifted onto my black glove and I was amazed by their delicacy and beauty. It is wonder-full.
We stomped out a toboggan run from the top of the yard toward the creek... not directed to the creek... no worries, we are being very careful. The snow is pretty hard, but down the slope it's been drifting, so there it is deeper, softer. Oh man, riding down that little hill is so much fun. We played for hours, maybe four, and we went back again when the snow started falling. Maria was out there, and Max and Alex, and William joined us after a while.
Tonight Carol treated us to a delicious tamale pie dinner, and Gabe and Betsy came with Jordan and Griffy. Sophie is still here. Phil left after dinner. Laura and Gary came for a few minutes before the Badger game in Madison. Jane called. I look around, hearing these voices, seeing these faces and I am home. This place is familiar and kind, welcoming, and it always has been. The first time I came here was December 1987, and of course now there are differences. We have aged, and there are new loved ones, and loved ones we miss. We have moved and changed and grown, and yet there is a timelessness to this home and the love that is shared here. I am so grateful and happy that our children can enjoy this place, and the memories that live here. I am happy that they are a part of the stories and traditions of this family. They play in the basement, like their dad did, and walk into town like their aunts and uncles have. They sit in the kitchen and eat Grandma Nancy's pie... it is so sweet to feel connected, to be in the embrace of family.