Date Stamp: Monday, January 9, 2017
This is my first winter in the Pacific Northwest and, apparently, it is a record-breaking year for snowfall, cold temperatures, and freezing rain. You would think a California girl would be out of her element, but actually, I'm enjoying it immensely. Don't hold me to this in March, but I don't think it's just the novelty of the weather that is making me so happy. I have been here for four months now and am still delighted. Delighted by the weather. Delighted by the slower pace and kinder people.Enchanted by the views from kitchen. There are times when I stand in my kitchen, making tea and gazing out at the valley below with it's lake and it's pine trees, and I will suddenly feel immense joy washing over me. I feel like I'm home. Which is funny because I have never lived in the PNW before. I can't explain it. Maybe it is the novelty of being somewhere new. Maybe it's the thrill of adventure. Maybe it's my forty-seven years finally settling in and allowing me to be at peace with myself. Whatever it is, I'll take it.
Over Christmas, we made a quick trip back to see my family in California and we all realized again how much more we love the lifestyle here. Not that there is anything inherently wrong there, it's just not for us. Even my eleven year old daughter, felt it. We also realized that 60 degrees now feels downrigh balmy compared to 40! Did we really used to bundle up when it got that "cold"?
New Year's Eve was magical. Big, fluffy snowflakes, falling from the sky in total silence. We ran outside with our new friends who were celebrating with us and just stood there. Time stopped for a minute. It was one of those times when, even in the moment you are experiencing it, will live in your heart forever. Another snow day, my daughter and I, stir crazy, ventured out into the local woods for a hike. At one point, I began to recite Robert's Frost's poem, Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening. It was a poem I had to memorize in fifth grade and never forgot. At first I was tentative about reciting it out in the open for all to hear, but then it just began to spill out of me. Poetry should be recited in hikes in the woods on a regular basis. It's magical.
Date Stamp: January 18, 2017
I hate snow. I wrote the journal entry above a week ago and then forgot to publish it because we were hit with a massive snow storm. We got stranded at the bottom of our neighborhood and had to hike up a big hill, in the snow, at night. We were snowbound for five days straight. We have had more snow days than I even want to count (hello school in July!), and our heater broke three days ago and still isn't fixed. Just wanted to share this little update so I can't be accused of romanticizing my life. But seriously, despite all of it, I still want to stay. So take that PNW weather! You can't get rid of me that easily.