I usually shy from using figures of speech containing outdated gender stereotypes, but in this case, I'll make an exception. These first few weeks of winter weather, they serve an overarching purpose: to separate the boys from the men. The plummeting temps force us to put our money where our mouths are and man up. Full disclosure: I am not running through the winter. It sucks, it's cold, it's slippery, and I figure I'll get some cardio in walking the girls to and from school.
Which brings me to manning up: I committed us to being a walking family, and that's what we're going to do. Rain or shine, -30 or +30, we're walking to school. Today was the first bitterly cold day and I was really proud of how Abby and the girls cowboyed up, donned their layers and got out the door before I did.
Reward: Lukewarm tea in the mugs my siblings and I sipped from growing up. Playing in front of the fireplace to warm cold toes and noses. Stocking up on Kleenex to handle to snotcicle factor.
These days are forbiddingly cold and mean that we can't spend our mornings at the park or the river like in the warmer days. We can still make time to explore our landscape in its new winter coat, but shorter intervals, to be sure. Otherwise, we are retreating into our homemade den and getting our arts and crafts on.
Our location is in close proximity to grocery, auto repair, drug store, restaurants, tons. Since moving here and settling in, it became really important to me to transport myself on foot when possible. Not when convenient and comfortable, but when possible. Freezing temperatures separate the boys from the men. So, I am layering up and walking out the door: to pick up the van at the service garage, to get the groceries, to deliver Christmas cards. I might get cold, but I am enjoying traipsing around my hood on foot. Especially when I have a roaring fire waiting for me at home.