Not Without a Fight

DSC00025Yesterday, I stated that “spring is getting serious” and I stand by what I said.

However, winter is a fierce old warrior and dumped two inches of snow on us today in the early morning hours. At work people were complaining that, “It is April 4th, winter should be over by now”.

But winter is over, spring has already won. It has conquered the rivers. It has awakened the animals: birds, insects and mammals. It has helped the grass to begin growing again.

Now it would be perfectly acceptable for winter to save its pride and concede with dignity at this point. After all, winter had a good run this year. It draped the land in a thick layer of snow and held it there, unflinching for months. Now the power it once had wanes steadily every day, while spring continues to grow in might.

Winter, though, never surrenders. Today it summoned all the strength it could to cover the countryside in snow, knowing that the effort is in vain.DSC00029

Everywhere spring is taunting.
The river roars with victory.
The birds twitter in laughter at its feeble attempts.
The grass grows steadily greener.

People are grumbling as they trudge quickly through the melting snow.

Every instinct, every bit of common sense screams at winter to stop the fight, to move on, to rest and regain its power to use in full force at the end of autumn.

But winter battles on despite the taunts, the grumbling and the date on the calendar. While it has any strength left, it will fight.

And that is why I admire winter more than any other season.
It never gives up.

Historic Monday Commute

So today I set two personal records.

It was my coldest bike ride ever, at 9F. We are in single digits, baby!

Also, today marks the first time I arrived late to work while biking. If you have read this post you already know that I will conquer even great difficulties to get to work before 5AM. So the very fact that I got to work late means that I must have had a super crazy morning.

Or not.

The reason I got to work late today was because….iwasthinkingaboutvegetables. In the middle of my commute I just kinda zoned out and pedaled along in my own little world, at my own pace, a pace slow enough to make myself five minutes late to work. Because of vegetables. Apparently thinking about the many awesome ways to cook and eat vegetables is my weak spot. Roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and sautéed carrots do not a fast cyclist make. Forget what you learned in health class, veggies DO NOT insure stronger, faster muscles. And that is what I discovered at 5:05 this morning.

To work (10 miles)
4:00 am to 5:05 am

9F, 7 mph Southeast wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava, ski goggles,
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, hoodie, rain jacket
Hands: knit gloves, winter gloves
Legs: 2 pairs of yoga pants, thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: I kinda went a little overboard on the layer department, but I went so slow I didn’t overheat. Actually, come to think of it, I can’t really be sure, can I? I mean if hallucinations of vegetables are powerful enough to make me late to work, surely they can keep someone from realizing how cold or hot they are.

From work (10 miles)
3:35 pm to 4:35 pm

27F, 15 mph Southeast winds, 24 mph gusts

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: I stayed nice and warm. The only exception was one side of my forehead. When a gust of wind blew against it just right, I felt like I was getting a brain freeze. But it wasn’t bad enough for me to actually stop and put on my ski goggles.

Biking and Babysitting

Why would someone wake up before 5:30 on their day off to bike 12 miles to babysit children for free?

(The children are my nephews and nieces + they are the most adorable things ever = I will take care of them whenever possible, under any circumstances)

To say I had a fun day yesterday would be the understatement of the year.

We played zoo for most of the day. My 3 year old nephew and I went to visit the zoo, while my 2 year old nephew was the zookeeper.

A friendly word of caution, beware of taking your pet monkey to the zoo. By the time we left the zoo he had magically transformed into a goat named Gabby. It was slightly disturbing.

When it was time for me to leave my 2 year nephew started crying. (I was in the middle of reading to them, oops.) I asked him, “Don’t you want to see auntie bike away with cool lights?” He nodded yes with a tear-stained face. Thank goodness, because I needed to leave asap to get to worship practice in time.

The bike ride back was epic. I rode in decently heavy falling snow/sleet stuff. I passed cars with their hazard lights on. I battled wind and sudden gusts. There was lightning.

It was exhilarating. I think I might be able to pull this car free lifestyle off! Feel so free and independent right now.

To Nephew’s and Niece’s House (12 miles)
6:10 am to 7:20 am

42F, 17 mph Southwest wind

I wore
Head: ear muffs
Torso: t-shirt
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: warm

From Nephew’s and Niece’s House (14 miles)
5:05 pm to 6:20 pm

32F, 16 mph West wind, 32 mph gusts, snow/sleet

I wore
Head: ear muffs, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, long sleeve shirt
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: My feet got quite cold, since they ended up getting wet. Getting pounded by sleet stung my face like crazy.