Once I realized it had been many months since my last trip north, my itchy foot and aching heart demanded that I visit children and grandchildren, pronto. It had been much too long since I had seen family and friends so I set off on the dreary, snowy morning last Tuesday to make things right. The first stretch of the trip, which usually takes 45 minutes, took almost two hours due to traffic moving at a snail's pace on the interstate. The weather was being a bear, but that was the only traffic issue it caused for the rest of the trip. I arrived to see my grandchildren shortly after their schoolday was done, full of excitement and energy.
The sun shone for most of the visit, allowing us to be outside and enjoy the crisp air and clean snow. The children had small "hills" of snow for sledding, courtesy of their dad's plow. I chose to jump back into the country life by bringing loads of firewood from the woodpile behind the barn to the smaller supply near the rear door of the house. It is true that firewood warms you twice. I wore a cotton turtleneck with a sleeveless fleece zippered hoodie and was as warm as could be.
I saved one day to spend with a dear friend who had recently lost her brother. We chatted away the hours and I felt as if I had never moved away. We talked of everything from recipes to the stock market, and I was caught up on all the local goings-on by the time we ran out of things to say. We chat on the phone every other week or so but once we sit in the same room, time is irrelevent.
One day was saved for time with my youngest son and his sweet girlfriend. It makes me smile just to be with them. Lunch was at a local spot where I enjoyed an excellent beef stew with slabs of fresh whole wheat bread. The kitchen is mostly open so we were able to watch much of the cooking and prep work.
My nights were cozy in the "extra" room, which has the added benefit of large windows that look out towards the field. In the middle of the night I can watch the stars or softly falling snow. I also kept the woodstove going by adding logs in the wee hours of the morning. Oh, how I miss that warmth from the woodstove now that I'm back home.
So between family and friends, good food, games, resting, and rejuvenation, it was a winter getaway of epic proportions.