Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter Busy-ness in the Desert Southwest

Today, I 'm taking care of some business and writing this post for the Etsybloggers monthly blog carnival. When I read the current topic choices, I really had a hard time figuring out how to adapt to winter themes when I live in an area where our winter is a lot like most other places' springs and summers!

While so many of you are struggling to keep kids and grandkids occupied when the weather is miserably cold and snowy or schools are closed when it's really bad, here in the Valley of the Sun, we are enjoying the best weather of the year! Yes, we get some wet weather at this time of the year, but the daytime temperatures often still climb into the 70's - which means the parks are full of kids, families are out taking evening strolls, and we can actually enjoy being outside barbecuing or gardening or even taking a dip in the pool (especially if it's heated!)

This is definitely the time of year that Al and I fight the urge to call family back in the Midwest and on the East Coast and gloat about the weather... a quick reminder that in just a few months we'll be dreading 110+ degree weather and all that comes with it is usually a good enough reality check for me...not to mention that I can still remember living in Illinois when my kids were little and dealing with snowsuits and shoveling snow.

I honestly can't remember the kids really being bored though back then - after all, Mom was just as likely to instigate a snowball fight or suggest building a snow fort as the kids were! There were contests to see who could build the biggest snowman, or shovel the most sidewalk area the fastest *wink* and then we'd all head indoors to enjoy pb&j's or s'mores with hot chocolate to warm us up. Of course, video games had barely made their way into daily life, so there was a plethora of board games to play and I also enjoyed getting the kids involved in crafts or storytelling or (one of our favorites) dumping out the two good sized boxes of legos we had and proceeding to use all the pieces to build the biggest *insert choice here* you've ever seen.

I know times have changed over the last 25 years, but I still think that given the chance with my grandchildren, I'd probably pursue the same type of activities with them - of course now it would be during the summer here when it's too hot to be outside and the snacks would be sno-cones or popsicles instead of cocoa and s'mores. I'm looking forward to the games and the skits and the crafting contests that I know are in our future. There are so many trails to hike and things to do outdoors at this time of the year - maybe that's why we haven't allowed ourselves to get swept into the video game abyss - I can just think of so many more fun and interesting things to do with a child's time - or mine for that matter! However you spend your wintry days, remember to enjoy them - create memories, laugh, love, and remember what's truly important.

"Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. " ~ Henry David Thoreau

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