We live in Boston. Winter in Boston is never easy. There’s snow, and ice, and and winter colds. There’s shoveling and storms and canceled plans. This year has been particularly bad. In fact, this has been the worst winter in Boston in recorded history. Four epic snowstorms in rapid succession have dumped 95.7 inches of snow on our city within the space of three weeks. School has been canceled 6 days out of the last fifteen. Simple things like making a trip to the corner store is now a life-threatening experience.
But me? I thought I had it all figured out. We were going away for February break. On a CRUISE. To someplace WARM. For FIVE WHOLE DAYS. Another storm hits Boston? No problem. I’m on YouTube watching videos of families in bathings suits splashing down water slides on their cruise ship. That will be us in just two more weeks. Kids are at home for yet another snow day? No problem. I’ve got my eyes closed, imagining the warm Caribbean sun pouring down on my face in just one more week. Near collision as I pull out of my driveway, view completely obstructed by a ten foot snow bank? No problem. I just crank up my Jimmy Buffet tunes until I can almost taste the Strawberry Margarita I’ll be sipping on the Lido deck in just a few more days.
The big day finally arrived. Of course, given that this is the Winter From Hell, there was another enormous, shut-down-the-airport blizzard on our departure day. So we did what any desperate, vacation-craving family would do. Rebooked our flight, and drove to NYC, catching a plan out of LaGuardia a day early.
I desperately wish that I could say the vacation was heavenly. That we soaked up six days of sun and fun, creating the happy memories that will carry us through until spring. I’m still hoping I’ll feel that way in a couple of days. There were parts of the vacation that were like that. It was heavenly to walk around Miami in shorts and t-shirts. Watching the sunrise over the ocean was amazing. Looking up at the stars when the boat was in the middle of the ocean was indescribably beautiful and awesome. Plus we ate great food, participated in fun activities, and met interesting people. A successful vacation by almost every standard.
Then why do I feel so bad? I was close to tears all day yesterday. S kept asking me if I was sick.
I’m trying so hard to be grateful that we were able to go on this trip. It was a luxury by any standard, but especially during a winter like this.
I guess I’m bummed out for two reasons. First, I feel guilty. These storms have impacted my family’s life in inconvenient and slightly costly ways. (For example, when we noticed the ice dams beginning to form last week, we laid out an absolutely painful amount of money to the roofing company to shovel two feet of snow off our BRAND NEW ROOF.) However, I know that the minor inconveniences of snow days and unexpected expenditures are nothing compared to the impact these storms have had on people who depend on public transportation and can’t get to work, for example. I feel guilty when I can’t summon up the gratitude for my family’s health, safety and security… let alone a luxury like a vacation.
The other reason I feel bummed out is that it was SO HARD TO COME HOME TO THIS!! It feels like jumping back into a freezing lake after taking a break to warm up. It shocks your system to readjust to the cold. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to readjust to the ten-foot snow banks and icy roads.
I’m just about to wrap up this post, dear readers, and yet again I am struck by the therapeutic power of blogging. I hope I’m not coming off as whiny and impossible to please. As I’ve been writing, I’ve been acknowledging the difficult thoughts and feelings. I can feel my better self (joyful, appreciative, grateful) starting to bubble to the surface. Thanks for being the sounding board I need. I’ll leave you with a few photos of the happy moments I was telling you about.
Stay warm and safe, everyone!!