There’s nothing like that in-between time of day when what the kids want is not available and are told “choose another option.”  It’s 5PM, nearing dinner time, and everyone is getting a little tired. Still the sunshine beckons, and the mere notion of spring pulls us outside.

In this case, we’re finally breaking into spring – even though we’ve had snow fall the last few days. The snow has mostly melted off the roof – enough to drop a ball that’s been stuck in the snow on the roof for quite a while.  There is a huge puddle under the basketball hoop, which now has become a new play space. The flower beds are free from snow and are ready to be cleaned out for this spring’s planting. At 50 degrees, and with more day light, we are all quite ready to get the bikes out and play.

When bikes are not yet available the kids are tempted to whine.  Then I spout out a list of options to choose from – outside, that include what they already have access to.  Then in the end, it’s making art with mushy snow and melted snow and beach toys that becomes the focus of outdoor entertainment.  Suddenly there is a strong sense of liberation as we simply play outside – without all the layers on. Granted, I am wearing my Patagucci down sweater – the perfect layering piece of clothing in Alaska (yes, I love you Patagonia!)

I am grateful to be interacting with nature and our bare hands again. I am grateful to see children excited about uncovering toys from the garage that have been put away for six months. I am grateful to simply sit outside on our front porch and smell this glorious fresh air, and hear the birds sing all around us. I am grateful we live on a wonderful street where the kids can safely play, ride on their scooter, and investigate nature – naturally.  I am grateful to see spring arrive, even if it’s a slow entrance.

Yes, spring time does give us a whole new list of options to pursue.  It’s great to have options. I feel as excited as the kids!  Life in Alaska is grand – and limitless!

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