Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cool Things About Winter!

As most of you know, our family loves snow and was looking forward to experiencing our first "real" winter! We haven't been disappointed. We truly live in a winter wonderland. And it's refreshing to live where winter is actually celebrated. (Although the North Country has its share of grumblers who can't wait for spring too!)

I know that spring is beginning to spring for some of you, but I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the reasons that our winter has been "cool" ....

Reason One ... The Town Skating Rink

Take one empty parking lot. Add water. Chill for several cold starry nights. You've just created the scene for many hours of fun and some pretty fierce hockey games! Our girls had never ice skated, so they kept begging to try. The afternoon of their first skating experience was a crispy cold 9 degrees, but that didn't put a chill on the enthusiasm.

Sodie's friends were all too eager to help! They dragged her onto the ice before she even had time to get nervous.

CorrieAnne preferred the old-fashioned chair method!

Oops! It's nice to have a helping hand up when you wipe out!

As with anything athletic, Sodie caught on very quickly. Within a half an hour, she was the goalie for the hockey game. Here she is saving a puck from passing between the boots (goal).

Reason Two - Spectacular Ice Displays

Wayne drives by these beauties every day on his way to and from work. What you can't fully see are the stunning colors ... minty green and eggshell blue! The minerals in the rocks cause the colors.

About 2 miles from our house is Chapel Pond - a beautiful pond with rock cliffs behind it. Ice climbers flock there to climb the magnificent ice formations that cover the cliffs.

In early February, we enjoyed a Saturday at the Saranac Lake Ice Festival - featuring the famous Ice Palace. It was big enough for 30-40 people to walk around inside. (My inside pics didn't turn out.)

The 2009 theme was Pirates of the Adirondacks. Here are the girls and I inside the pirate ship. It was very ... slippery!

And Wayne and the girls with the ice cannon.

Reason Three - Staying Warm Can be Fun

Our coldest morning!!!

We've keep our woodstove burning almost around the clock since early October. Wayne has been cutting dead trees down on the mountain behind our barn. But ... how to get those big logs down to the woodshed?

Yep ... you're seeing right! He loads them on a plastic sled and rides them down his own version of the bobsled track! (He's having way too much fun with this!)

My job is keeping the fires going while everyone's at work and school. Occasionally I get distracted and forget. So I've become somewhat of an expert at rescusitating dying fires! (Notice I have my very own leather gloves ... in girly pink!)

Reason Four - Really Cool School Activities

Remember when winter meant indoor gym class and endless games of dodgeball? Not here! Our girls have been enjoying weekly sessions of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!

Field trips are pretty fun here too. Here CorrieAnne's third grade class posed for a picture at the 2009 Luge World Championships. Just as they snapped the picture, a luge team shot by! Traveling at over 80 mph, you can imagine what a "once-in-a-lifetime" shot this was! (CorrieAnne is in the back row on the left ... lime green coat.)

Reason Five - Climbing Mountains with Friends!

Last weekend, Wes and Wayne enjoyed an invigorating hike to the top of Rooster Comb. The trail was solid ice, but they were able to climb right up with their rented snow shoes with ice cleats. They arrived just in time to watch the sun set and then made their way down in the dark ... very carefully!

So for all of you who worried that we would freeze up here in the North, it has been a good first winter! We have enjoyed the beauty and have found ourselves growing hardier ... as evidenced by the fact that one day I took a walk because it felt so nice outside. I returned home to discover that it was only 15 degrees!

As your tulips and daffodils push through the ground, think of us. We'll be seeing those around May!