Monday, October 20, 2014


It is only October 20th. And yet this is what we woke up to today:

The view from my living room window this morning.

Okay, so technically, this isn't what it looked like when we woke up. When we woke up at 6am, it was still pitch black outside. This photo was taken shortly after 9am, when the sun finally came up enough to see.

So, right, it appears that I'm going to be a bit colder here this winter than I was last winter in Amman.

I've been joking (sort of) with everyone I run into at the Embassy that I'm going to stock up on butter and chocolate chips and go hibernate in my house until April or so. Really, I think I'll only need to hibernate for a week or so before I adjust. It'll take a few good days of baking and eating and reading and shivering at the window before I finally feel ready to go out and experience winter. Although, truth be told, I think winter is more fun to experience in, oh, I don't know, let's say... December, maybe?  Because October is still meant for apple cider and pumpkins and maybe a fleece jacket or a little cotton cardigan sweater and zip-up leather boots. It is not supposed to be about down jackets and scarves and clonking snow boots.

And yet, here we are. Ainsley came home from school this afternoon and told me that the teacher said she absolutely must wear snow pants to school tomorrow or she cannot go out at recess (emphasis Ainsley's). Now, I can hear a judgey neighbor or two already firing up Facebook to make fun of stupid unprepared moms such as myself, but truly, I did not understand that snow pants are required clothing for the school day. I always thought snow pants were for building snowmen on the weekends. So, true confession here: Ainsley has no snow pants. Kyra has a pair: some hand-me-downs from a friend in Jordan (thanks Sarah!). But not Ainsley. So it looks as though I'll need to break my self-imposed hibernation plan tomorrow already, in order to go out in search of some school-appropriate snow pants for my youngest.

I am from Los Angeles, you know, and in Los Angeles we do on occasion admire snow in the mountaintops that ring the city. But we don't actually, you know, live in it, on a daily basis, because that would be ridiculous. So I don't really understand how snow boots and snow pants and mittens are supposed to work. My friend JennD taught me how to tie a scarf properly in Beijing not too many years ago. When it snowed there, the kids threw on whatever warm clothes they had and went outside until hot cocoa time. There were no mandated school snow pants. There was just, dress warm, come in when you're too cold and we'll make cocoa together!

So this will take some getting used to.

I spent my day roasting tomatoes and garlic for soup, and baking homemade granola, and folding warm laundry. Quite domestic of me. Tomorrow, though. Tomorrow I will venture out in search of tiny snow pants, and if I'm lucky, I'll even figure out how to convert the European sizes to American so I don't have to return them on Wednesday.

I will conquer winter. I managed it well enough the last time we lived here in Moscow, and I did it again in Armenia, in China, and even in Kazakhstan, where snow regularly dropped from the sky at the rate of a foot a day, landing on my twisty, hilly driveway in impossibly heavy drifts in need of shoveling. And there I was, with my locally bought 100%-wooden shovel, flipping snow off the driveway with ease while building an impressive set of biceps. So I know I can do this.

It's just. Couldn't we have had a bit more time to enjoy autumn first?


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