Written by Britt Lynn
Hello! I sure do hope everyone has recovered from Christmas and from ringing in 2023. I know for many it was bittersweet, but for some, it was a relief that we made it here at all. So, what’s my next hurdle to overcome?
The winter weather!
I’ve lived my entire life… thirty-something years… in the south. Over the past few years, winter here has become milder and milder; however, when it does snow around here, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with snow!
If snow is predicted in the weather forecast around here, life as we know it comes to a halt. But, not before running to The Pig for milk and bread, whether they need it or not. Trying to find a parking place to get into the store, well, you better just be in your hiking shoes. Grocery checkout lanes are actually lined up for miles… all for milk and bread! What in the world do people do with those two items? Soppy bread sounds gross to me. I sure hope they already have some cereal in the pantry or sandwich meat in the fridge to go with it!
We get excited (not necessarily in a good way) if snowflakes start trickling down from the sky. We get on the phone to our kin and say, “Did you see that snow?”… even if it’s just a few flakes. And, our true, (and legitimate fear, I might add), is an ice storm. The kids are glued to their phones or the TV waiting for our county schools to close, and, if we have lost power (which we do when the wind blows too hard), we get excited when we see the power company trucks go down the road. Nonetheless, it is a trying time for us Southerners.
I’m a summer lover. I enjoy going to the beach, being outside enjoying the sunshine with the kids, and a little bit of flower gardening. Of course, I don’t appreciate the mosquitoes, ticks, and snakes. You take the good with the bad I suppose.
When the gloom of winter rolls around, I have to admit that it gets me down a little. It seems like in January and February, I find myself wishing away my life as I yearn for spring and warmer weather. Does anyone else feel that way? I’m sure I’m not alone.
We did manage to make a brief family trip to the mountains over the holidays. Packing for three kids almost makes you want to stay at home; however, my Dad provided us with accommodations as a Christmas gift… and we just couldn’t pass it up.
The morning we left, it was crazy trying to get us all out the door. I had decided we would hit the road by 8:00 AM. Why do kids want to drag their feet when you’re trying to meet a deadline? How do they know? Why do they do it? What’s their agenda? I suppose they are just oblivious to the world around them at times. It actually sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? Just doing what you want, when you want, or if at all! Oh, and by the way… We left the driveway at 7:30 AM, thirty whole minutes ahead of schedule. Yes!!! (Fist pump)… Nailed it!
Whoever said that getting there was half the fun obviously was not in the car with us. One is sleepy and needs a bottle, one needs a bathroom break, and one is bored and eye-rolling in the third-row seat complaining about being cramped. “When are we going to get there? He’s touching me!, and I’m hungry” seemed to be the primary concern for six hours. Again, I ask myself “Why did we even leave the house?” How do you keep your kiddos entertained on your road trips?
I have found that the best way to endure a long car ride is to simply keep them occupied. Singing is fun, but there was only a limited number of renditions of Jingle Bells I could belt out on our holiday trip. It’s best to be prepared with a variety of activities designed specifically for your little’s age. At BKS, we strive to find activities that your child will enjoy and look fondly upon when thinking about the family road trips that they enjoyed as a child… and that you barely survived! Here are a few options… Take a look at our selections for the 10 Best Road Trip Car Games! And, don’t forget to save some new activities for the trip home, too. I hope your next excursion will be a memorable one, in a good way that is!
The Smoky Mountains have always been a favorite tourist destination for me and my whole family. Growing up, we would go once, maybe twice a year. I have very fond memories of it all. As snow in that area is very beautiful, there again… my love/hate feeling about it kicked in. I certainly think it’s beautiful, but was ever so thankful it did not put a damper on traveling to the area or hinder my shopping plans.
Overall, we returned home safe and sound and thankful for the family time together… even though one cousin tried to squirt a tube of frosting up their nose while decorating gingerbread houses! (There’s always one, right?) It actually did snow there the following week, as the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area did enjoy a white Christmas. Good for them!
I hope you were able to travel over the holidays if you could get away. With the pandemic still looming, we were extra, extra careful, of course. Additional items I packed included a drum of hand sanitizer, a case of Lysol, and a crate of masks. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration… but not too far off. I was constantly disinfecting everything – if it stood still long enough. Keeping those six little hands washed, masks on, and six feet apart from others was difficult as I’m sure all of you Mom’s know all about. So far… so good!
However, there’s still time left for a weekend winter excursion if you are so inclined. At BKS, we’ve done a little research if you need some winter trip destinations to consider. Museums are a great way to introduce cultural experiences to the kids. Also, it’s a great wintertime activity. Check out this list outlining the 51 Best Museums for Kids in each state!
Actually, one good snowstorm a year will do me. I enjoy getting out and playing with the kids, building a snowman, and a little sledding. Santa did bring us a sled this year that maybe we will get to try out. If you are at home when the “big one” comes, be prepared. We have listed a few fun and exciting options for sleds if you are interested.
But, for now, I will focus on being thankful for the winter, for due to the pandemic, so many are not as fortunate to experience yet another winter season. I hope that your January has proved to be the beginning of a great 2023 for you and your family. Stay well!
Blessings to all,