The weather outside is STILL frightful

It’s been raining for over a week, pretty much non-stop, and we’re not so sure when it’s supposed to stop. The rain is accompanied by some pretty cold temperatures, so we’re all a little chilly these days.

We thought the worst of winter was over when during Spring Festival, temperatures were truly Spring like! It was only a brief reprieve though, and now we are back to winter.

JM was saying the other day that he used to really love winter – the cold runs outside followed by a hot shower and a warm living room to hang out in. These days though, our reality looks a bit different. We have persisted through winter here with what for us is a bare minimum of heat (and sometimes below what we would consider the bare minimum). We’ve struggled to dress our son warmly enough (he really does look like Ralphie from The Christmas Story right now!). We’re entirely grateful for having brought along two down sleeping bags, and we sleep each night in them when the temps really drop. The toughest part though, is when evening comes and we need to sit and do work – this also usually entails being zipped up as much as possible in our sleeping bags surrounded by our books. It also entails drinking copious amounts of hot water. We’re thankful for these things, and they make life bearable.

We’ve had our moments of fatigue with the cold, when enduring another day of seeing our breath in the kitchen and dining room (which have no heat whatsoever) is just a bit much. Or when our water supply freezes entirely for the morning (this is thankfully very rare and we’ve figured out to run the water at a drip all night to keep the pipes running). It’s at these times when we do long for home, for the ease of turning on endless supplies of hot water and effortlessly being warm. It takes up energy to stay warm here in the winter, and I’ll be grateful for Spring. Neither of us would say that Winter is our favorite season anymore, not even one we remotely like – at least in China.

When I was young, I read “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It chronicles her family’s very tough winter in Minnesota – they experienced bitter cold, tremendous snows, lack of food supply and firewood, amongst other sufferings. Although I’d never compare our situation to the Wilder family’s long winter, I do feel like I understand the harshness of cold more after having been through a winter in China. Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve always considered myself rather accustomed to the cold. But that was with quality furnaces and plenty of energy to run them all winter long, and cars to take me where I needed to go. I know I’ll appreciate the suffering of cold more now than before this winter.

We’ll also be looking for a better apartment with more reliable heating for next winter! I’m not going through another winter like this again on purpose :).

With March having arrived, I know Spring MUST be on it’s way… I can’t wait!


2 Responses to “The weather outside is STILL frightful”

  1. 1 Mom March 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I’ll make sure Michelle reads this the next time she complains about the house being cold as she walks around in her shorts, t-shirt, and bare feet. Yesterday was a “throw blanket” day as she crammed the weekend’s homework into the afternoon and evening hours.
    Also, I myself won’t complain one more time about this winter. It is Lent after all. Just for the record, though, the current 12 degrees promises to inch up to 20 today.

  2. 2 Becca March 4, 2009 at 2:38 am

    This so reminds me of Steubenville playing cards on the floor, drinking hot coffee, wrapped in our throws! (I can see your fleece throw in my head just now.) HOWEVER! I don’t believe we ever saw our breath in the dinning room! :o)

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