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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Spring" at the park with two feet of snow

"Spring" in Jackson Hole, complete with two
feet of snow on the playground. Also,
sandals are a necessary spring accent.
Spring here in Jackson Hole has roared in like a lion. With it's mouth duct taped shut. And its mane shaved off. Underwater. In a solitary confinement chamber. In Antarctica.

Yeah, it's been one of those years. Just last week, we got more than 40 inches of snow in four days. You feeling me here yet? I guess you could just say it's winter right now on April 13. I expect to say the same of May 13 and maybe even June 13. Don't get me started on July.

Not that I'm complaining. The weatherman, however, is another story. Apparently, one of the local weather guys has gotten a lot of viewer complaints because he spends his three minutes whining about how bad the weather is. I'm pretty OK with the weather, but most people would like something more like, I don't know - spring?

So yesterday the sun was shining after some snow showers, a balmy 40-something degrees. No really - it felt balmy. So we went out to the park with the kids. Insisting it was spring, I wore my shorts, a T-shirt and a light, unzipped jacket with sandals. It felt beautiful. My daughter wore a mishmash outfit of blue jeans under a pink skirt with a green top under a red coat topped off (bottomed out?) with purple boots. My son, having seen the sun, insisted he didn't need a coat or anything, so he just wore his hooded track suit. Then we went outside.

Suddenly he wanted his coat.

Completely unstaged, our daughter grabbed
her brother'shand and they looked both
ways to cross the street to the park.
As we walked to the park, our daughter, 2, spontaneously offered her hand to her brother, 3, and they walked hand in hand down the neighborhood road toward the park. Some snow had melted off the expansive lawn, but large piles still stood around the marshy grass, and the playground itself had a good 24 inches still packed in there. We almost just walked right on by, continuing to the post office. But the kids bee-lined through the snow straight to their beloved playground equipment. Reluctant to follow through the snow in sandals, I watched from a distance as they climbed up through the slide.

My daughter, always ambitious, tried her hardest to go up the slanted tube, but found herself lacking, and began asking me for a push. Unable to resist, I tiptoed through the snow, only post-holing a couple times on my way. Toes reddened, I pushed her up the tube and followed her to the top. From there, I watched as the kids happily shimmied around the equipment. After every time they went down a slide, they would struggle through the snow to get back on. Several times, Daddy had to rescue a little girl stranded up to her knees in soft snow, which was cascading into the top of her boots. And this in sandals. Good times.

Our daughter even took a cue from the dogs that aren't supposed to be in the park and peed on a tree. It's OK, we were the only ones in the park. Shortly after the impromptu potty break from the girl who just can't hold it, the sun went down and we drug two reluctant children away from their summer fun in the snow.

So lousy spring weather doesn't mean you shouldn't treat it like spring. We even had a barbecue the other night just to show winter who was boss. The kids loved their time outside, even if they were dressed for winter.

What do you do when spring weather is lousy?

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