Nev the cat, very much enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather.
We've had a string of warm, sunny days and all of a sudden the ratio has switched so you can not only see the grass that's been hiding all winter, but there is now more grass than snow visible on the ground. It changes everything. This evening after dinner Zach took the boys down to the playground where they ran around and played for a few minutes in the fading (but not so long ago would have been completely dark) daylight, with a few last patches on snow still dotting the ground where mere weeks ago everything was submerged in like 2 feet of snow. I'm tempted to put my big puffy down coat for sale, though I will wait a few more weeks for fear of jinxing us (Murphy's Law dictates if I get rid of it too soon, there will of course be a big cold snap to follow. Yes, magical thinking is completely irrational... and yet....well I guess I never claimed to be that rational...).
There is dirt all over the sidewalks (since this winter it kept getting cold enough that salt wouldn't melt the ice, so they'd have to put down dirt for traction), and somehow tons of it has migrated onto our porch. I swept it all off tonight, in an act that felt symbolic. As did moving the snow shovel into the storage closet. A minor but important little bit of spring cleaning... Preparing the porch for using our outside toys again, for spending time playing out there and sitting on the front steps for snack, actually enjoying being outside rather than gritting our (or just my) teeth against the bitter cold. I am looking forward to lots and lots of time playing out of doors, in the sun, the kids all playing and chasing each other, flowers blooming, and yes maybe even eventually complaining about it being a bit too warm outside, one day when this godforsaken cold winter feels like a distant memory.
...and yet. Each passing day on the calendar brings not only spring and warmth and wonderfulness, but also brings us closer to the day when we will leave here, when we will move back to California. This move arises in me such a mess of emotions it's hard to know how to deal with it all. Relief and gratefulness for Zach having a job that is not only secure, but was highly desired; excitement and comfort at going back to the bay area, with familiar people and places (...and weather I won't constantly bitch about); stress and anxiety over figuring out the actual details and logistics of our move- finding housing, selling and buying cars, transporting ourselves, our stuff, the cats, etc etc etc; and then there is the gut-wrenching heartbreak over having to say goodbye to our very dear friends who have become like family. That one is gonna be....tough.
I expect to spend the next few months oscillating among all of these emotions, trying to make sense of it all, trying to make the most of these last couple of months here. Trying to focus on the good and make the most of the bad. I want to honor and respect the sadness and other not-so-fun feelings (vs trying to diminish or ignore them), while also remembering that it is proof of how lucky we are, how great our life has been (and hopefully continues to be) that we've gotten to live in these wonderful places and meet these incredible people who enrich our lives and touch our souls, and who I know will continue to be an indelible part of our lives even when we no longer live down the street (or in the same city, or same state) from each other. It sucks to have to say goodbye to people and places you have loved, but it's pretty awesome that we got to know them and love them to begin with.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get something to dry off my keyboard...