I drove away today past the roads I know, down country roads through blowing snow. Anxiety sat on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, grabbing at my heart. Passing Mennonite buggies, I shuddered at the thought of hitting ice, loosing control and hitting one. My hands clenched, breath ran shallow. Then I remembered. "For God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind". I repeated 'til breathing eased and fingers unclenched. I hate that first winter drive through blowing snow and icy roads. My winter driving skills have been unneeded, tucked away with mittens through the beautiful spring, summer and fall. Now they are unearthed and I have to ease back into those once familiar patterns.
After stopping to remove my son's jacket, we finally arrived. My friend's new house our destination. She left the city for small town, exchanging cookie cutter for an older house with high ceilings, patterned wallpaper and transoms with original glass. I loved her house! Old houses awake joy in me. I love the strange cupboards, shelves and hide-aways. The quirks of layout making each one unique, with discoveries to be made. The houses now are so boring, so unoriginal. I want to live in an old house with an attic I could curl up in with a book. As this is unlikely, I soaked up this house of a friend, exclaimed over the bathroom separated from the sink, the unique light fixtures that so perfectly matched each room, the ancient patterned and sometimes textured wallpaper, the frosted transoms, the original wood door and the attic. I loved all of my friend's house! So we sat and toured and had lunch together while our children played. I fed the baby whose birth I watched and marvelled at how he has grown. Although the drive was intimidating with unknown, snow-swept roads, it shan't keep me away any longer.
Later, the whole family aboard, our van travelled past fields ready for winter's sleep once more. This time my baby happily exclaimed "i see corn fields! i yuv corn!" Soon after uttering those phrases, he began chanting "CORN ON COB! CORN ON COB! CORN ON COB! " Utterly adorable! We hurried through icy wind to farmhouse old where we dined with friends. Then, dishes cleared and coffee cups held hostage*, we dumped out our bags of purchased goodies and assembled boxes for faraway children. Aris and I did one together for a girl about her age. She choose and packed, arranging each item multiple times. Then we filled out a sheet and coloured it in too so that this little girl will know Aris who likes pink and has two brothers sent her a present. There was much joy here. We cut elastics, parcelled out soap, cups, pencils, erasers, socks, toys and other goodies for these children we will never know. We sneaked extras in our box so this little girl will have some to share. There was joy in doing and giving, joy in serving together. My hyper storm-souled girl was calm then, her fear erased by purpose.
I am tired now from busyness, hard conversations and lugging my beloved son everywhere. But it's a good tired. Tomorrow looms with new adventures, new friends to meet and make. So to bed I will go. Eventually. :)
*yes, i did literally hold coffee cups hostage. i helped clear the table before we started packing the boxes, and someone tried to keep his coffee cup. i told him that he must give it up but that if he behaved he would get it back after the boxes were packed. this worked well, until my FIL returned with his coffee cup freshly filled. i accused him of sabotaging my plan and headed back to the kitchen. he laughed! *sniff* :)