Here we are in the last week of February. It has been quite a while since I've blogged, mostly because we've been busy and because I am addicted to Facebook and find most of my computer time sucked up by it. I have been faithfully going to the gym, too, and so that takes up time--in addition to lessons with the kids, activities and running the house, it seems like the days should be four or five hours longer for me to get everything done! Don't get me wrong, this is wonderful in January and February, which are in general the longest and most dismal of the entire year! I guess I am simply making my excuses as to why I'm not blogging. I will try and post more, even if it's short. (I tend to think if I don't have a tome in mind it isn't worth putting up. I'm sure people would appreciate fewer words!)
Today we went ice skating with a group of homeschooling friends. Normally, we go to Greenport and skate at the little outdoor rink they put up every winter, but this time we traveled about 40 minutes to go to the Rinx, an indoor rink at exit 58 on the L.I.E. We have been a bit under the weather this week, with colds--mine showed up this morning, and Ben was running a slight fever yesterday morning, and he and Emma are coughing a lot. I probably would have stayed home for this reason, but out group was too close to the minimum for a group rate, and taking the five of us out would have made the price jump up, which I didn't want to do to everyone. So we went, me cautioning the kids not to breathe on anyone...
I haven't been skating on an indoor rink since we lived in Iowa, ten years ago. I'd forgotten how much smoother the ice is than on an outdoor rink. It was really very nice. While I love Greenport, where we skate on the harbor, much more than the warehouse-like Rinx, it was great to be able to go faster and feel more competent. If only we could have that ice outside in Greenport! This ice was so smooth that I was able to hold Emma by the hand and tow her along quite handily--she hardly ever even lifted her skates. In Greenport if I skate that way it doesn't work very well...but in Greenport they also have those excellent ice carts that the kids who don't skate well can use to hold themselves steady. I'd also forgotten how very cold they keep indoor rinks! We wore coats and gloves, but didn't bundle up the way we do for outdoor skating (hats, scarves and snowpants, plus two pairs of socks and usually long johns, too) and this made all the difference in how cold it felt. I was thinking, no wind=much warmer, but really the cold temperatures made up for no wind....anyway, we had fun, I just would have liked being a bit more snug!
When we got outside I was shocked how warm it felt--it was in the mid-50s and the kids asked if we could go to a playground. I said that we'd drive back to Riverhead and maybe we could go to the playground there--and then Ben pointed across the parking lot and lo and behold, there was a beautiful playground waiting. So over we went and the kids climbed a rock climbing wall, went down the slides, played on the swings and in tunnels, mastered the monkey bars and even dug in the sand a while. This was our first trip to the playground this year--we have had such an uncharacteristically cold winter this year--and it felt good to be outside. Rachel and I talked on a bench in the sun, and finally everyone wanted to go and we drove home. It was a little taste of spring to get us ready for the real thing in a few weeks. We can't wait!