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Horrible weather makes you that much stronger

By Jess Sommerfeldt

Flying lessons at Hogwarts was the class I wish I could have taken in P.E. instead of gym. I loved reading about Harry’s natural ability to fly a broomstick. Most of the children in the class had trouble getting the right balance and momentum but he just got on and flew.
Looking back on my life, there have been lots of situations where I am those poor kids who can’t figure out how to fly — but I have had many, many times where I was fortunate enough to soar.
Trying out different opportunities is life’s way of letting your Self discover the true you. For instance, when we moved up north in New York, I learned that weather can change your entire way of living.
In the North Country the weather literally prevents you from going outside, sometimes for a week at a time. Subzero temperatures are no big thing to me now since they are daily occurrences here. Going out grocery shopping in minus-14 degrees is my limit though. Anything colder and I’m a Popsicle.
Don’t get me started on wind chill.
Ok, you guys need to know how cold it is. Say it’s a balmy 25 degrees… It’s sunny and gorgeous out and you can’t wait to go outside and play in the snow. JUST WAIT! Check your weather app first to see what the wind chill factor is because it could actually be minus-4 degrees! I learned that one the hard way. My nose was burning all night.
It’s ridiculous how cold it is up here. Here I am, this sun-loving, beach-going hippie stuck in Elsa’s wasteland. I learned how to be a snow flower and bloom where I was planted, but I sure felt like the kids in Harry’s flying lesson when I learned how to shovel snow the first time I got our van stuck.
I was stumbling, the shovel kept slipping and getting stuck on the ice, I was hopping around and trying not to fall, all the while hoping my van would magically lift four inches and drop onto the road where there was no snow whatsoever. It only took me four hours of snow maneuvering, neighbor assistance and a nice push from the maintenance worker to get it free.
Life lesson: Don’t back out of your garage without checking to see how many feet of snow dropped overnight.
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Even with all the horrible weather, it has made us stronger for it and we found out how to soar: Dealing with snow every day for months on end (my husband the snow warrior), planning our shopping trips so we are prepared before the big blizzards hit (the small ones don’t faze us anymore), keeping our daughter healthy, safe and entertained (which was easy when she was little but now she wants to run!) and making friends who can relate to our journey.
Thank goodness the snow and ice has melted so we can actually go outside and enjoy the sunshine to stretch our legs. We are researching helmets as we speak just in case she finds a broomstick.