Day Nine here.
I missed the window of opportunity so far as the apple picking went. We woke up to about 4 inches of snow early Saturday morning, and it did not abate throughout the day. When all was said and done, we had 17 inches of snow within 24 hours. Talk about crazy; I think in the one day we had as much snow here in the valley as we had all season last winter. This morning, it was 9 degrees when I got here to work-but it is supposed to be near 70 again by Friday. I hope that the snow and freeze didn't ruin the available apples, but I bet it did. I mean, the carrots that always freeze in my fridge because I can't get the temperature regulated right never taste or look good after they have thawed, so it stands to reason that the apples won't either. So that is a bummer, really.
It was really neat, though, to be all cozy at home and watch the snow fall. The two big boys spent the majority of the day outside, and even Owen got to go out for awhile-until the snow got so deep that he couldn't walk in it without doing a face-plant. I realized that we don't have a single item of winter clothing save a pair of snow pants for Sam from last year; poor kid was outside with three sweatshirts, socks on his hands, the snow pants, and his sister's boots on (Yesterday we came down to the office and used the Target gift card that someone who shall remain nameless sent me to order Owen and Sam both coats, boots, and hats/gloves-so THANK YOU, over and over again. They aren't undies or bras for me, but are instead even better). Hannah and Eli both ended up being gone on Saturday night, so Owen and Sam and I got to hang out. I love love love the feeling of frosty little faces pressed up against mine when they come in from playing in the snow, running a bubble bath and making hot chocolate while they are in there, I even love putting the towels in the dryer so when they get out they can wrap up in a warm towel, sit in front of the heater and drink hot chocolate (and FYI, the trick when you are making it with the Hershey's Unsweetened Powder is to actually add the salt the recipe calls for, in case anyone wonders. And vanilla. And a touch of cinnamon). I don't do it all of the time, because I certainly don't want them to start EXPECTING that kind of treatment, but on days like Saturday, it was necessary on a very fundamental level. So before bed we ate buttered toast and hot chocolate and the two boys went to bed smelling fresh and clean and toasty. I got the unexpected luxury, too, of having peace and quiet for THREE hours, which was amazing. I took my own bubble bath, I painted my toenails and slathered honeysuckle lotion all over, and it was absolutely wonderful. It was so nice to curl up in bed with the dogs in between clean sheets and read until 11:00-pure luxury.
I actually had to venture out of the house yesterday, which I had been trying to avoid doing. However, for some odd reason the kids were complaining about having to use baby wipes for toilet paper (yeah, yeah, I know....), we needed a few groceries, etc...so Hannah and I went to the store. In our pajamas. But what happened then was quite amazing. I oh-so-casually asked Hannah if the girl whose house shy had stayed at the night before had "hit on" her. See, she came over on Saturday and while she did not act at all inappropriately toward Hannah or cause any trouble (in fact, she seems nice enough all the way around), Eli told me that she goes around telling people that she is bi, and she sometimes has a girlfriend and sometimes has a boyfriend....anyway, same-sex relationships or how to deal with advances from someone of the same gender is not really something we have discussed, but Hannah and I were able to have a really great discussion about it yesterday. I also found out some things about this girl and her family that I didn't know, and while I won't go into detail, this girl B. is welcome to come to our house anytime but Hannah will definitely not be staying the night there again. How lucky I am, that Hanna was able to TALK to me, and be honest about what happened, and also express concerns about what she should do as a friend to this girl. She is so brave and strong, I can't begin to express that enough.
Last night Jacquie and I went into the Juvenile Jail to take in an AA meeting; it was-well. I don't have the words for that, either, not really. Not today, anyway. I will just say that there is a lot to process, my heart hurts for these kids, and I will definitely be going back. Once I get my head and heart around things, I might wrote about it, but I might not. It was good, though, and I am grateful a thousand times over for having been given the opportunity to go.