April 6th Task #1, The trusty big blue truck helps me to pull Annette the schoolbus driver out of the road onto the Gunflint Trail….she just needed a little extra tug. Task #2: Denali and I returned home at a good clip because the truck was bottoming out in the snow. The plow hasn’t come through again yet. We’ve had somewhere between 1 and 2 feet in the last 36 hours…and it is still snowing.

Andy is returning from the Mpls sports show today—yesterday Denali and I practiced the tricky business of plowing over the spring muddiness without getting stuck. And I had a chance to spend some quality time shoveling with Gary the county plow driver—the mud in the turnaround by the Trading Post tried to swallow his monster wheels.

The truth is—as the kids first eagerly helped me blow snow and then played in it, I couldn’t help feeling a bit of that same November excitement –the world is covered in that clean white blanket. Is that instinct? This snow is the last thing I wanted to deal with, but it certainly is lovely. It is an honor to see the world from my kids’ perspective—a place to play–a place that always has a game hidden somewhere in it, if you look hard enough.

Last week we spent a couple of days in central Minnesota making maple syrup. As we drove on a rural road toward my folks’ cabin, I noticed many junky yards that spring was revealing. When we approached my folks’ cabin, I was going to say that even the woods are rather ugly before green up….then Daniel remarked about the blue bulging bags hanging from the maple trees—the sap was running!!! This is all he noticed. Every season has its own magic, if you can see it from the right angle.

This last week I had a parenting experience, really a big slap on the forehead reminder. A huge job for us is to constantly share our positive perspective of our kids, with our kids. As adults, we realize that we are all full of dichotomies — the potential to be lazy/motivated, to be confident/ insecure, honest/ dishonest. Our kids are in the process of building their image of who they really are. It could be our most important challenge to remind them (and us!) of the best possible versions of themselves. With that vision in mind, maybe they will tend toward the choices that reflect that image. Or so we can hope! And sigh, and try again.

We live in a particularly resilient community. I’m learning that is also a matter of perspective. As the people around me continue to face adversity, they do it from the angle of problem solvers, as survivors, rather than as victims. It seems that there are a few sinking moments of hardship—then they dig in, brush their hands on their pants, and get ‘er done. We certainly are fortunate for the contagious nature of this point of view.

This week, as we slide back into mud season, I’m going to remember what Daniel said one day on the way home from the bus. “Mom, I can’t wait to get home and dig the trenches to get the water to flow right into the culverts. This is the BEST time of the year!!!”

It really is a matter of perspective. It makes ALL the difference.