Thanksgiving weekend brought cold temperatures and sun to Juneau, both of which were sorely needed after weeks and weeks ... and weeks ... of 38 degrees and sideways rain.
It also brought the annual gear shakeout, in which I audit my children's winter attire with increasing rage and alarm, and silent (and not-so-silent excoriating): How can we have this many mittens, NONE of which match and NONE of which fit?!; Did we leave the "good" snow pants at school AGAIN!?; Why do we have SO many scarves--seriously, no one under 30 wears a fucking scarf!; Why are all these hats so small? Whose head in this house is this small?! These kids are gonna break the fucking bank!
You finally get your kids geared up and loaded into the car with no small degree of smug self-satisfaction, and turn the key in the ignition only to discover that someone left a back light on all night and you have to jump the car with the other car while everyone freaks out in the backseat boiling in 100 degree snowsuits.
Then you get where you're going, which is a glacier on a frozen lake a 15 minute drive from your house. A glacier that probably won't be there anymore when your kids grow up. And you see your friends and their kids, and you drink hot cocoa and soak in Vitamin D (that doesn't come from a bottle in your medicine cabinet for once) and you skate around on the ice for awhile and suddenly the gear shakeout drama feels like a distant memory. And life is perfect.
And you resolve to devise a genius system whereby you will never again lose another mitten. And the VERY next time you go outside, you do it all over again.