It happened again at our house. My littlest guy started it this time around.

“Mom, you know my water shoes?” he asked while playing with legos during the recent cold snap.

“Yeah, buddy. What about them?” I asked.

He replied, “I think they’re at the lake. In the cabin.”

And that was it. The conversation shifted back to the legos where Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were doing something at Yoda’s hut. Of course my brain didn’t follow—my thoughts had wandered to my parent’s cabin, and I was trying to remember what the heck his water shoes even looked like.

In my mind, I walk through the cabin, to the bucket right inside the door. There they are. Now, are his the red or the blue? I can’t remember, but I have a hunch.

Outside, the sun is bright and the weather is perfect, I can picture boats pulling skiers across the lake and the water is just a little bit choppy. After it calms down, we’ll try to ski some more ....

And then I blink and look out the window where the 4’ tall snowman in my backyard is buried up to his pipe with more snow and sigh … oh summer, you’re a long way off.

We’ve got Cabin Fever at our house, and with a snow base that’s taller than my youngest, I don’t see sign of relief any time soon.

Usually, the summer questions don’t start surfacing until March, but my oldest has cabin fever too. He’s longing for those extended summer evenings when the sun takes forever to set and we have hours to play outside after dinner. “I wish it was summer, and we were at the lake. The days are so long there,” he said last week.

And my husband? He’s tired. He’s tired of the early mornings of getting up to clear the snow, and taking care of the things that break when the temperature hits rock bottom. This outdoorsy country boy doesn’t like to be stuck in the house for any length of time. He’s dreaming of summer barbecues, camping trips with friends, boating and looking forward to logging the miles on his bike once again.

Last week I started calling our favorite campgrounds to secure sites for our annual camping trips. I suppose I’m hopeful that planning for the summer will help it to get here faster.

But as much as we long for the summer days when we “only have to put one thing on to go outside,” as my littlest guy likes to reminds me, I don’t want to miss seeing all the little hints that nature gives us prepare us for the warmer days ahead.

I love that it’s still so light out at 5:30 in the evening, it lifts my mood and makes me feel hopeful. And lately, I’ve noticed drops of water on the ground—the natural byproduct of the sun’s heat melting snow and ice off of rooftops. Another sign that this white stuff will soon be gone.

Sure, we’ve got some gross weather ahead of us—the days when the sun’s power melts all the white snow away and we’re left looking at frozen banks of brown sand and dirt, followed by mud puddles that I’m sure my kids and dog will find irresistible—but I couldn’t imagine living in a place where the weather was always perpetually the same (sorry SoCal, your climate wasn’t for me).

While there may be no “cure” for our cabin fever, I’m going to do my best to enjoy the changing of the seasons as the winter whites fade away to spring browns and eventually the most beautiful shades of green that I’ve ever laid eyes on take over the landscape. I’m looking forward to the days ahead when we only need to put shoes on our feet to feel comfortable outside. And, I’m going to look at photos from last summer and start planning those summer adventures the kids are longing to have.

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