I must have put 200 miles on my car yesterday. Within a 15 mile radius. Not exactly minimizing my carbon footprint here.
In addition to running Christmas errands while my kids were occupied … in between conference calls and developing presentations for new clients … I was also trying to find a creative solution to an amazing adventure …
Two nights ago, we were randomly invited to stay at a cabin in the mountains with some friends this coming weekend. There are 4-5 families going, which makes the cost very reasonable for an impromptu-right-before-Christmas weekend trip. The challenge is … we’re not prepared for a snow trip. Although I did finally manage to find my kids’ snow suits in a bin tucked under my bed (and which contained *only* their snow clothes, I am proud to report), they’ve outgrown their snow boots. I haven’t been sledding in the mountains since high school, so those snow clothes have long since disappeared from this wardrobe, and my husband has nothing left from his bygone years of snow sports.
While you could argue that with the winter that is being forecast around here, snow clothes are probably a worthy investment, they did not happen to be on the list this month for our *ahem* Christmas Budget. In years past, I would not have thought twice about rushing to the mall and outfitting my family in top-of-the-line sub-zero snow gear. If I had it my way, we probably would have even matched. Maybe we could have had our last name embroidered on the chest … just for fun. And even after joining my Minimal Challenge, I probably still could have justified that impulse purchase as the necessary fare for a “family adventure.”
So, I had to reach deep within my soul yesterday and determine that the fact that we do not have a closet full of snow clothes on hand for such an occasion is probably evidence enough that we would not use them often enough to justify a four-figure shopping extravaganza. Instead, I fashioned my son’s too-small snow boots to fit my daughter. Called a friend and borrowed an entire snowboarding suit my size … complete with boots. And, found my husband a pair of like-new snow bibs at the thrift store for $3. (To be fair, they might be a couple of sizes too small, but he’ll be so numb from the cold and lack of circulation that he’ll hardly even notice.)
Mind you, this was the *last* of five thrift stores I scoured yesterday. I’m not going to tell you that it was easy. Or fulfilling. Or that it was exactly how I had planned to spend my afternoon. I really wanted to go to a snowboarding store and “take one of each.” But, I fought that urge. I kept telling myself that I would be so proud of myself for rising to this challenge. I thought if I could enable my family a last-minute, fun-filled weekend in the snow on a pre-Christmas budget, I would know that I could do anything.
So, tomorrow I am going to end world hunger and instill peace in the Middle East.