What do you think of when you hear the phrase “preparing for winter?” When I hear it, I have visions of Ma and Pa on Little House on the Prairie. Good ole Charles busts into the warm house, snow and wind coming in all around him, and he slams the door closed against the wind and smiles at Caroline. (I loved me some Michael Landon!) She has a hot meal waiting and a warm fire burning in the fireplace. Mary and Laura sit down with their Ma and Pa and eat some dinner from the crops that they grew and put away last summer. Everyone is happy and healthy because the family prepared for winter.
At my house, of course, it doesn’t really go down quite like that. Here, preparing for winter means we turn on the heat for the first time – usually in November – and wait with bated breath, praying we feel some warm air coming from the vent. If we don’t, we sleep cold that night and get the repair man over the next day. I shop at the grocery store for our winter meals, and the mall for our warm clothes. On an “as needed” basis. Except for the slight change in temps, winter is pretty much business as usual in Macon. In other words, there’s not much to “preparing for winter” around here.
But “preparing" for SUMMER? Now that’s a concept I can understand. Thinking about summer vacations, sleeping late, hot weather and humidity is easy stuff in February. It can’t get here soon enough when the trees are bare, the temps are chilly and the grass is dead. And preparing for summer at Disney World? Well, that’s even better.
I know I’ve already gotten us to Disney World in this trip report, but you’re gonna have to put it in reverse and work with me for this installment, okay?
Back up to February in Georgia, and lo and behold, Macon is getting some snow. It happened late one Friday afternoon in mid-February, and for about 18 hours, it was pure giddiness at the NM house.
To add validity to the “wintery-ness” of the situation, I have provided some pictures of said event for your viewing pleasure. (If there was EVER any doubt that we’re rednecks, it’s about to be removed. I’m sure there wasn’t, but just in case…)
Here’s what happens when the first flakes start falling from the sky. All the neighborhood kids end up in our yard bringing anything that will work for a sled. Nevermind that there’s not really any snow on the ground. And yes, the NMs are the little dorks with the laundry baskets. I’ve since heard I should have sprayed the bottoms of the baskets with Pam.
It’s obvious the sleds were a bust – because of that whole “no snow on the ground” thing – so let’s do what we do in nice weather: swing. Somehow, it’s more fun with snow hitting us in the face.
Finally, we get a little bit of accumulation, and the little NMs make a shout-out to The Mouse. Let’s call her Poly Minnie since she’s wearing pink Mouse ears from the Poly.
The sun finally sets, and with the promise of a teency bit more accumulation during the night, the little NMs head off to bed with visions of sledding in their sweet little heads.
Morning dawns and it’s actually very beautiful. I take a few pictures from the warm safety of my dining room and kitchen windows, and before too long, the kids are awake and ready to ride.
Oops. Doesn’t really work any better this morning. I can’t imagine why.
(This sad sledding sight is why the NM family boarded a plane to Lake Tahoe at Spring Break, while the rest of the world went South for some warm air. THIS is how you sled down a hill, peeps.)
Hmmmm. I’ve moved around so much that you might not remember where you are. It’s February 13th, a snowy morning in Macon, and I’m curled up in front of the fire with my laptop.
Preparing for summer.
How do you prepare for summer? Well, if you’re going to Disney World over the busiest week of the already busy summer, and there’s an opportunity to score some VIP Fastpasses that might make your park touring a little bit better, THAT’S how you prepare for summer. You get busy on that opportunity.
Through some conversations with LaLa, and then subsequent research on the Disney World website and the Disboards, I found out about a volunteer opportunity that was in the Macon area and would work for my family: Project Linus. As LaLa has already explained, it’s making blankets that will be given to children during a time of crisis. Not only did it appeal to my “sewing” side, (yes, I own a sewing machine and I know how to use it!) it was one of very few opportunities that accepted volunteer children as young as my 7 year old son.
Within a couple of hours, I had spoken with the Project Linus coordinator in Macon, and I had my marching orders for 8 blankets. The only problem? They had to be turned in by tomorrow.
Say what you want about the DIS, but there was a whole thread devoted to making no-sew fleece blankets, and I was sure that the NMs could knock this project out on this cold, snowy afternoon.
I took off to Walmart, bought the fabric for my eight blankets, came home and got to work. The NM Family Assembly Line didn’t really take off at my house, but my daughter and I got it done in one afternoon.
By the next day, the snow had melted, we had gone to church, we’d watched my son’s ball game, and we were within minutes of missing our “due date” for the blankets. We pulled into the driveway of a tiny little house in Macon. The Project Linus coordinator was a grandmotherly woman whose ENTIRE HOUSE was filled with stacks of blankets. The Disney partnership had given her more press than she had ever experienced. Blankets were everywhere! There wasn’t a single place to sit. This sweet woman and her husband welcomed us into their home, took our information, and shared with us a little bit about Project Linus. They were extremely grateful for the volunteers that Disney’s promotion had brought their way, and they congratulated my kids on their upcoming trip to Disney World. (My kids were – thankfully – gracious and did not say this was their 13th trip in five years.)
We left the Project Linus house excited and thankful. It was fun to prepare for summer in the middle of February. It was even more fun to do it in a way that wasn’t totally self-serving.
I can’t imagine how many people were blessed by the GAD promotion. The house I went into was filled to the brim with blankets for hurting kids in Middle Georgia. And that was just one project of many, in just in my area. These things went on all over the country. I think the whole promotion was a great idea.
An idea that ended up being REALLY great once summer finally came and we were hanging here.
With these crowds.
With VIP Fastpasses in our pockets. Those Fastpasses made the difference in our trip. We rode twice as many rides as we would have without them, and our pace was much more relaxed.
Yes, we prepared for summer. Who doesn’t want to do that? It was worth every minute.