Awaiting the ping

The only outside thermometer we have has four wheels, a steering wheel and a handbrake that can only be used for a minute at a time lest it freeze. So as we set off for school every morning, I've got into the habit of saying "Oh, I wonder what temperature it is today!" as if we were in for a great surprise. This is of course after I've barked, "stop fighting, give that back to her, close the window, it's freezing, put your gloves on, it's freezing, close your seat belts, no I can't pull the baby's sleeping bag down so you can look at him, it's freezing". As a non-native, enduring her third Nordic winter, I still haven't got over the novelty of the temperature being minus anything, let alone minus double digits. Today, at midday, I drove down the hill looking at a display which read -10.5 C.
The thermometer comes with sound effects as it lets out a ping sound when it hits plus 3 degrees C from either direction. So in Autumn the first ping is greeted with a groan of dread as Winter approaches, and during Spring I find myself yelping with excitement as the temperature heads back up towards the land of the living. Last year, the thermometer was silent for a full 6 months. This year we've been luckier as winter came late; incredibly we didn't even have a white Christmas. (But come it has and as you can see from the photo of the 'back garden' above, our neighbours have lost no time in making a ski track).
So as the sun rises earlier every morning, and the three kids and I set off for school, I await the glorious sound of the ping, signalling that Spring is on its way. It won't be tomorrow or even the day after but who knows maybe soon - or maybe Easter.
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