...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Doldrums??? Never!

Just about everyone across the country is complaining about the weather this winter, especially those in the Northeast. New York City has had its snowiest month of January ever and if they get about an inch more they break the record for the snowiest season ever!

Here in the "country" we are used to the snow, especially if you have grown up here. Personally, I love it. LOVE IT....{{{{ love it }}}}. I love the newness of it. The peacefulness of it. The pure clean feeling it leaves with just a dusting of an inch or more. I guess I love the change that it brings to an otherwise depressing time of year.The seasons bring change and I believe that's why so many of us love them. But within the seasons there is change too. Never has it been more evident to me than this winter.

I love the first snow. I really love it when it comes during the holiday season. Nothing gets me in the mood for Christmas better than the first snow -- after Thanksgiving that is. This year the first snow was just a dusting, but it was enough to set me in the holiday spirit!

Ever notice how peaceful things get in a snow storm? Not the blizzard type like we had the day after Christmas, but the ones that start with a gentle fine snow. The kind you know is going to go on for awhile and accumulate to something significant.

First it gently covers the evergreens and pathways. Then it builds and as it builds the car tires make a crunching sound as they go down the road and its like peace itself comes from the heavens to calm everyone down. It can go on for hours or days until everything looks like they are sugarcoated with heavy icing.

When snow is wet it sticks to the trees and gives the leafless limbs a the sense of purity if only until the temps rise and the snow slowly melts. If the snow is dry it will gently fall to the ground creating a curtain affect that falls to the ground and disappears. If you are stuck with a blizzard or the storm includes wind gusts, unbelievable drifts are created.

I remember one year we could walk all around our house on bare ground or climb up the snow banks that had drifted up allowing us to walk on the roof! It also made for some great forts.

I wonder sometimes if people who never have experienced a winter of snow even realize the different storms, snowfalls, or even types of snow we encounter.  Jim and I took a trip to Colorado one July and drove up Pike's Peak. The snow at the top was granular and unlike any snow we had ever seen in the East. Wet snow, dry snow, granular snow, each makes for its own set of affects. Dry snow is easier to shovel (or sweep) but great for skiing and making snow angels. Wet snow is much more versatile. While wet snow is a back breaker to shovel, it is great for making forts, snowmen, and blockade for snow ball fights, not to mention the snowballs themselves. Wet snows also cause more damage because the weight of the snow has been known to bring down tree limbs that bring down utility wires or worse can cause roofs to collapse.

Sledding is the one thing that can be done in any snow. It's the depth that may be a hindrance here though. If you can hardly walk through the snow to get to the sledding site or up the hill it's not much fun. That is unless someone else has created the path and packed down the runs. But it doesn't take much to sled down a hill.

Once you have had enough of the snow, "the thaw" comes. If it's January it's the "January thaw". This year it looks like we are going to miss it unless you count the snow melting off the roof. That was this past week when temps got up to 35 degrees. The snow melting on the roof tops is causing icicles like we have not seen in years!

Then we get mixtures of everything nature can throw at us:  snow, sleet, freezing rain and the result is another beautiful splendor.
That is unless you happen to be driving in it. That's another story.

Most people think of winter as a time of long dark cold days that never change. As you can see, it that's hardly the case this year.

What's that? More snow in the forecast? Change is about to happen people! Get ready!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Beginning...

A new year begins. For many of us this means a chance to start over; a chance to do it right; time to see all things new. The past behind us we cannot change, but the future is ours to with what we wish or so we hope.

If you are looking forward to the new year with a feeling of despair, or with a feeling that nothing new is going to happen because nothing will change, look up! There is always hope. There is always a new path in front of you.

Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over, hoping something will change. Stop doing the SAME thing. It will be tough, it will be challenging. We like to stick with what we are familiar with no matter how much we want to change. Even with baby steps, when you walk a while you will see a lot of ground covered when you look back. Start small.

For me the challenge each year is to learn more about my faith in a deeper study of God's Word. I have read through the Bible from start to finish about five times...three times as it is traditionally written from Genesis to Revelation, once chronologically, and once in a study guide format (one old testament book, one psalm, one proverb, and one new testament book). Sometimes I use a Bible study guide, other times I just randomly read clumps of scripture to see what it can tell me about my life. Food for thought? Absolutely!

This year, I will utilize some of the online sites to help me and some devotional type books that I have on hand. I also hope to get some good CDs and DVDs by some excellent pastors and teachers to gain some wisdom. I plan to meditate more on the Bible and listen to some recordings from my church. I find this keeps me centered on God, allows his teachings to guide my thoughts, words and actions and hopefully improves my walk through life. The Bible never promises smooth sailing through life, it actually warns of trials and tribulations, but it offers the answer to solving much of what we struggle with through life.

In the book of James it says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."