Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Winter Weather

As a newly wed, I complained about the weather once, and my farmer husband suggested I ought not to complain about the Lord’s weather. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. His counsel has saved me a great deal of misery down through the years. Complaining does not change the weather. It only makes one more unhappy about the weather, and it presumes you know what the weather ought to be. We do know that the rain fails falls on the just and the unjust, and usually over a long enough period of years, everyone gets a share of good and bad weather—however that can be defined.

With all the bitter cold and deep snows in many parts of the nation, I certainly know I should not complain here in Southern Illinois. And I am not.

On Saturday we had snow on the ground and slick roads, but on Sunday snow had melted, roads were clear, and I left my coat in the car because I did not even need it going into church or Katherine’s house. On Monday we woke to light snow on the ground again. Then it cleared. Yesterday there were tiny flakes coming down at various times through the day, and the many birds were very appreciative of the bird feeder on the deck, but the ground was never covered.

I looked out the bedroom window this morning and saw a lone deer walking through the brown field toward the area on either side of a ditch draining into our lake. Fresh green plants were emerging there where Gerald had planted last fall, and the deer was soon munching happily. It took me awhile to see four dark spots at the edge of that draining area, and I watched quite awhile before one moved and I realized the first deer was not alone after all. When I heard Gerald go out the garage door in that direction to his shop, all five fled to the woods beyond jumping over the fence with white tails flying. That fresh green area is white now from today’s snow.

As it snowed through the morning, the television was announcing that many area schools were dismissing early, but not ours. Gerald had a routine doctor checkup in the afternoon, and he reported that coming home in his truck the roads were slick. So I did not go to the monthly business meeting at our village church as I had planned to do. He says he will take me in the morning at 8:00 for the blood work appointment—made a year ago. I will listen before we go to see if Sam’s school is cancelled tomorrow. And I will have to find out about his band concert tomorrow night.

I know it is bitter cold in Texas where my nieces write the temp on Facebook and did not open their gift shop today urging their customers to stay home and stay warm. It was nice to read that Trevor went up to my sister and brother-in-law’s home and cleared their sidewalk while daughter, granddaughter, and two-year-old Allie provided them company.

The minor inconveniences we have had so far this winter are unimportant, but I do feel great sympathy for those wherever they are with cold houses, cars buried in snow or cars that won’t start, or water pipes frozen—we had that for so many years at the other house when Gerald had difficult days keeping waterers thawed and livestock safe. And I feel great distress for those suffering tornadoes and true calamities, such as floods that break levies and destroy homes and families.. Those are the weather events that try men’s souls and characters. Coping and rising to the challenge of survival is happening all over the nation right now, and that is proving again how tough people can be. Extreme weather certainly is not the weather most of us would choose, but complaining does no good. As Shelley said, if winter comes, spring is on its way.

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