Monday, December 15, 2008
From Skates to Skis
Wow! Our Hans Brinker days are already over for this winter! Even the persistent 40 mph winds couldn't sweep our wonderful natural skating rink (the lake) clear during our 9-12 inch dump over the past 30 hours. The only skating we'll be doing for the next few months will be at a small manmade outdoor rink that is plowed occasionally. The ice was perfect this year, but the season was short-lived. Some people are even pulling their fish houses back off the lakes already, as this load of drifted, hard-packed snow will likely put enough weight on the ice that in some places the water beneath will be forced up around the edges, flooding the ice.
Yesterday afternoon, just for fun and fresh air, we tried to ski to the store while the storm was still running its course. We figured we'd use the outing to pick up a couple slightly necessary groceries. But our heading was right into the wind, visibility was limited, and we didn't get far before we realized the -40F wind chills that were forecast had actually arrived and just weren't worth it. This morning our front door was frozen shut, it took my husband an extra two hours to snowblow our driveway before he could leave for work (3-1/2 altogether), and even medical clinics were closed for the day. One of our cats has the sniffles now and we think her ears have a little frostbite--we didn't know she was outside when we left to do some errands this afternoon.
We enjoy winter, snow, and cold temps... We even enjoy extended periods of below zero highs, with a few -40F days thrown in, because they usually mean limited suffering and the comfort of a warm fire and hot drinks on our part, plus a season of killing back the pine beetles and other insects that have been destroying our trees at an alarming rate. I love being "stuck" indoors for a season of reading, writing, sewing, and reflecting. But right now we're praying and watching with anticipation for the thermometer to rise just enough so we can get back outside and enjoy some of our favorite winter sports without jeopardizing our extremities, too. In the meantime, today I enjoyed Far Side of Fifty's photos of our recent storm and, especially, the triple sun dogs she captured this morning. I also appreciated reviewing Alicia Chole's online devotional for this week, titled "stunning but not safe," about the deadly beauty and other similarities of both physical and spiritual ice. (If you want to read it, once you enter her site you have to click on the link in the lower right-hand corner to sign up for the free weekly online devotionals. The devotional is then emailed to you.)
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, "Fall on the earth"; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength. He seals the hand of every man, that all men may know His work. The beasts go into dens, and remain in their lairs. (Except our poor kitty! Well, she's safe and warm in her bed NOW...) From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture he saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy... Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. --Job 37:5-14