Saturday, January 7, 2012

Canadian Geese Winter Over...Up North in MN!

Okay, so, we went downhill skiing yesterday. This may not sound too incredible being as it IS January here in Minnesota...except that we have no snow.

Well actually, WE have a skiff of snow in our yard left over from three days ago, but there isn't a stitch of the white stuff to be found for at least a 1-hour radius around the ski resort. Our drive to the resort was amazing. We live on the meandering boundary between forest and farmland, and the resort was developed on a hill in the middle of farm country about 90 miles south. About half way there, we started seeing huge groups of Canadian geese--the cornfields were alive with them! This year, that's as far south as they had to migrate!

Given the shortage of snow around our place, I was a little leery about ski conditions and hesitated to commit to the homeschooling downhill ski day in advance. But earlier this week the resort website said they were making snow and most runs were open, so I finally capitulated. As we covered the last few miles, though, I began to get a sick feeling. We were driving through nothing but bare, brown fields and old, dead, cured stalks and grasses. Enough snow to ski...really???

The resort was a surreal sight: camouflaged from distant sight by a crown of dormant bushes, it popped up suddenly out nowhere--a shiny white hill sitting like a clean little blob of marshmallow creme on a huge chocolate sheet cake--wow!

We had a blast! Kudos to the resort--they created an incredible little recreation microcosm, they're staying in business, and I hope they're making a profit! There was only a 6-12" base of snow, but it was enough. The sun was shining, there was only a light breeze at the top of each chairlift, the temps were great, the snow was in decent condition, and our kids went from the tentative beginners they've been for the past three seasons to black diamond dare-devils!

The much-discussed, much-researched, much-hyped year of 2012 has finally arrived. Not to be an alarmist, but as I look at its beginning and the Bible's end, I can see why so many people are taking a closer look. I predict we're going to have an interesting fire season this year. And I'm wondering how the farmers are going to do...and where our produce is going to come from this year...and how much it's going to cost??? I tried to get the kids to focus and dialogue about this as we were driving through the goose fields, but they were too excited, anticipating the ski day.

Reminds me of this biblical head's up in Matthew 24: 37-39, 42:

"In the days before Noah's flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage...and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came...

As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Therefore, keep watch..."

Is it hypocritical, then, as I ponder food shortages, firestorms, starting a local soup kitchen to provide nutritious fodder for the malnutritioned in our community, and other FEMA-type relief efforts...that once I post this blog, I'm leaving to do nothing more with the rest of my day but drive 80 miles to have lunch and go purse shopping with my daughter and close friends??? Well, that said, I'll also be on the lookout for ways I can invest rather than simply spend the day!