I have been out and about on this last day of autumn. Groceries to purchase and Christmas Carols to enjoy! It seemed that each person that I met, had a spring in their step and a song in their heart. Christmas tends to bring out the inner child that we have inside of us…often very close to the surface. There is an air of expectancy as we wait for Christ’s birth.
The celebration of Advent enriches the Christmas season. At our church, First Presbyterian, in Carbondale, Illinois, a family lights one of the Advent candles each Sunday of the season. There is a special joy and an honor to participating in this old ceremony.
In our home, we have an Advent calendar box, that has a door for each day, from the 1st of December through the 24th of the month. Behind each door is a chocolate treat for each of the four Brooks! We take our Advent…seriously.
Winter is not so harsh in Southern Illinois. We are a full 300 miles from Chicago. Our nearest metropolitan area is, St. Louis, Missouri. We are also an hour drive from Paducah, Kentucky and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. A more scenic location to live… cannot be found in all of Illinois!
In 1978 we had a blizzard….Or 41 years ago. Since then our challenges are hit and miss as to inclement winter weather…with ice being the most treacherous element to negotiate. Three years ago, in December, we were attending our niece’s birthday party and the roads and walkways were clean and clear when we entered the local wintery. As we enjoyed the fellowship and delicious food and wine grown from the owners vineyard…someone entered and announced that it was not only snowing…but icing! So, we said our goodbyes and proceeded out into the wintery mix. Before us was a light skiff of ice that was between us and the car. I deducted that if I started to fall…that I would, simply, slide down the remainder of the small and short incline to the bottom where there was grass that would provide good traction. The next realization that I experienced was a tremendous thud as I hit the ground, on my side, hard…like the felling of a Sequoia! As I sat up and endeavored to breath….Several people called out to me and asked if I was all right? I strove to respond…but there was no breath for words…and I was unable to speak for one a minute. Then, we got into our car and I drove 50 miles home…on icy roads.
I just knew that I was simply bruised…until the muscle spasms began and their repetition was, approximately, every minute. The next day, after X-Rays, I discovered that I had fractured 3 ribs. Pain medicine and muscle relaxants help!
Each day, since the fall, I feel discomfort where my ribs were fractured…but not nearly as bad as when it first happened.
We old folks are afraid of ice…with good reason!
I have always liked winter. It is peaceful and quiet and serene. It is a good time to think and to plan and to assess where you have been, and where you are going. Winter lets you know who is boss. It doesn’t suffer fools gladly. It expects to be respected on its own terms…and will bless you with its benefits and wonders…if you obey the rules.