A Winter To Remember

It is 52 degrees this Monday. Last week our numbers were in the single digits. We are experiencing the melting of a 9 inch snow. My friend, Mark, told me that we have not had a snow of the magnitude that we received since 2004. Jonathon and I struggled for over an hour in the endeavor of pulling his car out of our driveway so he could drive to work. A substantial snow and ice event will make clear what the saying, ‘So close…and yet so far,’ means. In our neck of the woods we natives all remember the blizzard of 1978. I recall when people in Eldorado, Illinois regularly put snow chains on their tires to facilitate their being able to drive their cars on the snow and ice. In my youth virtually all automobiles were rear wheel drive and they were like bumper cars at the carnival when a little snow fell. Many of the automobile models of the 1960’s and 1970’s were extremely sensitive to cold and consequently would not start when the weather was frigid. During my childhood the homes of the day had virtually no insulation and single paned windows. Often the houses were not built square and had gaps big enough to throw a cat through and the wind found its way into your living room and all other rooms that you inhabited. I lived in a house that I had to put Duck Tape all around the front door facing and along the threshold to ensure some semblance of normality and to aid in keeping the babies teeth from chattering.

Where will you go first once the pandemic fear has lifted? My friend, Linda, asked me that and I responded that I would go to Destin, Florida and then Booth Bay, Maine. After those two journeys…Edinburgh, Scotland is in our sites… It is amazing how much we can change if we are properly motivated. I saw an elderly lady today, and I am old, who was walking carefully with a walker along the clear pathways of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale. She caused me to reflect on the many senior Parisians that I observed when I visited Paris. The walked with canes and walkers and hunched shoulders and stooped backs…but with a determination that was inspiring. We Americans often take to our rocking chairs on our front porches when we retire. We enjoy the absence of the, seemingly, life long requirement to work at least 8 hours per day and we rejoice in our freedom from labor. In just a few years our joints begin to stiffen and our eyesight grows dim and our hearing abates. Soon we move inside our homes to the recliner and the ability take a nap anytime…and the sap in our tree subsides. Then, when challenges arise we are certain that we are not longer able to address the needs before us…

Life is for the living and our physical bodies are made for movement. I have been dedicated to walking at least 10 thousand steps per day for a month now…and I feel better for it. Our pastor, Kerry, told our church yesterday that he was going to continue to present us with new things to keep our minds active…and I heartily agree! Travel is one of the methods that keep life interesting and engaging and compelling for me. When I travel I am exposed to different cultures than mine and new and, often, improved, ways of thinking and analyzing problems that are before me. Travel improves my perspective of my place in the world and how I can improve my appreciation for life.

I have an appointment to received my first shot of Covid 19 vaccine this Thursday. I can think of few happenings that I have been more excited to know is coming my way. We have lived in primarily a lock-down mode for a year. Every occurrence of socializing, which includes grocery stores and doctor’s visits…is a calculated risk. We are, ‘coming up from out of the wilderness, Leaning upon our beloved’…as the Song of Solomon says. We are battered and a wounded…but we are not beaten… Life continues for our family…the human family…let us let us lean on the arm for our beloved as we walk out of the woods of our Pandemic Night…

One response

  1. I remember single pains of glass and how in the wintertime, we had ice ferns growing up them. coal fires – the bigger you stoked the fire, the more drafts it created under the doors. But you know we were much healthier for it. modern homes are incubators for viruses. Well, that’s my theory anyway. keep well and if you do make it to Scotland – there is always out guest room at St Andrews.

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