I think snow might have been a fun thing when I was a little girl in Winnipeg. I remember bundling up to make snow forts in the backyard with my brother. Our elementary teachers had great patience, wrapping us in long scarves (over the forehead, then around the back, doubled over the face, and tie in the back.) We learned to pull on hats, parkas, snow pants, and mittens connected with a string through winter coat sleeves. We dressed and undressed for 20 minute recess morning and afternoon, and walked home for lunch on our 1 1/2 hour noon hour. The only kids who got to stay at school had working mothers. The teachers let them stay in to eat for a half hour before chasing them outdoors. Severe blizzards were the only exceptions for the go-home rule.
Besides good memories, I remember shivering, eyeballs cold, eyelashes sticking together, and icicles hanging off my scarf where breath met frigid air. Once, I fell through the ice of a drainage ditch into the freezing runoff below, clambering out in shock, upending my boots to pour out the water, and clomping the few blocks home with the fleece liners of my boots full of ice. My feet still hurt when I think about it.
I am grateful that my dad moved us from Winnipeg to the West Coast when I was 11. God must have known that I'd grow up loathing the cold. This morning I looked outside, bundled up in bed, and skipped my 6am fitness class. The road was too slick for safety on our hill.
When I took the dogs for a walk at 7.30, the slippery slope lay under a thick white blanket. Few cars or people were in sight. The dogs bounced and trotted, loving the ground cover. Good thing they were leashed; without tether, they were so frisky they would have bolted all the way to Montana. I fell (no harm done) coming down the street home, confirming the risk. When we came indoors, I treated myself by bathing the dogs in warm water, the bathroom heater on full blast. They smell better, their hair is puffy and soft, and we're all thawed out.
The gray skies overhead, branches drooping with heavy wet clumps, the tracks of people and cars etched through the snow... I wouldn't mind never seeing another snowfall in my life. But it's just November, a long way until May's pleasant weather.
What a pleasure to stay inside a warm house. I am SO thankful today for a home and a husband whose hard work provides this luxurious, safe space. The warmth and shelter is what I'm going to focus on this Monday of Thanksgiving Week as the Christmas lights twinkle on the tree in the living room. (Yes, my son Jonathan and Amanda Fox, put it up yesterday.)
What are you grateful for today?
*Have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalm 86:3-10 NIV
*For He (Christ) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:13-18 NIV