Winter is my 4th favorite season, so I’m not going to be too sad to see this one in the books. I’m ready to come out of hibernation and see a springtime world again. I’m sure the daffodils and tulips are starting to rumble underground. It won’t be long!
It might be a bit early to bid winter adieu.
There will be the inevitable March snowstorms.
Here are some things I learned this winter:
1. When there’s not enough snow on the ground, too much frigid air, and not enough toilet flushing, sewer pipes can freeze. It was evident we had a big problem 10 minutes before 14 people arrived for dinner. This is the first time I’ve welcomed guests to my home with the greeting, “We have no working toilets.”
2. Water pipes can also freeze under said conditions.
3. Excellence is uncommon, except when top athletes from around the world come together for two weeks. We tuned in to the Olympics almost every night to watch the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I can’t imagine four years of training for a four minute race. That’s some kind of dedication, even if it does culminate in a gold medal and a picture on a Wheaties box.
4. It’s no fun being a statistic. I was one of the 34 million Americans who got Influenza A this winter. And no, I did not get the flu shot. In fact, the day before I came down with it, I bragged about never getting the flu. On the bright side, I wrote a devotional booklet while I was languishing on the couch. Don’t even know how that happened.
5. Influenza couldn’t keep me away from “Hamilton”. I was on the mend by the time we drove to Chicago to see this amazing show, but I did sneak in a bottle of Robitussin cough suppressant and took a swig between acts. Our generous kids gave us the tickets for Christmas. When they were little, the kids gave us trinkets from the Dollar Store. I like having adult children.
6. When Ash Wednesday collides with Valentine’s Day it seems significant. While it is true that “from dust we are and to dust we will return” (Genesis 3:19), it is also true that we are most beloved dust.
7. I’m not giving up anything for Lent this year. Instead, I’m eating one prune every day for 40 days to remind myself that He is the vine and I am a branch and branches need pruning. I pop one in my mouth and pray, “Lord, come and thin out the dead underbrush and the fruitless growth that saps energy but produces nothing. Remove even the good things to make room for better things. I trust Your pruning hand.”
8. Quote of the season: “I must write, not because I feel I have anything to give. Not because being an artist comes first — it doesn’t. Not because it matters to anyone else what I say — that has no bearing on it at all. But simply because the thread will not be strong without that strand.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh
9. PB’s side of the family has some interesting characters. I’ve done lots of research on my family tree, so I decided to turn my attention to his side. It seems PB’s great-great uncle was a good friend of Wild Bill Hickok and was in the saloon with Wild Bill when he was shot (the only time Hickok sat in a saloon playing cards with his back to the door). In 1879, Great-Great Uncle John helped bury Wild Bill in the Deadwood, South Dakota cemetery. So the story goes.
10. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” (Heb. 12:28) I need to be reminded of this when the world starts shaking. If I’m going to stay steady amid tremors of tragedy and waves of worry, I need to hang on to what is unshakable.