10 Things I Learned This Winter


1. Snow days aren’t as much fun when there are no kids at home. One of my supreme joys in life was going into my teenagers’ bedrooms and whispering, “No school today!” It’s wonderful to be the bearer of such good tidings. We all loved an excuse to spend the day in pjs and bask in the unexpected day off. No more. Snow days and school cancellations don’t make my heart sing anymore. I have to get dressed and go to work anyway.

2. Speaking of snow days, we’ve had 9 so far this winter. And counting.

3. “Channel 3000 Call for Action” are magic words. After three months without a refrigerator, seven service calls, four new compressors and one new motherboard, we played the ultimate trump card and called the consumer advocate. When the bigwigs at the big box store caught wind of that, we got a big check in the mail. The refrigerator saga is finally over.

4. Somebody had a brilliant marketing idea. On Valentine’s Day, there was a mysterious pink envelope in the mailbox with my name on it. PB and I had agreed to not get each other anything this year. Flowers just end up dying. Candy just gets eaten. Cards are fine, but somebody else wrote those schmaltzy words. I must admit, my eyes lit up a little bit when I saw the card in the mystery envelope.

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The small print reveals the ulterior motive. But, hey, Lorenzo Caine wants me back!

5. Looking for a swimming suit in February is like trying to find snow boots in July. Supply is limited. Even if you live near the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, surprisingly enough. There was not one bathing suit in the outlet mall. Thankfully, one other store had three models to choose from, one of which was in my size — which made my decision easy.

6. It’s possible to read the Bible from cover to cover in 60 days. I started on December 20th and crossed the finish line on February 17th. I felt a bit out of breath and wondered if speed reading the Good Book had been a good idea after all. Now I’m so glad I did it. Like flying over the Grand Canyon, it was a majestic view of God’s grand story. What hit me most was the stark difference between the Old and New Testament. When Jesus came on the scene, I fell in love with Him. He was so drastically different from the God of the Old Testament with all the fire and smoke and thunder and lightning. Jesus was such a surprise and I wanted to clap and cheer for Him. He is the best part.

7. Desperate times call for desperate measures. During that week long sub-zero cold snap in January, four grands were staying at our house. It was too cold to send them out to play in the snow, so I brought the snow in. It was a hit. Bonus: I got the kitchen floor washed. (Double bonus: There is a stockpile of snowballs in the freezer, waiting for a summer snowball fight.)

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8. A day of rest is still a good idea. Our physical bodies and our souls need regular periods of rest. Thank goodness we don’t have to follow the “39 Categories of Sabbath Rules” anymore. No carrying (not even a needle), no burning (don’t turn on the lights), no tearing paper (including toilet paper), no writing, erasing, or tying knots. No eyebrow plucking and no slaughtering of any living creatures (mosquitoes included). No opening umbrellas and no makeup allowed. And that’s just a smidgen of the five pages of rules. Sabbath was a lot of work. Jesus set things straight — “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

9. Christmas should be in January. My daughter made a good case for this on her recent Instagram post. October has Halloween and November has Thanksgiving. Then we should all take a break and get cozy during December. Instead of losing our minds because of winter in January, let’s do Christmas! Then carry on with the rest of the year. Credit for this brilliant idea goes to Anna. Who’s with her?

10. I heard birds singing this morning. Actual birds. Actually singing. They are starting to feel it in their tiny bones — spring is closer than we think. May we all have the faith of birds and be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not yet see.

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