With cold weather coming on Wednesday,, I thought I’d revise and repost these thoughts on weather.
E.B. White was a man who truly had a way with words. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the author of the children’s classic, Charlotte’s Web. When talking about the first flakes of snow falling, he said,
“At first it was an almost imperceptible spitting from the gray sky…”
I love the way he put it – such a perfect way to describe this scene. This is how I want to write.
Below are some pictures from February, 2015, when we had that “…imperceptible spitting..”
Last year I wrote a poem a day for PAD, Writer’s Digest’s Poem A Day challenge: the prompt for day 23 was “footwear”. I instantly thought about the excitement of my first winter in Birmingham when I got to wear boots day after day. And then I thought of 2015 when I was hiking in Montana. After a hard trek to Iceberg Lake, I took off my hiking boots and plunged my feet into the water that was about 40 degrees. Needless to say, I barely lasted 15 seconds.
Once again it’s boot weather here in Alabama and I still love the look and comfort of all my boots!
Boots I was so pleased to move to a place where I could buy boots and actually wear them That first boot winter was so much fashion fun Those boots gave me warmth and style Gray, brown, black – I loved them all But by month six My Florida feet were longing to be set free
“Werner thinks of his childhood, the skeins of coal dust suspended in the air on winter mornings…” from All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
For some reason, this stirred a childhood memory of milk. For a very short time when we first moved to Jacksonville, FL, we had our milk delivered by the “milkman”. On our front porch sat a metal crate where we would leave our empty bottles and take delivery of fresh milk. I remember the tops were sealed with thick paper lids. This milk was probably from Skinner’s Dairy, a hometown company that later built numerous drive-thru milk stores across Jacksonville.
In north Florida it didn’t get cold very often, but there were some winter mornings when we were excited to be able to see our breath in the chilly air. There was one winter I’ll always remember as the temperature got down in the upper teens and our heat went out. Our dad was out of town at the time on one of his many business trips. We bundled up and played outside anyway. The very large ditch – like a creek – behind our house was frozen on the top. Our friend’s little dog, Ginger, skittered across easily. Our dog, Dixie, followed her and went right through to the icy water.
Other fall and winter days were filled with my brothers playing football in the front yard and a few evening fires in our fireplace. In high school it was a time to wear stylish sweaters to school, then go outside for PE in the short gym suits we had to wear. I remember being teased about the chill bumps on my legs – referred to as chicken skin.
After moving to Birmingham in 2014, I was so excited about our first fall and winter. Sweaters and boots and scarves were so much fun! But, then it seemed to last forever and I yearned for the warmth of spring.
Last year, summer far outlasted its welcome. And this year we’ve had our share of hurricanes in the south. Now I long once more for the cool air and some justification for a pumpkin spice latte.
I was listening to a sermon a while back by Alistair Begg, and something he said stuck with me. It was this: “There are lessons in the waiting room.”
No one really likes waiting, whether in a grocery store line, at a drive-thru, or in a doctor’s office. Or through a very long Birmingham winter. Yet, if the lessons there aren’t learned, the time is wasted. I know I have wasted away many of these cold, gray days wishing for Florida’s warmth, literal and familial, instead of counting the blessings of a fireplace, food, shelter, husband and dog.
Spring is just around the corner, and I know that even though the trees may bloom and the grass may green, my heart will stay stone cold if I remain ungrateful for all the good things, and even all the hard things, God has given me.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. – Psalm 27:14