Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Making Peace with the Weatherman

            My father once said, while we were talking about the weather: “Don’t forget who the weatherman is.”   It’s God of course. I knew that but I didn’t always think about it. Now that I do, complaining about the weather no longer feels as benign as it once did.  God sends us our weather, so I try to embrace it these days. This year has been especially challenging in North Dakota with 3 winter storms already—2 of them blizzards—and temperatures that will freeze your face in less time than it takes to scrape ice off a windshield.

If you also are prone to weather complaining, perhaps my strategies at being weather resilient will be of interest. 
Alternatives to Complaining
·      I think about the homesteaders and Native Americans that lived in North Dakota before me. Sod homes, leaky cabins, earthen mounds with bark trim, no furnaces, or indoor plumbing, or bathrooms, or wash machines, or electricity, or supermarkets ….  I live like a queen.
·      I appreciate my comforts and remember (and pray) for the less fortunate throughout the world. 
·      I tell myself how glad I am that I don’t live in Siberia. I suppose they tell themselves they are glad they don’t live in North Dakota,
·       I ski or go for walks.   I will not be intimidated! Snow shoveling is a good workout too!
·      Exercise. When my daughter Mary called me last night to meet her at the YMCA to exercise together, it was below 0.  I said yes because a mother/daughter fitness date beats hiding under the covers.
·      I think of all the things that North Dakota winters protect me from: hurricanes, earthquakes, killer bees, cobras, humongous insects, African man-eating animals…the list goes on and on!
·      Extreme weather gives me something to offer up. Why would anyone live in a place that provides no weather-related graces?
·      I thank God for the hardiness North Dakota winters infuse in me.  I stand with my proud, weatherproof comrades. Okay, maybe I’m a bit too proud, like when I laugh at the South for school closures after an inch of snow.  I understand they have bad tires and no snow shovels or stamina, or store of weather-related graces.
·      I begin my day with Mass and remain for adoration.  It is an uplifting start to my day, receiving Jesus in the company of other Catholics—probably over 300 at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit every morning between the 6:45 and 8:00 AM Masses.
·      I remind myself it could always be worse. But sometimes, then it gets worse so I don’t do that very often.
Even for North Dakota, we’ve had extreme weather this year.  If you are from here, you will relate to the photos.  If you are from somewhere else, I’m guessing you will soon be putting a “for sale” sign in front of your house and looking for jobs.  Just remember to dress in layers and bring a shovel.

By December, there were three winter storms, two of them blizzards.  We’ve had 53.1 inches of snow so far.  Over Christmas vacation, I went out at midnight and shoveled a path.  It was a lot of work but there was no way for the dogs to leave the house otherwise, and dogs need to leave the house.  By morning, all my hard work was covered over.
See my path? It was gone by morning.

Mark is pointing to our light post.

My husband  and I skied to Mass a few mornings when the side streets were still impassable.  Mark loves the snow.  One particularly bad morning, he took snowshoes to Mass. There were only 3 people who had showed up.

Around 7:30 AM my skis await me.
Cathedral of the Holy Spirt
Getting to Mass to start my day and staying for adoration gets me through whatever comes next.
Incense greets the morning sun and Son.

Here are some of the neighbors’ houses on my ski home from church.
Our neighbors are in there somewhere.

We are running out of places to put the snow, so maybe God will blow the next batch South. 


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