Friday, February 20, 2015

IT'S SO COLD!!!!!!

We are experiencing subzero, bitterly cold temperatures in Michigan.  It's the kind of cold that burns your nose as you breathe.  Exposed skin will start to tingle in seconds.  And snow makes that scritch-scritch sound as you walk on it.  Those who have lived in cold climates will know what I mean.  It's the sound of very, very, dry snow.

Even indoors everything is dry.  We have a piano that needs to be taken care of and the hygrometer showed dangerously low humidity this morning.  I turned up the fan on our humidifier and boiled a pot of water on the stove.  Yes, even boiling water on the stove does help.  I bring it to a hard boil and then turn it off. The steam that results goes right into the air.

What's good about such weather?  Bathrooms stay cleaner longer because they are drier, for one rather insignificant thing.

The severity of the cold reminds us of our vulnerability and fragility as humans.  May this realization help us to lean more on God.  And may it fill us with concern and compassion for the homeless, whose very lives are in danger in this weather.

But the best part about this drastic weather is the hope of Spring.  We are more than halfway through February and, as the saying goes, March will come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  In Michigan, March can still be a cold month.  But there will be a day here and there that warms up a little.  It may go into the 40 degree range and, for us, that feels like Spring.  That is the weather when children want to dispense with their coats!

And when our thermometers hit the 50s or 60s range, nearly everyone is smiling.  There is almost a euphoria.  We want to plant flowers.  (But we don't dare yet without special precautions because frost is possible in April and even in May.)  The Farmer's Market will start selling those beautiful winter pansies which can actually freeze solid and still come back if you put them in the sun.  I love to buy one for my porch.  It's such a delightful splash of color against what has been a dreary, monochromatic backdrop for many months.

But the winter weather itself also has its own beauty.  There is the drama of the large snowfall, the blowing whiteouts, the blizzard conditions.  If you don't have to go anywhere, it can be strangely lovely.  And the snow itself is strikingly pretty in the sun.  Sometimes it sparkles like diamonds and reflects so much light that sunglasses are helpful.

Still, as is nearly everyone in Michigan, I am very much looking forward to the Spring. :-)

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