Thursday, 3 January 2013
In the cold bleak winter . . .
They know me at the Post Office here where I live. It's nice to be known. I expect it's because I am always mailing off a piece of artwork or some such. Yesterday it was Birthday Cards for January. "Christmas is over," I told them . . . "Now it is Birthday time." For some odd reason, all of my children and grandchildren, with the exception of a very few, have birthdays clustered around the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
I saw on Facebook yesterday . . . a photo that a friend had taken on a walk near his home in Nova Scotia, Canada. He said the temperature was -11 with wind gusts of up to 48k.
(Photo by Phil Vogler)
My mother said it was -14 where she lives too . . . however shall I cope? I'll need to pack some woolies for sure. My mother really feels the cold. The down side of it being so cold outdoors may well be that it is ultra warm indoors, which is something else I am not used to now. She takes blood thinners because of her heart etc. and so she feels the cold more than she used to. She often tells me of the charges she has to pay for her heating in the winter time and I wonder how people manage to pay those high prices.
Winter back home in Canada walks down the low hills and brims the Valley that I am from with her tides of snow. Some years . . . Winter does more than arrive. It invades. Snow tops picket fences . . . creating drifts which are five feet deep, changing the whole landscape . . . a frozen dune shaped and wind rippled landscape which lies under a leaden sky, cold and pure. Waves of snow crest around the houses like a vast frozen ocean of varying shades of white and grey.
(Jon and Josh shoring up the house, PEI, January 2012)
Thankfully one needn't be a mariner to traverse the landscape, nor need we drop anchor to rest in the harbor. We need not stand outside and chart our course . . . but instead we sit inside by the open fire sipping hot drinks and munching on cookies, whilst we plan our days. It can be like magic looking out across the frozen fields at all the other homes anchored steadfastly in the same harbor. Summertime lights are not so lovely as wintertime lights on the snow . . . tis quite true. It is not all bleak . . .
Over here we may not get the snow that they get back home, except in very rare circumstances, but the landscape also changes in the winter. We are not surrounded by white frozen dunes . . . but instead magical tracings of what "once was" abound. . . skeletal remains of summer . . . no less beautiful . . . only different.
I am on anti-bio-tics now. The nurse at our local surgery said my chest sounded like a bowl of rice crispies cereal . . . snapping, crackling and popping. I am hopeful that they will bring me the respite I so need. This cough is so very wearing and tiring. My sides ache and each cough bursts from my chest in dread. I fear I make it worse by holding my arms stiff with dread, but I almost can't help myself. Hoping now I will soon be on the mend.
We have two new missionaries here now. They stopped by last night to introduce themselves. They are girls, which makes a pleasant change. One is from Ontario, Canada and the other from California. Very nice young women and I was very careful not to pass my germs along to them. I think female missionaries bring a special something along with them . . . not to dismiss all the good that the young lads do . . . but there is something very soft and warm about the girls that the boys don't carry with them. All the missionaries are special . . . but there is something extra which comes with Sister Missionaries that I can't quite put my finger on.
They will be well cared for at any rate. We do love to spoil the missionaries, male or female. I know it is not always so when they are out and about. All people are not so kind. My heart breaks for every door that slams in their face or every unkind or harsh word spoken to them . . . for the abuse which I know they have to endure often. Especially when I know that being kind costs nothing.
I truly admire these young people who put their lives on hold for two years (a year and a half for the sisters) to serve their Lord and their fellow beings, and fund by themselves for the privilege of doing so. It is not free. Each missionary has to raise a sum of money in order to be able to serve. In some cases their home Wards help to support them while they are out, but ofttimes missions are funded by money which has been laboriously earned and saved over a number of years by individual family's and missionaries. Most LDS children will tell you . . . they have a mission fund and they add to it regularly. It is a labor of love.
I will leave you now with a thought to carry you through the day . . .
"Real love begins where nothing is expected in return."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Chicken and Sesame Noodles. Delish!