Weathering the Storm

 

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Yesterday was the first time in a long time that my girls have not been let outside. The weatherman had been warning us of a coming blizzard that was set to start during the night on Sunday.

They couldn’t quite nail down how much snow they thought we would get, but they were very sure that what we got; would be blown around by very gusty winds. They were definitely right on the gusty winds.

To be honest…I still have no idea how much snow we actually had. It is kind of hard to tell when it is coming down horizontally and doesn’t seem to land anywhere. The horizon had a foggy look because of the blowing snow.IMG_5058

I took my pictures through the windows because it just wasn’t that pleasant to be standing outside being pelted by snowflakes. These were not the nice soft snowflakes that bring back memories of Christmas snows.  These flakes were kind of vicious and more than a little mean.

The flakes were driven by the wind and left bare, burnished places on the yard. They polished the little patches of ice and slowly mounded in hard packed drifts in grassy areas and against fence lines.

School classes were cancelled, businesses shut the doors early and interstates and highways were closed due to low visibility and accidents. Sometime during the night, last night, the winds quit and we woke to a much quieter scene and knew we had weathered the blizzard.

There wasn’t too much scooping to be done….thankfully. And it wasn’t that cold to be out there doing that job. This morning I grabbed the scoop and headed for the chicken coop. I figured the girls were going to be pretty happy to be let out….and I was right!

I did have to scoop them out so they could make it through the little door. For some reason the snow seemed to land in their chicken run and cover that little door. I was glad for all the bare patches left by the wind. There was no need to scoop trails everywhere for easier walking.

I am grateful that we did not get the 12 inches of snow that some people did. I do have to confess, that there is a wonderful beauty in the snowdrifts that are located around the outbuildings. That gusty wind was like a sculptor (a noisy sculptor)…..carving the drifts into strange, beautiful forms.

I am also grateful that every day is one day closer to Spring! That thought makes the cold and snow easier to take. It makes it easier to see the beauty in the snowdrifts and to enjoy the howling of the wind as it swirls around the corners of our home.

As I shoveled the snow onto the stalks of my perennials this morning I had to smile. I knew that this “white stuff” was going to eventually water those dead looking stalks and come Spring; help bring them back to life.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to experience the seasons of nature. They put me in mind of how closely those season parallel the seasons of life we go through. It is good to know that after the blizzard; the warmth will return, the grass will once again be green and the flowers will bloom.

Under the snowdrifts the blossoms are sleeping,
Dreaming their dreams of sunshine and June,
Down in the hush of their quiet they’re keeping
Trills from the throstle’s wild summer-sung tune.

Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford

 

 

 

Transformation

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It is amazing how much the landscape can change in just a day or two. We went from 50 degree weather and sunny, to howling winds and that white stuff blowing around. It was a sudden transformation that I should have expected ….after all we do live in Iowa!

For some reason it seems we are always surprised when that first snowfall comes. In a way it is a good thing; as it can be a little hard to get in the Christmas decorating spirit when the trees are bare, the air is warm and the ground is brown. At least it seems hard for me.

The thing I find so hard to get used to, the older I get, is the cold. My dad used to tell us that we are in the season of the lazy wind…..it is too lazy to go around you and it just goes right through you instead! The wind seems to have more of a bite to it; the more I age.  I am not sure how that actually works. I just know that it seems to be a very sad fact.

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There is kind of a beauty to this season of change. The other night when I went to lock the girls in for the night, the snow was coming down softly. The wind had stilled, the flakes fell softly and melted as they hit my skin.  I could hear the echoing calls of a flock of geese as they settled down on the river for the night. Standing there, with only the moon for light, it was a delight for the senses.

Sometimes change can be good. The cold season of winter makes me appreciate the warming days of Spring. So many things in life are the same way. It takes the uncomfortable times and cold seasons to make me really appreciate those times when things are easier and seem to go smoothly.

Winter is a great time for reflection. It is a time to slow down and enjoy the warmth of a wood stove and a cup of hot chocolate. It is a great time to dream of the warmth to come and enjoy the company of family. It is a gift of time to reflect on blessings given.

Take time daily to reflect on how much you have.
It may not be all that you want
but remember someone somewhere
is dreaming to have what you have.” 

― Germany Kent