I am watching the snow fall here on the Ponderosa, (as we call our Homestead), in Alberta. It’s not like the white stuff is unexpected. We usually get a good snowfall, mid to late September, and then the temperatures can sky-rocket for a few more weeks, which always lulls us into thinking that summer is not quite over. As I watch the flakes fall though, I know this first snowfall may be short-lived but winter is definitely coming.
As most of my friends and family know, I am not a fan of winter. Some others may cheer at the thought of shooshing down the slopes, having a great affinity for the ski season, I however, do not ski. I don’t see the appeal of careening down a leg-breaking hill of ice, only to get to the bottom and then take another vertigo challenging ride on a ski lift only to get to the top of the hill and careen down again. Repeat.
Did I mention, I’m also afraid of heights?
I’m not a fan of winter driving either. I white-knuckle my way around town, braving the slippery streets and carefree drivers who still think they can drive the same in the winter as they do in the summer. Nope, not a fun time.
I don’t much like the mind-numbing cold we get here in Southern Alberta either. I don’t like feeling my nose hairs freeze in my nostrils when I go outside. I don’t like seeing the thermometer plummet to -20 C, knowing that at some point I need to go grocery shopping. The choice is go out in the cold or starve. Sometimes I feel like flipping a coin to decide.
When I brave the cold, I’m bundled up so well only my eyes are showing between the toque on my head and the colourful scarf over my nostril-frozen nose and mouth. The extra padding of my winter coat may shield me from the blistering cold somewhat, but never seems to be enough to cushion me when I slip on any ice covering the sidewalk. Tooshie bruises will attest to that fact.
Nope, not a fan of winter – at all!
However, as I watch the snow accumulate on the ground, I am also thankful. I am thankful I have a warm house, and a warm hearth to take the chill out of the air. There are many in this world today, who must brave the elements without a roof over their heads. I have warm clothes to wear and a warm bed to tuck into at night. Many in this world do not share that luxury. I have the ability to drive to the store for food, even if it is white-knuckling all the way. Many will go hungry tonight, even in the city in which I live!
It is sobering to think about all the suffering around the world, and have the audacity to complain about a little bit of snow and cold here.
I am reminded of this scripture: ” Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Being thankful is a choice, even during these long winter months ahead.