Thursday, February 4, 2010

All the winds that blow

Today the sun is shining. The temperatures are moderate. At least the heat pump isn’t overheating trying to strain a few warm molecules out of the frigid air, as has been the case during the past few weeks. One would think that all was well.

However, the weather forecasters are tentatively telling us that all is not well. We are right in the line of fire of another significant snowstorm. It is due to arrive in the early hours of tomorrow (Friday) morning and continue until late Saturday night. By the time it stops snowing, they are saying that we could have an accumulation of 12 to 18 inches.

Now, for some of you in other areas of the country, this is not an unusual situation. But for those of us in the Central Atlantic region (where we have been known go a whole year without seeing a single snowflake), this is not typical.

And it’s not as if we don’t know what we’re in for. Just a few days before Christmas, we had a knee-deep snowfall. I’m sure the merchants were devastated as everything ground to an absolute halt for several very critical shopping days. There are still mounds of scooped snow from that storm piled up in parking lots all over town.

School and church have been canceled in the interim as subsequent smaller storms have rolled through. There is no doubt that this weekend’s event will repeat that pattern for yet another week.

But today the sun is shining. The air is relatively warm. The already-present snow is conveniently not on the roads throughout town. I’ll be able to get out today to run a couple of errands.

Tomorrow, though, early in the morning, probably about the same time as the snow starts falling, one of our daughters will journey to the hospital to deliver her second child. Their almost 20-month-old daughter will be traveling with her other grandparents to a town about 45 minutes to the north.

Meanwhile, one of our sons will be awaiting word on whether or not his offer on a house was accepted. The answer is due by 5:00 tomorrow night.

Another son will probably wind up being stranded at his security guard job until the effects of the storm are cleared. An older daughter will be trying to cover her sister’s employment duties during her hospitalization. Our youngest daughter will have to see if she can get to the airport whenever it is functioning.

As I contemplate the impact the next 48 hours will have on our family, I take comfort in the fact that generations before have faced other momentous circumstances. Wave after wave of challenge swept over them too. Still, they did whatever was necessary to preserve and protect the critical elements of their lives.

We will survive this storm, despite its predicted severity. We will be eager to welcome a new granddaughter and see what unique character she will contribute to our growing family. We will be concerned about the status of her older sister who is very attached to her mother. We will be anxious about our son’s imminent next step into adulthood. We will be praying for the safety of the others as they strive to meet their responsibilities.

Still, today the sun is still shining. Tomorrow it will go into hiding while Mother Nature tests our mettle. And then it will ultimately return and shed its warming rays on the multi-layered blanket of white. But, just like our predecessors, we will get through this and add several new experiences to our scrapbook of eternal memories.

May we brace ourselves and stand firm, even in the midst of the heaviest adversities that blow. The sun will always shine again.


  1. A very thoughtful and though-provoking post! We are also in the mid-Atlantic area and are waiting for that storm to arrive. I also saw that sunshine today, and then two hours later the sky had clouded over. Good luck to your children. (My oldest daughter was born during a snowstorm.)

  2. Hi, Greta,

    Hope you're surviving well. Nice to know we're in this together! Not quite sure why that is comforting, but it is.

    Actually, a study I read many years ago in college has remained with me. In this experiment, they hooked one subject up to a pain-producing appliance and then asked him to bear as much as he could.

    Then another person was brought in and the first individual was told that this new person would be receiving the same dose of pain. The subject was then asked to endure as much as he could.

    Interestingly, the second level was much higher than the first, even though in reality the second person was not connected.

    Was it pride in not being the first to call it quits? Or is there something in a shared experience that increases tolerance?

    Anyway, just another thought to ponder while we wait for the spring thaw!