The Quixotic Pastor

Friday, December 01, 2006

Preparing ...

Despite the dire predictions of every one of our local weather forecasters, I think my community has missed the Winter Storm bullet. The winter storm warning for our county has been cancelled, which means the anticipated snow accumulation has dropped below the 2" parameter.

Nevertheless, I am glad we prepared. [Besides, this IS Michigan, and who really knows what IT might do.] Yesterday, we went to Home Depot to buy 400 pounds of bagged topsoil to put in the back of DH's pickup so that she could drive on slick stuff more safely than otherwise. [We like topsoil for that purpose because we'll use it next spring to build up the flowerbeds next to the house.] We stack it over the rear axle so she can get better traction. I went to the grocery store to make sure we had a good supply of milk [extra for hot cocoa], bread, eggs and yesterday I made two good sized batches of soup with plenty leftover. These are all things that can be cooked on top of the stove in the event we lose our power [we can light the gas burners with a match, but, alas, not the oven.] We have plenty of firewood. I forgot to buy de-icer, but I think that will be OK --this time.

Secretly, call me an eeejit, but I'm a little disappointed that I am not getting a snow day, even though it is my day off anyhow. I think it is holdover from my childhood in East Texas, where even an inch of snow was cause for celebration because we got out of school. [Really. Just an inch. Because We Don't Know How To Drive On That. Don't believe me? Just look at some of the current footage on the weather channel from the Dallas area and you'll see what I mean.]

The entire snow cover on the front lawn would be used to make a snowman --we had to work very efficiently and carefully to have enough snow to accomplish what we wanted. If the snow were a little deeper, my mother would make snow ice cream [eagle brand condensed milk, vanilla extract, sugar mixed with snow scraped from a "clean" surface --yum!] One of the things that amazes me about Michigan is that no one I have talked to up here has ever made snow ice cream.

Even now as I write, I glance out the window hoping for snowflakes instead of raindrops. Even if I have to shovel.

Of course, I have a Special Dread of Icestorms, also a holdover from my youth. I remember the great Dallas Ice Storm of 1979, when we lost practically every tree we had, when we were without electricity for five days [thankfully we had gas heat, gas hot water and gas cooking] and we played cards or read by candlelight or hurricane lamp light. When we ran out of lamp oil, my brother-in-law and I went out to various stores [most of which were not open] searching for some. We eventually found some in a place only he would have thought to look --at a Headshop! There we were, standing amidst the drug paraphanalia, black lights and psychedelic posters, buying every bottle of lamp oil [scented, of course!] the aging hippie owner had. I saw some of the odd things on the shelves --interestingly shaped glass or metal tubes, pipes, ornate clips and so forth. "Richard ... what is this?" I would ask. He said he'd explain later ... but he never did. Just as well. I remained a "wise" virgin, I guess.

Throughout those very quiet days --little traffic, no electrical hum, no chain saws yet-- ever so often you'd hear a sharp cracking noise like a gunshot, and you knew another tree limb had bit the dust. A potent reminder to stay off the roads --most of which were impassable anyhow--and be careful.

Surely Advent is intended to be something like this. A careful watching and preparation for only God knows what, something both joyous and terrible, awful and awe-filled. A willingness to go into new places and different kinds of experiences in order to be better and more fully prepared.

"Jesus is coming. Look [be?] busy."


  • At 11:46 AM , Blogger revabi said...

    Hey hope the snow er blizzard isn't too bad.

  • At 7:59 AM , Blogger Michelle said...

    My sister, who lives in Detroit now as a Minnesota transplant, tells me most everyday about the weather there. Lovely tie-in to the preparation theme of Advent.


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