Thursday, December 18, 2008

On Snow and a Lesson in Charity

I don't know what it is about snow that I love so much. I certainly don't enjoy the prospect of driving in it. I don't like the puddles that it makes on the floor when you bring it inside on your shoes. I don't like having to go scrape it off of the car in the mornings.

What I do like, though, is how quiet everything is when there is a blanket of snow over it. I like that it's so quiet that you can almost hear individual flakes landing on the sidewalk. I like that it forces us to slow down, maybe decide to stay at home instead of making that one extra errands trip, and enjoy each other's company. I have to wonder if God planned it that way. Just in time to celebrate His Son's birth, we have the opportunity to slow down, breathe, take a walk, and enjoy the silence.

This is our house a couple of hours ago. It's continued to snow since I took this.

Here are some pictures of our little snow angel. Clare loved her first experience playing in the snow, and cried when I brought her back inside because her nose was bright red.

My friend Cheri posted a few pictures of their Christmas decorations, so I thought I'd do the same. I try to make all of our decorations by hand if possible -- our Nativity is store-bought, though. The cedar swag was made out of florist's wire and cedar boughs from the tree in our back yard. The wreath is also homemade. I hung it with gold wire-edged ribbon instead of a metal wreath hanger, and I really like how it looks so much better. You may notice a trend here -- I like ribbon. A lot.

For the record, I hate the screen door. It ruins a perfectly good picture. If I have it shut, you can't see the wreath. If I have it open, the other side of my cedar swag gets cut out. I just can't win with this door. Oh well, you get the idea.

This is only the corner of a homemade garland that I have hung across the front window. I took a picture of the whole thing, but you really lose some of the effect, so I thought I'd go with a closer-up picture.

I took a picture of our tree too, but it came out looking very strange with the window backlighting it, and in the daylight you lose the entire effect of the lights. I may take one tonight and post it.

On to a Lesson in Charity...

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you're completely overwhelmed by someone's charity, and edified by their example? We had one this past weekend.

We went to Bellingham for Lauren & John's wedding on Saturday -- it was beautiful. And it even started to snow as they were leaving the reception. How romantic.

Then it kept on snowing, and Bellingham's roads got very nasty in a very short few hours. As we were leaving the Xavier House (about 9:30 PM) - Clare was SUPER cranky (sorry to all who endured her screaming) because she missed her nap and it was getting late - Fr. Nguyen asked if we could give him a ride back to the rectory, as he didn't think his car would be able to make it. So we put it in 4WD and pulled out of 35th Street no problem. But the road report was not good, and there were tales of roll-overs and people in ditches so Tom and I thought that after we dropped Father off we should probably put on the chains at a gas station just to be safe.

Father suggested that we do it before getting up the hill to his house so that he could help Tom while Clare and I stayed warm in the car - looking back on it, I don't think we would have been able to even get near Sacred Heart without the chains on. Anyway, poor Tom and Fr. Nguyen jumped out of the car (Tom no coat, and neither had gloves) and proceeded to put the chains on. Now these are supposedly the "Quick Fit" variety. There was nothing quick about this. It took them nearly an hour outside in 20-degree snowy weather to get these things on. It was our fault for not having done a test run on them in our garage before leaving. Lesson learned.

Anyway, they got the darn things on and we were able to get to the rectory just fine. Father said he was going to run in and grab some Cheerios for Clare to keep her happy on the drive down. A few minutes later, out comes Father with a whole bag full of food for us all and 2 cups of steaming hot tea. Tom and I were so thankful not only for his help in putting the chains on our car, but for his generosity in bringing out a whole lunch bag for our trip home. And how did he know that Peppermint tea is my favorite? What charity!

Thank you, Father Nguyen.

Here's a picture of the "Quick Fit" chain incident:

We did make it home just fine. The roads were pretty bad between Bellingham and Mt. Vernon (cars all over the road, rolled over, and in ditches, tow trucks...) so we were thankful for the chains. It took us over an hour to make what is usually a 30-minute drive. In Mt. Vernon we took the chains off (incidentally, a very quick chore) and by the time we hit S. Everett we were comfortable taking it out of 4WD.

We barely made it to Seattle in time to catch a 1 AM ferry, and tumbled in to bed at almost 3 AM on Sunday. What an adventure!

Some of you may be asking, "Why the heck did you even try to drive? Couldn't you have stayed the night?" The answer is yes, we could have stayed over, but our friend Patrick pointed out that it might be best to take our chances with the snow rather than wait until the morning when it's all frozen over to a sheet of ice. We thought he was probably right.

Well, stay safe out there everyone. Enjoy the snow, and enjoy each other. God bless you!


Erin said...

I totally agree with you about perfect timing for homebound weather....I was just thinking I would have no baking time!! I love it too as long as I can stay inside...although I bummed our date for a get together got cancelled. I want to post pics of decorations too...I love that idea and seeing everything people do! Loved your garland. Talk soon....hope your hubby made it home!

Tom and Carrie said...

Tom here - made it home...but only after sliding into another car. Fortunately I was only doing about 3 mph and there was no damage to either car; we both drove away happy.