Thursday, December 27, 2012

No Time Like Snow Time

Snow is not my favorite kind of weather.  My memories of snow are howling winds and brown-tinted drifts piled in inconvenient places.  Where I grew up was too flat to get any good from a sled or skis.  Snowmobiles were OK as long as you could avoid the bare patches where all the white stuff had blown off and into the fence rows.  Of course, we didn't own snowmobiles.  They were the domain of those who had cabins at Ruidoso or Red River and spent portions of the winter in the mountains.

Snow meant cold, but cold rarely meant snow.  Temperatures in the teens were no fun.  Yeah, I know, many of you think temps in the teens is a warm spell.....not me.  Those temperatures were always accompanied by howling winds that dropped the chill factor below zero -- or at least into the single digits.

I grew up in town but spent many of my free hours helping my grandfather who always had cattle and horses.  The cold weather meant breaking ice for the livestock and feeding them hay.  Sometimes the challenge was just to get to them.  Breaking snowdrifts could be interesting and sometimes involved a walk to find a tractor.

The crazy thing is that often the field would be virtually bare of snow and the roads filled and overflowing.  After years and years of road graders smoothing the roads they were often lower than the fields on either side.  When the wind moved the snow from the level ground of the fields it naturally went to the lowest place -- the road.  More than once I have driven on the turn rows of fields rather than in the road.

I figured that with the move to East Texas we wouldn't see much snow.  Obviously I hadn't done my homework.  We had several inches fall on Christmas Day.  They are still with us.  The challenge here is picking up tree limbs and avoiding the vehicles driven by East Texans who are unfamiliar with snow and ice.  Their timidity on the roads seems to be a greater hazard than the snow itself.

I know this sounds like a complaint but it really isn't.  The snow is a  blessing.  It was preceded by good rain and my ponds are replenished and my pasture has a good dose of water that hopefully will start some of the winter grasses to growing.  This snow will actually help reduce the amount of hay I'm having to feed because of the drought that hopefully is breaking.  The forecast calls for moisture for most of next week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Anticipation fills the air
And fires the hearts of men
With hope and love and family
And times without a care;

Remembrances of childhood time
With laughter, food and fun
And peeking 'neath the Christmas tree
For any telltale sign

Of what beneath the wrappings lay;
Delights of Christmas morn
So near and yet so far away
Awaiting break of day.

Jesus in the manger fast asleep,
Unnoticed on the shelf;
Mary and Joseph standing watch
With Shepherds and their sheep.

While towering o'er the manger scene
Is dancing Santa Claus
Proclaiming loudly, "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
When someone pulls his string

Somehow I think that our delight
Is empty -- without meaning
As we focus on the things of earth
Ignoring God's Holy Light.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I am always somewhat dismayed but never shocked that the last few days before Christmas are whirlwinds of activity.  I do my best to stay at the peripheral but it seems that I am always pulled into the maelstrom.

I can cook.  But I don't really enjoy it.  So, I leave the creative cooking to others.  Frosted cookies, loaves of bread, candies and pies are not my domain.  I find it best to go rake leaves or something when such activities are in full swing. 

Then there is the inevitable last minute dash to get packages wrapped before "the trip" somewhere.  Always we go somewhere -- even when we would prefer to have Christmas at home.  Or, maybe it's just me that prefers to have Christmas at home.  I'm the one that travels all the time so when there is a holiday, I don't get especially excited about hitting the road.

Oh, I was talking about wrapping packages.  I can do so -- adequately.  But, they usually don't turn out "pretty" so I shy away from the task.  I wrap what I must wrap.  I am thankful for gift bags.  Years ago we didn't have that luxury.  I can handle gift bags.  Just put whatever it is into the bag, stuff some tissue paper in on top, put a tag on it and call it good. 

So, cooking.  Yes, I cooked dinner.  It was a trade.  I didn't wrap packages.  I can handle a basic meal of meat, potatoes and a veggie.  I even did most of the dishes.  That's a fair trade isn't it?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life Marches On

Once upon many years ago a Mayan carved a calendar into stone.  Given the limitations of stone, he ran out of space.  It is just a coincidence that this day was the last one carved into that stone.  But, what does that say to us today?  Not that it is the end of the world, but that life marches on. 

Back in the 90's I took over management of a division of a company that developed software for feed yards.  We faced the Y2K issue.  Hmm.....someone failed to consider the fact that the software would be around long enough for that to be an issue.  It reminds me of the Mayan carving his calendar.  Y2K passed and the world didn't end then either.

On a more somber note, this week also saw another mass murder by a deranged individual.  It has become a political football.  I am saddened for those families who lost children or other loved ones.  But, in the bigger scheme of things, it is only temporary.  We all will die.  The only question that should be asked is will we be united with them in eternity.

I am not going to debate whether all innocent children automatically go to heaven.  I don't know the answer to that.  I do know that many of the adults affected by the loss will not.  Many do not believe in a life after this one.  If they don't it was all meaningless anyway if you follow the logic of their belief to its conclusion.  Our temporary sojourn on this planet is but a moment in time.  Life marches on. 

The real tragedy in the murder of those kids is that people don't see that it is only a symptom of something much bigger.  It isn't about guns.  It isn't about the mentally unstable.  It is a tiny event in the battle between good and evil.  Stalin, Hitler, the Huns, the Chinese, abortion clinics -- all have murdered many more innocent victims than the killer in Connecticut. 

Ultimately good will win.  It will be when Jesus returns.  Not before.  In the meantime, we struggle on as the Spiritual Battle rages around us.  We must choose sides.  Jesus told us that if we aren't for Him we are against Him (Matthew 12:30).  If you think you haven't chosen sides you are is time to think hard about that choice.  Life marches on but, only temporarily on this earth.