When I think about our past two moves - the time of year and location - I am blown away by how good God has been to us. Moving from Florida to Pennsylvania in January of last year had every bit of potential to be miserable; everyone up north was deep in the throes of the "polar vortex"...yet the week we moved in, unpacked, and got settled happened to be the ONE week in January when there didn't seem to be any snowfall or typical wintry weather in/around Philadelphia.
Just recently we moved even further north when, in late December, we said goodbye to Pennsylvania and hello to our new home in the Boston area. I don't know about you, but when I think of the northeast coast in late December I call to mind images of blustery wind, bitter cold, and a whole lot of snowfall. Yet when we moved there wasn't any snow on the ground. Nor did it get any colder than about 30 degrees (Fahrenheit) that entire first week.
In fact, I've actually been a bit surprised at how very little snowfall we've experienced throughout our first month here. This past weekend seemed to be the first substantial amount in awhile, so we tried to avoid the roads and stay close to home as much as possible. Fortunately, we live right in the heart of the part of town with all the best shopping, including the shopping mall. This meant we managed to get out of the house/keep from going stir crazy without having to go far because we drove across the street (literally) and spent some quality family time doing some serious mall-walking - plus a tiny bit of shopping for next month's trip for my sister-in-law's destination wedding.
Sunday was sunny and noticeably warmer, so I realized it was finally the perfect time to try on Gabriel's size 18-month snow pants (they were a gift from his newborn days that we've been patiently waiting for him to grow into for over a year now). Gabriel has seen plenty of snow at this point, but there's never been enough on the ground (with decent temperatures) since he's been old enough to experience playing in the snow. Yesterday that changed!
We bundled up, grabbed some buckets to play with, and headed outside to give Gabriel his first close-up, hands-on encounter with snow.
I didn't know how he would react, but the boy loved it!
At first he was frustrated by his mittens, but once we showed him that he could simply bring both hands together to scoop the snow off the ground he began smiling and exploring. We showed him that he could put snow in the buckets (and dump it out), could toss it in the air, and my husband introduced him to snowballs (complete with demonstrating how to throw them!). Pretty soon he was giggling as he repeatedly accepted snowballs from Michael and smashed them on the sidewalk. The entire ordeal probably lasted less than ten minutes, but Gabriel had so much fun.
Now we're gearing up for nearly two feet of snow in the next couple of days - so we'll be hunkering down, staying inside, and most definitely avoiding driving anywhere. Michael was already informed that the office will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday, which means he gets to stay with us and work from home! While everyone else seems to be dreading the impending snowfall, I'm genuinely looking forward to it. After all, we've got a warm roof over our heads, plenty of food in the pantry and fridge, I know my husband will be safely at home with us, and thanks to our apartment's parking garage we won't even have to deal with digging our cars out when the storm subsides! As long as our entire apartment building doesn't lose power, I'm not worried about how we'll fare. Call me crazy, but I'm kind of looking forward to our first epic Boston snowstorm.
Although I'm confident that we'll be fine, my heart goes out to those seeking shelter or that lack proper heat within their homes. While I'm oddly looking forward to being snowed in with my little family, there are others out there dreading the same storm for very good reasons. So please don't worry about us, but instead offer up some prayers for all those in less fortunate circumstances that are bracing themselves for a tough week.
"Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes. We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, especially for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way tonight.
Loving God, send in more helpers, and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need. You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us. Amen."