Monday, 22 December 2008

Blessings with the Snow

I have always said I would never live where I had to own a snow shovel. Today, I finally wished I had one, and yet I still don't own one because there is not one available within 100 miles. I hope I can stick to my plan. To top it off, since moving to the great Pacific Northwest, in every season we have lived through, and this is our second winter, I have heard this line from just about everyone, "This is not normal for Seattle" I am beginning to wonder if there is a "normal" for Seattle. Right now I think 45 and rain sounds great! I have also said often that snow is highly overrated. I guess I do like heat, you don't have to shovel that!

Still, there are some great things about this. I have to wonder if this is God's way of making us slow down, even though some people don't, can't, or won't. I have also witnessed some people being not so kind, but far more being very kind and helpful as we all struggle together. Sunday, I could not get to where I was supposed to be, St. Columba's, Kent and then St. Mary's, Lakewood and that is just difficult for me. I hate not to be there. I get fidgety and kind of aimless when the plan is subverted. Getting past that, I decided I would take the opportunity to attend services at St. John the Baptist. This is the very good thing about living right next door to an Episcopal Church in this diocese. My wife was having a bit of back trouble after an ice spill the night before, so my son and I went together. This alone was such a gift, and to go without anything to really do, but be with him, even better. I was treated to a truly fine meditation by Rector Peter DeVeau, who had not intended to preach. He had a guest preacher who could not make it, yes, because of the snow. As is so often the case, these rather impromptu offerings are often some of the best. This one was. We even had an old fashioned hymn "call out" for Christmas carols. But perhaps the most meaningful part of this day was my son, sitting beside me and instructing me as we moved through the service. He was being very helpful, telling me "how it happens here", and guiding me through the service, leading me around. He wants to be a deacon, and he is serious about this. He would make a good one. But I found myself sitting next to him so thankful, for him, thankful that the moment had been created, thankful for the snow.


  1. ah yes - it's always the simple things in life that mean the most to us -and yes, this snow has been a royal pain and yet - it has been a glorious opportunity to do that whole "adventy" thing - slow down, prepare, and wait. and who better to do that with than those you love?

    p.s. and everyone is correct when they tell you that this really isn't "typical" weather for the northwest :)

    merry christmas eve!

  2. Snow.

    First, being born and raised just north of Seattle, I can say that this weather is not typical, but as we've witnessed, it can happen, and has happened before. I recommend that the diocese purchase you a snow shovel. I will send you a couple of pictures that you can send to your warm weather friends and family.

    While I have enjoyed the snow, and getting about with my camera in it, my biggest disappointment was that I was unable to attend the 11 p.m. service at St. Mark's, at which I was scheduled to serve as an acolyte. When I was in high school and at the university, my mom and I would stay up and watch the service at St. Mark's, which at that time was broadcast on one of the local stations. I grew up in a tradition that did not have a Christmas Eve service, though prior to "leaving" that faith setting (Long, but predictable story.), helped to begin such a celebration. Now in the Land Episcopal, I look very much forward to it, and realized last night exactly how much. However, given that my partner and I live in the North End, the prediction of the return of below freezing temperatures along with possible snow about midnight just made the trip too daunting given my partner's physical challenges.

    So, I will wait to introduce myself. If nothing else, I'll be one of those confirmed come the Easter Vigil -- Lord willing!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Glad to see your son knows how to keep the bishop humble! Never too ecclesiastically "high" to learn!