February Started Out With a Bang . . . or At Least a Big Mess

Feb 2nd

With the best of intentions to get back to sitting down and at least mentioning a few celebrations again, starting with February 1st, I posted the monthly, weekly and food celebrations the other day. And then January 31st rolled around, and rather than giving way to the new month quietly, it went out with a roar and no little amount of violence. The resulting chaos kept me from the computer Friday evening and all of the weekend – at least so far as writing.  I did get on social media and whine. What did I whine about?  Well, so long as you asked . . .

 

My co-workers and I were all scrambling to get the last few things done for the day, seeing that the wind that had been predicted wasn’t only here, but kicking up quite a ruckus. Our power had been blinking in and out, and we really wanted to get out of there.  BLINK! Off goes the power in the entire town. Shoot. Two more things to finish, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  We all packed up to leave.  The drive home was scary. Branches and debris were whipping through the air everywhere, the streets looked carpeted in green, there were so many branches on them.  At one point I had to stop at some road flares to wait my turn to get around a tree that was blocking most of the street. I wanted to drive faster and slower at the same time, faster to get past these trees as fast as I could, slower to try to watch the branches falling from the trees. Seriously, driving in ice and snow is so much easier than this was!  With white knuckles gripping the steering wheel, I prayed that I’d get home without a tree landing on me, while simultaneously praying for our home and property to be safe. BAM! I let out a scream as something hit the top of my car, and though I was shaking at that point, I didn’t slow down, and sending up a prayer of gratitude that it didn’t hit my windshield, kept going.  Nearing home, I was SHOCKED by how many people were out taking a stroll. PEOPLE THERE IS A WINDSTORM HAPPENING! GO INSIDE! Worse, there were kids skateboarding down our hill – where were their parents? Did they teach them NOTHING? Sheesh!  Pulling into my driveway with a sigh of relief, I took a look around. Uh oh. The dead tree we had worried about from our neighbor’s property was mostly now on our property, in the yard . . . on the roof. I couldn’t see anything sticking INTO the roof, so hopefully it was all OK.  Then I went inside.  Moose was right at the door, whining, drooling, trembling and if he could have, he would have climbed up onto my shoulders.  I came inside, and squinting in the darkness, because our power was out, realized the wind was blowing inside the house. It took me a bit to process it, but the tree had shattered our skylights and there was glass everywhere. Literally. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been for Moose! It looked like it had exploded and showered it across the entire room.  I grabbed Moose and went back to the bedroom where there wasn’t any glass, closed the door, and called to cry at my husband . . . followed by calling to cry at my mother, my daughter and my son.  Then I just sat there and cried into Moose’s neck, and he leaned against me, trembling and so very much needing to be snuggled.

As soon as Hubby got home, life got a bit better. I wasn’t alone and he was obviously not happy that this happened, but he did what he does so well, and assessed the damage, made out a plan of action and we got to work. Thankful for the generator, we swept up what we could, used the shop vac for a big portion of the mess, followed by our house vacuum cleaner. We vacuumed for at least 2 hours, and yet we are still finding glass bits here and there.  Using a precariously positioned ladder on top of a dinette table, though it wasn’t as precarious as it looked since Hubby is amazing at securing things in a way as to make them more safe, he climbed up and holding a large sheet of wood with one arm, wielding a drill with the other, he secured the holes in the ceiling. Because it was supposed to rain and it definitely wasn’t water tight, he thought outside the box – since we didn’t have any buckets or totes large enough to set below the skylight holes to catch rain, he took out our rather large inflatable boat and set it below the board. Drip, drip, drip. Yep, great idea. Saturday morning, he got up on the roof to assess the damage and cover the holes with a tarp. Yesterday he got up there again to cover it with a board AND the tarp, since we got a teensy bit of snow Saturday night and may be getting more. The tarp alone probably won’t withstand any weight. 

So, that is my story about waving good-bye to January, saying hello to February, and why I wasn’t here for the weekend.  For anyone who has had to deal with REAL bad weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, I know this may not seem like much. And in the grand scheme of the world, we got off easy, but it certainly changed our weekend plans.

 

Verse of the Day

February 3, 2020

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Philippians 2:3

 

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Humility is recognizing who God has made us to be and using that recognition to serve and redeem others. Living in humility as Jesus did, we don’t just practice the golden rule, but we go one step better — we treat others better than we would treat ourselves. Are we instructed to do this because we’re unworthy or unfit? No! Jesus was worthy and glorious, but he chose to treat others better than himself when he sacrificially gave himself to redeem them. It’s a high standard. It’s a hard standard. It is not for wimps. But it is ultimately glorious. (Hint: Read down through verse 10 and remember that the same type of reward will be given to the faithful!)

www.verseoftheday.com

 

 

Feed the Birds Day – Here we are, mid-winter, and I’m sure you’ve noticed all the little birds flitting around looking for food. We have three feeders for the hungry little guys, and some days all of them are completely busy with a variety of birds coming and going.  It’s fascinating.  February is one of the most difficult months in the United States and Canada for wild birds.  It is difficult for the birds to find food, water and shelter, so any of us who feed the birds are helping them to survive.  Did you know that about one third of the U.S. population feeds wild birds in their back yards?  Are you part of that one third?  Celebrating this month by feeding the birds isn’t just good for them, it’s good for us too.  Taking time to watch the birds eat has been proven to be very relaxing and peaceful, relieving stress by just absorbing the beauty of nature.  This can also be an excellent educational tool for young children.  They can identify different species of birds with a field guide and learn about their feeding and living habits.  If you don’t have a bird feeder, maybe look up some DIY feeders, or head down to the store to find one that fits into your budget, buy a bag of seed and you’re set.  Just a note – I’ve found that our birds prefer just the black sunflower seeds, rather than the mixed wild bird food.  We had the wild bird seed and the silly birds were kicking those seeds onto the ground and just eating the black sunflower seeds. Go figure!  Oh well, the squirrels seem to like the scattered seed, so it’s not a loss

 

Four Chaplains Memorial Day – On February 3, 1943 four heroes sacrificed their lives to save others.  Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.  Four chaplains, George Fox, Alexander Goode, Clark Poling and John Washington, gave up their life belts and lives when the SS Dorchester was torpedoed off Greenland during WWII.  The Four Chaplains, also referred to as “the Immortal Chaplains” were US Army Chaplains who gave their lives for other civilian and military personnel while their ship sank.  They helped other soldiers board the lifeboats, gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out, joined arms, said prayers and sang hymns as they went down with the ship. These men epitomize the word heroic, and the legacy of their sacrifice and the way they lived their lives carrying out the work of God right to their last breath should inspire us all, every single day.  God bless them, and men like them.

 

National Football Hangover Day – Yesterday was the 54th Super Bowl.  And today many people, probably not even intending to, are celebrating this one.  It is estimated that 14 million people call into work “sick” the day after the game. Since we didn’t watch the game, we weren’t in any danger of this happening. Of course, in the years before anyone in the NFL started kneeling for the anthem, when we DID watch the games, we didn’t get drunk or hungover either. Maybe it’s a personal responsibility thing? If you are one of those people, I suppose you walked your way into it, so you’ll have to just take your lumps while you get better. Sorry . . . not sorry. This one doesn’t happen by accident, so my sympathy is a little thin for this one.

 

National Missing Person’s Day – This is a shocking statistic. Every single day, approximately 2,300 people are reported missing. Every single day. That is a staggering number.  Think about the people you love, no matter who they are. Can you imagine if suddenly one of them went missing and you had no idea where they were? Be aware of your surroundings, all of the time. Teach your kids, talk to your friends, do not ever be so engrossed in anything that you aren’t aware of what is going on around you. It’s too easy to become one of those terrible statistics.

 

The Day the Music Died – On a cold winter night on February 3, 1959, a small private plane bound for Fargo, ND took off from Clear Lake, Iowa.  It never reached its destination.  That plane crash ended the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson.  Three of the most promising artists in Rock and Roll were gone.   It never ceases to amaze me how simple decisions we make in daily life can change things so suddenly, and so permanently. The story of the deaths of these singers shows this so clearly, and in such a sad way. Performing in concert was very profitable and Buddy Holly needed the money that performing would give him.  Buddy Holly would be the headliner in a winter tour that was planned to cover 24 cities in 3 weeks – from January 23 – February 15.  Waylon Jennings, a friend of Holly’s from Texas, and Tommy Allsup would be his backup musicians.  Ritchie Valens, one of the hottest artists at that time, The Big Bopper and Dion and the Belmonts would round out the list of performers on the tour. Along the way their tour bus started having problems with the heating.  It was so cold that reports say that one of the drummers got frostbite riding in it.  When they arrived at their destination in Clear Lake, Iowa, they were cold, tired and fed up with the bus problems.  Buddy Holly had had enough of it and decided to charter a plane for himself and his guys.  Waylon Jennings gave up his seat in the plane to The Big Bopper (JP Richardson), who was running a fever and had a hard time fitting his stocky body comfortably into the bus seats.  When Buddy Holly found out that Jennings wasn’t going to fly, he jokingly said, “Well, I hope your old bus freezes up.”  Jennings responded, “Well, I hope your plane crashes.”  This friendly teasing between friends haunted Jennings for years.  Allsup told Valens that he would flip him for the last seat on the plane.  On the toss of a coin, Valens won the seat . . . and Allsup won the rest of his life.  The plane took off a little after 1:00 in the morning from Clear Lake, and never got far from the airport before it crashed, killing everyone on board.  A cold NE wind had given way to snow, which had reduced visibility drastically.  The ground was already covered in snow.  There were reports that suggested that the pilot may not have been very experienced with the instruments.   As Don McLean wrote in his classic music parable, American Pie, it was “the day the music died.”

 

 

 

Food Celebration of the Day –

National Carrot Cake Day – The first wild carrots were red, white, yellow and purple. It took 16th-century Dutch farmers crossing a red with a yellow to create the carrots we enjoy today. I thought it was interesting to read that the Queen Anne’s Lace flower/weed is actually a wild carrot. I had no idea! ALSO, and this one sounds pretty icky to me – in the 1930’s Jell-O had a carrot pie flavored gelatin.

 

Have a wonderful Monday, a quick work week and may you be safe from any wind that blows your way. God bless you.  I’ll see you soon.

 

Celebration list sources:

www.verseoftheday.com   www.brownielocks.com   www.holidayinsights.com   www.thenibble.com   www.foodimentary.com

 

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