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Posts Tagged ‘cold’

I was definitely not cut out for this climate. I have an internal thermostat that registers cold until the external thermostat registers at least 75 degrees. However, I do enjoy living in an area where we have four definite seasons so I’m willing to put up with winter temps.

What I do not appreciate is when Mother Nature decides to tease us into believing the season has turned when it really hasn’t. I know she gets a big kick out of it but I don’t.

I take it very personally. I believe she has singled me out and it is a challenge this time of year for her to coax me out of my turtleneck. She starts with a burst of sunshine after several days of cloud cover. I’m at my desk looking out the window and that sunshine just begs me to come outside and play.

But when I step outside, it is not nice warm sunshine. It is frigid, bone chilling, laughing-at-me sunshine. I can hear Mother Nature chuckle.

Her next ploy is the weatherman. I listen to the report on the morning news and it promises a beautiful 60 degree day. Since we’ve had weeks of 30˚ and 40˚ weather, 60˚ sounds positively balmy. I decide to leave my coat at home since I certainly won’t need it later in the day. Wrong! Aside from fooling me, Mother Nature’s next favorite thing is making a fool of the weatherman.

The trick that irritates me the most of hers is lulling. She is a master at it and you’d think by now I’d have figured that out.  Maybe it’s my blonde or maybe it’s my age.  Whatever it is, I’m better than a Saturday Night Live rerun for making her roll on the floor in hysterics.

Just this last month she pulled her little lulling routine on us. It was February and we all know that February in the Pacific Northwest is technically and literally still winter.   But we had clear skies and 60˚ for several days in a row. I was skeptical at first but after about the 5th day I was lulled into believing winter was over and spring had sprung.

I actually left the turtleneck off and donned a silk blouse twice during that time. I eyed my closet and almost – not quite but almost – started moving the wool skirts downstairs and the lighter ones upstairs. I even got complacent about wearing the undershirt I always put on under my turtleneck.

That changed this week when I woke up to a light snowfall and temperatures in the 30’s again. I could hear that old woman roaring as I rushed back inside for an undershirt, sweater, coat and gloves.

I’m done. I’m not letting her do that to me again. I’ve circled March 20 on my calendar as the official first day of spring and I’ve freshened up all my long sleeve sweaters, tights and wool blazers. I don’t care how much the sun shines or the temperature rises, it’s winter until at least March 20 and even then I’m going to be cautious!

Oh, and by the way, Mother Nature isn’t the only one who has mastered the trick of lulling. Satan is great at it also. He loves to stand back and watch us settle into complacency and become lax about putting on the (under)armor.

So here’s my caution for today. Don’t trust first impressions or first glimpses. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is good. Prove it out by going to the Word and letting God tell you how to dress for the season. Unlike the weatherman, He’s always right.

God sets clear boundaries for where we can go and where we cannot go. The Christian life requires that we do not get complacent about those boundaries or get lulled into thinking things have changed when they haven’t. All may look bright and sunny. We may think we are stronger than we really are. But we will soon discover that going out without a coat will leave us vulnerable to the elements, one of which is the bitter bite of the devil.

Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

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Attractive Woman Holds Her Cap Isolated on a White Background.Took our first bike ride of the year on Monday and let me tell you, it was cold. Your first clue that the picture to the left is not me is the smile on her face. Let me admit right up front I am a fair weather rider. I hate being cold. My brother in law has suggested electric gloves and vest but I am resistant. Riding is a hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable. What is enjoyable about riding in weather so cold you have to plug yourself in to survive? Nothing!

The only reason, and I mean ONLY reason, I ride when it’s cold is because it’s important to my husband and he is important to me.

To make this ride especially memorable (not in a good way) our power went out in the house just as we were leaving. We noticed the neighbors didn’t have power either so just figured it was a little glitch and would be back on before we got back.

Four hours later we returned, chilled to the bone, and discovered we still had no power. No power means no heat, no hot coffee, no hot shower. I was not happy. Anyone who rides knows that if you are cold on the bike, you will be twice as cold when you get off. The chill really sets in and you find yourself shivering from the inside out.

So without removing any of my seven layers (undershirt, thermal shirt, long sleeved t-shirt, sweater, vest , wool zip up sweater and leather jacket), I pulled a blanket around me and still couldn’t stop shivering.

I finally suggested we get in the car and take a drive with the heater at full blast, which we did. After about an hour I felt sufficiently thawed. When we returned home we still had no power – for probably another two hours. We managed to survive and once it came back on we cranked the stove, huddled around it and drank hot coffee.

I was telling my story to friends at church on Tuesday evening and received an email a few hours later. I thought she voiced a great point so I’m sharing it with you.

Her email asked this question:  Have we gotten so bad about not wanting unexpected visitors that our friends will drive around for 45 minutes to warm up? Have we made people feel so intrusive that they can’t stop at a friends house and say our lights are out, our heat is off and we’re freezing, could we bum a cup of coffee off you?

Do you know that it never entered our mind to call a friend? How odd is that? Her email assured me we would have been welcome and I have no doubt about that. But for some reason “dropping by” isn’t something people tend to do anymore. We feel like we have to give advance notice, either out of respect for the friend who might want to pick the dirty underwear up off the floor or out of fear that we might be putting the friend on the spot to come up with a good excuse for why they aren’t available.

It’s like when someone is walking down the sidewalk, stubs their toe and falls. Their first reaction is to jump up and look around to see if anyone saw them make a fool of themselves. But if you’re the person walking down the sidewalk behind them, your first thought isn’t “what a fool”. Your first thought is “I hope they aren’t hurt” and you run to help.

When I hear of someone stuck without power or with a backed up septic or similar crisis, my first thought is to offer my home as a respite. But when I’m the one in the crisis, my first thought is “don’t intrude on someone else”. Why is that?

Look around you.  We have become so isolated in our social activities that we actually believe we can maintain relationships without ever having to find ourselves in physical face to face interaction. Instead, we do facebook, email, text messaging. What started as a fast, efficient method of communication has morphed into evasion interaction.

Here’s what my friend said at the end of her email:  So why do we wait or not ask or just stop by? You still can at our house and if we have to leave and you’re still cold, you’re welcome to stay, sip your coffee and warm up before you leave.

My guess is she’s not the only one with that attitude. I challenge you today to push through the wall of hesitation and step over the threshold of invitation.

Drop in on a friend just because you feel like it.  Call a friend if you need something (I said call not text). Make it clear that you are available for them anytime they need you.

How can we practice the gift of hospitality if no one gives us opportunity?

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”  Romans 12:13

Thanks , Carol, for this great thought. And by the way, I have no idea what I’m fixing for dinner. Thought maybe we’d stop by unexpectedly and see what you’re having.

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I promise this will be the last post dedicated to my vacation on the Harley but this was too good not to share.

On the next to the last day of our trip we were in Dubose Wyoming, a quaint little town with a mining history, a definite country flavor and a great little restaurant called the Cowboy Café.  We woke to a temperature of about 34 degrees.  In case I haven’t told you , I am a fair weather rider.  I hate to be cold and anything less than 70 degrees on a motorcycle is cold, at least to me.  I suggested we wait awhile before pulling out to let it warm up a little (or preferably a lot) .  Of course, the boys scoffed at that idea. We needed to get on the road even if we had to brush the frost off our leather seats.

Imagine my glee when we discovered neither bike would start.  I was told not to hurry to check out of the nice warm motel room. I disguised my bitter disappointment.  

I was also asked to pull out my tablet and research possible reasons for a motorcycle not starting in 30 degree weather.  (Now, I could have told them the reason without the help of the world wide web – it was too darn cold!  But I kept that wisdom to myself.)

In my search for information I stumbled on a Harley Davidson chat room.  A rider from Alaska had asked if anyone had advice for getting a bike to start on a cold morning.  The first response from a sympathetic fellow biker was, “Move to Californy.”  I knew right then I was going to love this research.

I started reading the responses aloud, getting more and more tickled as I went. One guy said to use a blow torch.  We didn’t have one so I offered my hair dryer.  They didn’t bite.  Another very wise Harley owner said “try again next spring”, sage advice if you ask me.  There were more, but better than the suggestions were some of the slogans the bikers had added to their responses.   Here are just a few:

“I have taken a vow of poverty.  If you really want to irritate me, send money now.”

“Everyone has to believe in something.  I believe I’ll have another beer. “

And the one that had me rolling on the motel bed, “I asked God for a motorcycle but then I realized that’s not how God works.  So I stole a motorcycle and asked for forgiveness.”

Now that one did get a bit of a smirk from my husband and an actual chuckle from my brother in law but they both decided I could turn off the computer at that point.  I guess they weren’t finding my research helpful.

In the end they pushed the bikes out into the sunshine and we waited half an hour.  They started right up on the next try.  That half hour gave me plenty of time to build up my layers (seven in all counting the camisole all the way out to the leather jacket), to wrap a scarf around my throat three times and to double up on my socks. Of course, within three hours I was stripping off layers at every stop until I was finally down to a t-shirt. 

The comments on that chat room site may not have helped a lot with troubleshooting the problem, but they sure raised my spirits.  I was still chuckling a few hundred miles down the road.  In fact, just thinking about it brings a smile to my face today.

It was a great trip.  I loved the changing landscapes, the special time with my husband and my brother in law, the relief for a while from the pressures of home and work, and the freedom of sailing along in the sunshine and the fresh air.  But, in the end I loved that final leg up our driveway, being greeted by the dog who leaped and barked a welcome, the family who raced across the field to give hugs and hear all about the trip, and the sweet tug of home.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

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