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Winter Week Wrap-up

Write Your Story. That’s the marvelous expectation of Word Press each time I open it up to blog. So here we are post polar vortex, nestled under a foot of snug snow with more cold to keep us tucked in. This week has been a perfect collection of winter pursuits: store re-set, home comforts, and snowfall.

I watched that foot of snow come down all day, moving from window to window, sitting by the fire looking out the windows, or actually out there shoveling it up into heaps off the path that I wanted to keep open to the mailbox. I also read a book and baked up a batch of spicy smelling muffins.

Today I’m moving between housework and reading my book every half hour, because I can. The only deadline is that tomorrow is Sunday and perhaps I should mop floors and prepare food. The book is one of my teen-aged treasures about a couple who took to the woods and lived in the British Columbia wilderness along the Peace River. I realize now that I must have been influenced by this and other books like it; because I love living in the woods and exploring the rivers and lakes. But I was talking about our week and a quiet Saturday at home. The whole week ran along the lines of firewood chores, which I enjoy, the store re-set, and cold weather problems like bad roads, plowing, besides making drawings and lists about reducing our two cabins of worldly goods to fit into one cabin, tastefully and functionally.

I bought a bag of potting soil this week to supplement the soils around the ivy. There’s an empty, metal, tea box waiting for a new houseplant. As soon as I find the very one I want (a Swedish ivy would be perfect), I shall have a pretty new houseplant.

And Elv and I had another of our “discussions” about us and work and our future and how life should be and how we need to improve some things and change some other things and to be grateful we have each other. Why is it that counting our blessings comes so hard? And are dreams worth the sweat, tears, and waiting required to attain? If you take away dreams, what have you?

Then I ran into that verse where Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever…” And the thinker in me stops right there and gets all thoughtful and wondering about that living bread phrase. About how can it be that Jesus is our living bread. Our daily sustenance, exactly how? What keeps us ticking in life in a living way, and so on. I asked Elv about the practical implications of that phrase. Isn’t that so cool sounding?(It’s actually embarrassing.) And he said, “Its about his sacrificial offering up of his life on the cross.” And I wanted to say, “Wait, how can it be that simple?” I just wanted it to be this great nugget of Jesus filling all my need in a mystical way, keeping my mind happy, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that bad. Winter is no joke, is it?

Considering that Elv is much smarter and more accurate than I am about any kind of literature and the Word, I decided that I would do well to read the rest of the story. And it says, “…and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Thank You, Jesus! is all I can say. It’s not mystical and mind bending. It’s the truth of the need of our condition and what He did to redeem us. And if it isn’t a daily nourishment to my soul to know that He gave His life for me, that’s my own foggy-brained fault.

Talk about a great lesson in simple living. It starts in the heart right here as close to home as it gets. I am a sinner, a human who fails a lot, and Jesus gave up his life for me. Now I get to live forgiven, even though I’m human and the last thing I need is to “think deeply and profoundly” about my human condition versus some wacky mystical idea. Keeping it real and simple for me is about knowing I’m broken and Jesus fixes me.

I especially enjoyed working in the snow: shoveling walkways and making firewood. Elv has a free permit to bring home “ends and pieces” of firewood from work. It happens to be dry elm this time. It is light and clean. Much less of sweeping in front of stoves required. But it has to be split with the machine. Even Brad found it futile to split with an axe and he is no slouch on an axe. So in the falling snow Elv and I split and stacked and hauled dry elm firewood. Winter joys for me.

Elv’s work this week in the cold and snow has been challenging. He was a mile away from the landing yesterday when a low oil beeper began to sound. He had no choice but to walk out to the service truck. It was -7 degrees, so he did get cold. He and Lance agreed that they would do better at keeping their 2-way radios charged and on them after this.

At work this week we finished this part of our store re-set. Some of us lugged and shoved chairs and tables around long enough to feel like we’d worked hard for too many days in row. Yesterday I only had to put finishing touches on tables and put away small, left-over piles of runners and things and tools. Vacuuming and mopping. Numerous employees at Northwood Outdoor are feeling a great sense of accomplishment right now. “Did you see the warehouse yet?” We ask each other, like we weren’t present when it happened? Or what? But that’s how any proper project feels, in the end. You want to keep going back over there to see it, again. And to stand there talking about it, reminiscing the part where they had to use the torch there, in spite of the potential hazard. Then there was the ladder discussion. It’s a monstrosity on wheels that we must have there, somewhere, to reach the bar stools on the top shelves. It’s bright orange and very industrial-like so I guess it’s an eye-sore. Neither did they move the shelves over six feet after much discussion … those shelves were no small task to take down, move, and put back up. And we have a few rows of furniture pieces .. as opposed to settings, at the behest of those who can decide. We have room settings, too, I might add, which are part of the delight this job affords me. And a lot more clean and orderly going on than we did. New paint and lights and space. So we stand around looking and talking. Every worthwhile work should be finished this way. With coffee and doughnuts. Another winter accomplishment.

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