Piles of snow everywhere make us a wonder-world. The sparkly mounds on the buildings, tipped canoes, and garden trellis create a strange reality. Bits of color peak out here and there. Before the fog cleared away this morning there was snow drifting in the air all around and when the sun finally broke through every floating flake sparkled with joy. Then the blue sky appeared providing a canvas for every white-frosted tree branch. I went out for closer look with my camera. The birds were visiting quietly. Winter perfection.
Until … I turned and took a picture of this crazy old house. Reality takes on a deeper meaning right here. We have thought we had this problem licked a couple of times. First we blew in insulation everywhere the anatomy of this funny building would allow. Then we added vents. Next we added one of those whirling vents to the roof up where the heat can escape harmlessly, theoretically. None of these measures helped. At all. Then we cut off as much heat going upstairs as possible and added a house fan at one end over a gable vent outside. That really looked crazy, like something you’d see in a movie of one of Roald Dahl’s stories. Each of these classic efforts did not help. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also added heat tapes to the roof line to melt the ice dam. All that has done is to create these perfectly spaced columns of heavy ice. Seriously, we don’t have to go visit the ice caves. We live in one.

All that to say that I’m grateful anyway for this house. It’s unique, which I like of course, and it’s fixable. Now we’re going to try gutting the upstairs from inside and use spray foam on those places we have still not reached with insulation. We’ll finish up with clear pine wood car siding. That ought to be fun and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. Gratitude will come in handy.

Gratitude comes in a package of energy and hope, which is life giving and happy. My funny house is a little like one of the red breasted nuthatches that lives here. He has had a misplaced wing feather for two weeks now. He doesn’t seem to care or probably can’t do anything about it. He is wearing his stick-out feather with aplomb and apparent ease and joy.

Lastly, here’s my verse these days. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. I’ll confess that I have worried that we give ourselves a blank check sometimes with this verse But this week when I read it again, it came alive for me. This verse is for me. I try to comprehend that God is orchestrating my puny world for good. Praise wells up and my heart expands to most bursting! My messy mind is blown, happily. My spirit breathes and lives. I have a sense of well-being! Truly! It’s lasting for a few days at a time. I’m grateful for the “all things”! Hard times, icicles on my old house, AND the good things in life. Let me wear my stick-out feather cheerfully. It’s kind of pretty.

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