Hail to winter hereabouts

Post 2/2022 Saturday 8 January . . . Up and down. That’s a non-weather forecaster’s descriptor for winter temperatures hereabouts in northern Indiana. Early in the week we had good days for walks, however since Wednesday it has been too cold (as in subzero temperatures) to face the elements for any extended time. Today we ventured downtown to walk among the sculpted ice creations in the weekend Fire and Ice Festival. Here’s a brief recap of a good week.

Winter hereabouts, 1 – 8 January


New Year’s Day. A late afternoon and evening walk around the Greencroft campus proved sufficient time out of doors amidst the new-fallen snow and warmth waiting on our return.


We had an invigorating walk at the Elkhart County River Preserve Park, about a 15-minute drive from our home. The walk covered an almost three-mile section on the eastern side of the Preserve that follows the meandering Elkhart River and the Benton Spillway.

We crossed the Benton Spillway near the spot where it branches from the Elkhart River.


For our walk on Tuesday, we were joined by Cousin Phyllis, who came for lunch, a walk farther along the Preserve, followed by left-over Fudge Truffle Cheesecake and coffee. Bracing, fresh, invigorating, ample reward.

Marty and Phyllis stride along the Hydro Trail that joins the Benton Dam Trail at one of the parking lots.


Day in, except for going out for groceries for the lunch we prepared for the “cadre of movers” who on Thursday helped friends move to Greencroft.


On this shivering cold day, I did bundle up to join a small cadre of people helping friends move to a new home at Greencroft while Marty finished preparations for the movers to come for lunch at our home. I got a new well-insulated coat for Christmas, and it lived up to its billing.

Ah, the empty truck, used to transport some of the items to our friend’s new home and other items to storage. Friday would be the day for the hired movers to deliver the heavier, bulkier items to their home.

We were seven around the table at lunchtime, resting, warming up, chatting, absorbing good things for body, mind and spirit. Had I been on my toes, I would have included not just a prayer at the start of the meal but, following my grandfather Solomon’s practice, I would have used his words in ending the meal: “Let us return thanks.”

I include a belated prayer of thanks for the end of a meal, written by Ian M. Fraser. Fraser begins with a quote from The king and the peasant, (included in Peacemaking Day by Day: Daily Readings, Pax Christi USA 1996): “We are fed not by what we eat but by what we digest,” adding, “Lord God, teach our stomachs the art of creative absorption of your good gifts. Amen.” (In Blessed Be Our Table, compiled by Neil Paynter (Wild Goose Publications, The Iona Community, 2003).


Coldest day of the week: (15 degrees Fahrenheit, -9.4 Celsius). It was a day we stayed in, except for picking up the post that arrived hours late, after 5pm, though thankfully the postal carrier was in a vehicle, not on foot.

I finished reading State of Terror. In the Acknowledgements at the end, Louis Penny wrote, “If you’ve read State of Terror, you’ll know that it was written as a political thriller, as an examination of hate, but finally, ultimately, a celebration of love.”

Hillary Clinton wrote: “I admire Louise as a writer and love her as a friend, but the prospect seemed daunting. I’ve only written nonfiction, but then I thought, my life is the stuff of fiction, so maybe it was worth a try.” She concluded (page 494): “Finally, this is a work of fiction but the story it tells is all too timely. It’s up to us to make sure its plot stays fictional.”

Well stated. It is an international thriller, a page turner, probably on a long waiting list at your library. The book is dedicated “To the courageous men and women who protect us from terror and stand up to violence, hatred, and extremism no matter the source. You inspire us every day to be braver, to be better.”


Yes, my hands are cold, gloves in my pocket, but “gloves off” to manage the camera. I had just finished a coffee that had keep my hands from freezing. And I was well protected to enjoy a moment on ice.

Be safe, be warm, and be not too bemoaning of this little riddle: There were three heifers going to a bar. “Let me see your Covid Passport,” the publican said. “No need,” they replied. “We have a herd exemption hereabouts.” (That came to me in waking hours today. Be well!)


10 thoughts on “Hail to winter hereabouts

  1. John & Marty,
    It’s – 22 Celsius here in Cochrane AB today.
    It has been colder, as cold as – 30 Celsius at times. So your weather seems almost balmy to us!
    Grace & Don


    1. Ooh, that’s mighty cold. At home on the farm, we had a buffalo robe to cover up when we used the cutter because the roads were closed to vehicles. Now we have puffer clothing. Still wise to mind the chilling effects of the temperatures you report. Best!


  2. What a wonderful recap of your week, filled with warmth amidst the cold temperatures! Blessings to you and Marty!


    1. Thanks, Ginger. We’re smiling (behind masks when we go out), waiting for the cold to abate a bit before bundling up. Our best to you and Monty.


  3. By all accounts your pictures show winter is still here. What a great way to spend it, bundling up and heading outside to marvel at the many wonders in nature. And then being thankful for warm shelter.


  4. Thanks, John. Loved the Heifer herd immunity joke!


    May the God of Wonder be with you, delighting you with the beauty of sunrise and the majesty of sunset, with the song of the bird and the fragrance of the flower. —Maxine Shonk, OP



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