I suppose the greatest occurrence I might ever record here is that life—deeply experiencing life—took hands-down precedence over writing about it.

Blizzard 2016 was and in some ways still is a “showstopper.” My car is still in my heated garage and hasn’t moved since the strong and, for the most part, prophetic winter storm alerts.

We all “stocked UP” and “hunkered DOWN” and were not disappointed.

And I have pictures to prove it: winter scenes at Brush Hill that are not to be surpassed, I wager, in my lifetime.

Just now, I took some photos of icicles hanging off the eaves over my kitchen window—some 18-20 inches long and an inch and a half thick—pendulous, pointed, perilous icicles!

Icicles on kitchen window

Perhaps from the other side of the pendulum swing are all the sweet birds that risk their lives to fly under these dangling daggers to perch on my window sill for a stolen relative respite from the freezing cold.

My neighbor Jim is an absolute angel, filling the bird feeders that he has stationed in his yard, but at the same time outside my window for our mutual enjoyment. A well-intentioned worker in Jim’s yard unwittingly cut down some “undergrowth” that used to provide a privacy barrier between us—and a haven for birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

As more than an “I’m sorry,” Jim went about planting and replacing my daily “breakfast show” of local wildlife with at least six birdfeeders that I can see as I sip my morning coffee—and now, with the intense cold, a suet cage to help those little birds sustain their body temperatures.

No feathered icicles allowed!

I just noticed that it’s lightly snowing again—no, it’s not the wind blowing some of the almost two figure inches off the roof…

Hot tub and bench under the snow

Poetic break, compliments of Christina Rossetti:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,  earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;  snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,  in the bleak midwinter, long ago.  Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;  heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.  In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed  the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.  Angels and archangels may have gathered there,  cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;  but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,  worshiped the beloved with a kiss.  What can I give him, poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;  if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;  yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

So, there it is: I’ve been so absorbed with the drama of life that I haven’t even thought to write about it. Well, I saw the opportunity, my journals waiting (even with a pen in sight), but I wasn’t “called,” shall we say, as I am this morning.

Yes! I woke with that glorious urge to write. Not for anyone else necessarily, but because my heart is demanding that I capture the amazing miracles that have arrived with the snow.

Bench on terrace covered in snow

The first thought as I came awake was of gratitude that the electricity had stayed on during the night and that I was still snug and warm, toasty warm, in my brand new hybrid “bed of roses”—definitely no thorns!

But with the storm of ice and snow, it was far easier for me to almost instantaneously say a prayer for any neighbors in Nashville, in Washington, D.C, and beyond who were suffering in the cold, which, by the way, means death to me.

I am diagnosed with a somewhat rare disease called “cryoglobulinemia.” (Type III for those of you who might be keeping score.) I think of it as the presence of unusual cells in my blood that will gel at low temperatures and turn my circulatory system into Jell-O if I’m not careful—an exaggerated, but effective image when striving to communicate my radical need for warmth, especially to my extremities. www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000540.htm

Let’s say that I have given up my long-held dream of an actual ride in a one-horse, open sleigh. Oh, well…

Next of course, came a parade of sufferers from The Nightly News—all the refugees who are cold and hungry, without hope or advocates. I’ve supported Save the Children for going on fifty years, but my pittance seems laughable in the light of the current crises.

And we have so many homeless right here “at home.” Ironic, right? “Land of the free, home of the brave” and it takes a blizzard to get (hopefully) all of our homeless off the streets.

Yes, weather: The Great Equalizer!

Bent trees under the snow

I lay and thought about that for quite a while—where would we all be without electricity, food, shelter? …without our belongings, our positions, our titles?

And maybe it was because I had watched an episode of a popular TV show last night to “connect” somehow with shivering humanity in my lonely isolation, but it dawned in my consciousness, in my bed, in the post-dawn light, that:

GOD was the first Undercover Boss!

Stay with me now! Really! Think about it!

He came to scope out his masterwork in the form of Jesus Christ—and perhaps at other times, in other climes—to understand how it felt to be employed in this business of life!

Oh, my God! My own dear and precious God really did and really does care about me, about us—enough to walk among us and take our burdens, lighten our loads.

And this same great and loving God can change a bleak and barren landscape to purest white, and cause families to sit and sup and renew relationships on a “snow day”—to re-examine what really matters most of all when we are at risk of losing everything.

Wondrous, all pervasive, ultimate, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-being

Undercover Boss!

I’m going to have to think about this for a while…