Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Keep Watch!



Matthew 25:13
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."

The cartoon featured above may be somewhat exaggerated when it comes to Southerners' reactions to snow storms, but not by much.  When those infrequent winter storms are predicted, people high-tail it to get bread and milk; schools close, along with government offices, and even many private businesses shut down operations.  People scramble to be prepared to ride it out as they know the possibility of being trapped at home for days on end, without adequate supplies, is no laughing matter.

So, if that's the usual case scenario, how could the storm which hit a week ago today catch so many people off their guards?  Cause traffic gridlock the likes of which have never been seen as hundreds of thousands left work at the same time?  Leave children and teachers stranded at their schools overnight and well into the next day?

Was the storm predicted?  Yes, it was.  But, there were serious issues for our local meteorologists to consider.  First of all, this was not the typical snow storm we see in the south.  Most storms arrive behind a front.  This one formed in the upper atmosphere making it almost impossible to say where and when the snow would fall and how much would actually accumulate.  And, initially, it was thought the storm would be the most brutal far south of the line between Birmingham, Alabama, and the Atlanta metro area.

Surprise!

My guess is that people had listened to the wildly fluctuating weather forecasts for so many days, they assumed it would end up being a non-event.  Why not get up, get the kids to school, and ride off to work like you would on any normal, if unseasonably cold, winter day?  Many probably didn't even tune into the weather that fateful morning of January 28th.

They ceased to keep watch . . .

Yet, there were many people who remained vigilant regarding the impending storm.  Preferring to err on the side of caution, they worked from home and kept their kids out of school for the day.

Just.  In.  Case.

For the countless folks who were stranded for endless hours in their cars and trucks because of the snow, it is a lesson to be remembered for a lifetime.  I do believe that when the next snow storm is forecast, even if there's a shred of doubt as to when, where, and who will be affected, these people won't budge from the comfort and safety of their homes.

And, they'll have lots of bread and milk on hand . . .

~

Were you stranded during SnowJam 2014, or caught in any unusual storm situation?  Please share your stories in the comment section.

Prayer:  Today, Father, remind us all to keep watch and stay alert to situations unfolding around us.  Keep us ever mindful that no storm in our lives is too big to survive when You are by our side.  May we always be aware of the blessings You give us every day.  Amen.

I leave you today with some photos I took of the snow at our house.  Enjoy!













When the snow finally stopped, this is what it looked like here.













Blessings, everyone!

14 comments:

  1. Oh! we are not familiar with this scenario...but we did have a deluge once. Thousands stranded and so many lost their lives. It was a lesson well learnt.

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    1. Oh, Janaki, it sounds like a flood of epic magnitude! It's so difficult for so many when nature (God) sends lessons our way, but if we we remember that He is there to love us through it, we can find a way.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. 23 years in Virginia taught me several things:

    (1) Don't blame the weatherman - he's giving you the best he's got, but he's not THE weatherman.
    (2) Food Lion, Winn Dixie, Piggly Wiggly and Publix can be emptied at the sound of the word "snow" - plan ahead so you aren't there when the crowd hits.
    (3) Winter driving skills have to be reacquired each and every winter - there is no carry over of muscle memory - and there is no place so important to get to that your life is forfeit if you fail, so take your time and drive slower than NASCAR speeds

    Having been back in the Snow Belt for going on 16 years now, the only thing that changes is the names of the grocery store chains. It is always pretty to look at from inside a well-heated home, and unless you are a fresh-air, winter sport enthusiast (which I am decidedly *not*), stay indoors when they say wind chill values are in the negatives; cold air is not impressed by your bravado.

    Thanks for the peek at how the southern half is living this winter, Martha - I have a Marine in North Carolina, and one in Texas, both of whom know all of what I've taught. :)

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    1. First and foremost, Rick, so very proud of and thankful for your Marines in NC and TX. May we, as a people, keep them proud of the country they are so dedicated to serve. They need our love and prayers every day.
      Second, I love your take on how dramatic things simply happen in unsavory weather - you have that down, my friend! Oh, and so sorry you live above the Mason-Dixon, but love to you anyway!
      And, you are so right to say that winter is not for even the strongest of us, especially as we grow older and find snow only to be fun in the Winter Olympics.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Even though here in Northern Indiana we are well used to snow, the blizzard that hit during January even stunned us. We knew just what to do but when coupled with -60 degree wind chills, was it any wonder the pipes froze and schools were closed more than they were open. Too much snow and way too cold. As much as I like winter, I wouldn't be lying if I said I was looking forward to spring. After the pipes froze that once, I am now diligent about the space heater by the water pump, and streaming the water instead of just allowing it to drip. You live, you learn. Lovely post Martha! ♥

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    1. Thank you, Kathy, for taking the time to offer your story. -60 degrees??? As a Georgian, I can't even imagine that brutality! So glad to have a Northern friend who understands the impasse that can happen when salt and gravel is in short supply.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Martha - this sounds like quite a storm and year for everyone around the country. I lived in snowy weather for a couple of years and thankful I no longer do. I do remember slightly delayed traffic one year because of a snow storm.

    So far in Southern California this year, the weather has been mostly in the 60's and 70's. I'm so very thankful, grateful and counting my blessings for this weather every single day:)

    I've had storms in my life but fortunately or unfortunately they've not included weather storms:) Thinking about all of you and sending you warm thoughts your way.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Vishnu!
      Boy, I could sure use those California temps just about now; winter here is getting old . . .Since I follow your blog, I do know about the tough storms of life you have been through, and they have not been easy or pleasant to say the least. But, your strong faith, resolve, and sense of humor have pulled you through!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, Having spent my entire life (nearly six decades!!) in Northern Wisconsin I am well familiar with snow, cold and all that goes with it. I'm thankful that whatever storms come our way, we know who controls the weather. Thanks for your words of reminder. B Blessed!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Mike!
      Wow! I can only imagine so much cold and snow . . . don't think I'm cut out to live north of the Mason-Dixon. :)
      I, too, am so thankful that God is there for us through all our storms in life.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, thanks for sharing about being prepared for whatever comes. Living in Iowa, we know (supposedly) how to prepare for big snows. Like in the south, grocery store shelves can empty in a hurry!

    Likewise, Jesus told us to keep watch for His return. How are we at making sure we have enough oil in our lamps?

    Love and blessings,

    Kim

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Kim!
      Yes! Do we have enough oil in our lamps? Good question to ponder as we look for His coming again in glory.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Last August we had a big earthquake here and the trains were stopped phone lines were jammed and there was chaos on the roads. Took me 45mins to locate my son and then it took us 2.5hrs to get home when normally it takes 20mins. It was scary. But who knows when the unexpected strikes.

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    1. Oh, wow, Suzy, what an ordeal! I can't imagine experiencing an earthquake of any magnitude; we've felt occasional tremors, but these are few and far between, thank goodness!
      And, yes, the unexpected can strike at any time
      Love and blessings!

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