A Trip South Would Be Appreciated

I’m pretty much ready to take a trip down south. I don’t really care where down south as long as the only white stuff around is sand.I don’t have a trip planned or anything, but I’m sure thinking about some way I could make that happen.

I know in February we have a weekend at a cottage with my wife Lily’s whole side of the family. The only problem is that cottage is not south; in fact, it is a little north of where we live.

This weekend sort of finished me off. The cold temperatures came back like they never left. Earlier in the week we had temperatures of + 7 C and + 10 C.

But then the mercury started to drop.

And it dropped fast. In matter of 5 or 6 hours, the temperature had dropped to -12 … a 22 degree fall in one afternoon! What could survive a fall like that? Not much.

The next day I had my early morning hockey game. I knew it would be cold but I didn’t think there would be anything else with that cold.

As soon as I hit the garage door button I saw snow, and as the door continued to slowly rise, I kept seeing a wall of snow that had pressed up against the outside of our garage door.

This wall of snow was over the bumper of my SUV.

Did you get that? I’m not talking about a Mini Copper. I mean, I have 17 inch wheels on my SUV and the snow was over the bumper. I really hadn’t accounted for the snow, so I madly tried to shovel it out of the way so I could get my vehicle out of the garage.

It took a while because there wasn’t a lot of places to put the snow. But that wasn’t my only problem getting to hockey.

Once I shovelled out one side of my driveway, I backed the car out and started forward … only to be hung up on snow in the middle of my street.

The plow had come through in the middle of the night but had only made one pass and left a berm in the middle of the road which I tried to go through.

At 6:30 am, there I was by myself, trying to rock my vehicle back and forth to get through the snow mountain. It wasn’t working so I went and got my shovel and started to dig the snow out from under the front of the car.

I was able to dig enough out that I could get free. I threw the shovel in the back seat and took off for hockey. I was late – I knew that – but I thought I would get in a little skate to make the effort worthwhile. No one was there. Apparently only three guys had made it to the rink and they called it off.

What do you do at 7 am on a Saturday morning when hockey gets cancelled? I shovelled the rest of the driveway. That’s why I’m ready to go south. I’ve had enough.

Here’s the thing: Sometimes you need a break or change of pace, but you know it’s not going to happen. You’re stuck where you’re at. That’s the perfect time to thank God for the good things He’s brought into your life. It’s so easy to just focus on the bad, but you can change your mood when you focus on thanksgiving.

That’s Life!


Question: What are you thankful for right now? Leave your comments below.

First Sign Of Snow And I’m Off Shovelling

Well, that was a different first snowfall of the year. Usually I don’t even shovel the first snow offerings.

first snowfall

But looking out my living room window this morning, I noticed the corner of the roof – there was a build-up of about 5 inches of drifting snow hanging over the eavestrough!

I thought to myself, “This looks like a Monday morning in mid February.”

Any early snow we get is wet and doesn’t really stick to the roads. It’s usually less than an inch thick and the green grass underneath still sticks out like porcupine quills.

Often it’s gone the same day or at least by the next day – kind of like an early warning sign, “Don’t forget winter is coming”.

That was not the case with this dump.

The wind was up, the snow was drifting and I had to do some shovelling.

It started early Sunday morning and, by midday Monday, it was still blowing.

There are a few things that don’t change year to year: we get winter, I get older … and I still don’t have a snowblower to make my job any easier!

While I was shovelling away this morning, I was picturing myself standing behind a bright red Briggs and Stratton with the snow churning up in the scoop and then flowing out the shoot onto the lawn.

It was a beautiful image, but then I had to lift a shovelful of snow over the growing pile and the image disappeared quicker than it came.

It’s not that I loathe shovelling snow, it’s just that I really don’t like it.

It’s like cutting grass in the summer; you cut it only for it to grow back again. You know your first session with a snow shovel is only going to lead to more.

I once knew some people who had a heated driveway – now that’s the way to do it!

It’s the reverse of artificial ice where they put pipes in the cement, and fill them with a freezing solution so the water on top of the cement will then freeze.

The process is the same for a heated driveway, only you push hot water through the pipes causing the snow on the surface of the cement to melt.

… I wonder what the cost would be on a double car driveway? It would be worth checking into.

Today the shovelling wasn’t as bad as the realization that this is just the start and there will be many more snowfalls and snow storms that will grace this land we live in.

For now all I can look forward to is tomorrow, when the temperature should be above zero and we should get some rain.

Ha, when are we ever happy to have rain? … only when we know it will melt some snow so we don’t have to turn on that heated driveway system … it probably costs a bundle to operate.

Here’s the thing: Like the first snowfall warns us to get ready for winter, motivating people to shop for snow brushes, shovels and snowblowers (Lily?), so the signs of the times warn us to get ready for Christ’s return. I don’t know when He is coming but we need to make sure we’re ready. Like it’s a guarantee we will have another snowfall, it’s a guarantee that Christ is coming again.

That’s Life!


Question: What are you doing to prepare for Christ’s return? Leave your comments below.

How Shovelling Snow Is Good For You

The opening line from a 1970 song by Led Zeppelin goes, “We come from the land of the ice and snow”. They wrote that song after a concert in Reykjavik, Iceland, but they could have written it if they had played in Kingston a week ago!


It’s not that ice and snow are unfamiliar to us here in Eastern Ontario, it’s the amount of time I’ve spent in the last three days breaking up ice and snow from my driveway and sidewalk.

I’ve done the excavation work and we have several layers that have been discovered below the surface that we are driving on. I haven’t uncovered any fossils or dinosaur bones yet, but I still have more to unearth as I seek to reach the pavement.

Most people just have one property they need to consider when removing the snow and ice, but I have two. Sunday morning I spent over an hour and a half before our service breaking up the ice and snow on the walkway at church.

That’s the glamorous part of being a pastor! Thankfully, I was saved from total exhaustion by my associate, and a few other congregants who came to my assistance.

Then, after church, during what is normally my “NFL nap time”, I continued to work like an archeologist on my driveway for an hour or so.

Things were melting, which made my work a little easier, but also urgent because the cold weather was coming back and I really needed to make headway before everything froze up again.

At one point, my neighbour drove home and stopped in front of our house for a moment and just pointed to his place. I said to him, “I’ll get on it right away.” Then he parked his vehicle and yelled over to me, “That’ll give you a heart attack!”

I didn’t really need the reminder that I’ve already had one of those, but it did get me thinking that I better not overdue it. Hospitals see a higher volume of heart attacks after a snowfall. It’s all that heavy pushing and lifting, and then immediately afterwards lying on a couch for a rest, that’s hard on your heart.

Normally, I get to the end of January before I’m sick of the snow, but I think I’m pretty much sick of it now. When is spring, anyway? We’ve passed the shortest day of the year, the sunlight will be with us longer and longer now. If only the clouds would leave us.

In Led Zeppelin’s song, they sing, “Our only goal will be the western shore”, but for me, at this moment in time, a southern destination is the only thing on my mind.

Enough of this digging up ice and snow, enough looking for buried treasure (asphalt and cement). What I really need is a beach somewhere, where the only thing I’m digging is my feet into the sand at the water’s edge!

Here’s the thing: Often when we find ourselves in the midst of something that is difficult, and maybe unpleasant, we seek some kind of relief from it. We want to escape from the difficulty into something pleasant, something enjoyable. Instead of seeking escape, seek God to help you through the difficulty you find yourself in. You will learn more from God by going through something than escaping from it.

That’s Life!


Question: What do you find difficult and unpleasant that you would like to escape from?  Leave your comment below.