An open letter to all those who live in snowless communities. If you are a Christian who has need of patience, move here. Believe me, you donít know what youíre missing!
We had a true "blaster" of a snow-storm here in Western New York, yesterday. The temp went down to 15 below zero, and some of our areas received some fourteen inches of snow. When I attempted to start my cars, our new Grand Am immediately revved up, but the older car (our 1989 Ford Thunderbird XL, that thinks itís still a young bird, moaned and groaned, protesting that it wanted to continue sleeping.
Finally the battery died and I had to purchase a new one. We've had the old Bird for some twelve years of faithful service in the Lordís work, so Iíve grown attached to it. On numerous occasion, it sat outside of the homes of my parishioners or in a hospital parking lot while I made a pastoral visits. Iíd hate to clip its wings. A T-Bird with clipped wings is heartbreaking to see. If it were a horse, Iíd retire it to pasture.
Nevertheless, we now drive the wingless wonder only during the cool seasons, since I haven't bothered to recharge its air conditioner. I see no need for it; because of the age of the Bird, its air conditioner requires a coolant that has been banned by the EPA. To convert the air conditioner to an approved coolant would cost some $500, a foolish expenditure to my way of thinking. The Bird itself isnít worth that much. So, once the snow season is over, the Bird goes in the garage, and out comes the Grand Am, which we drive during spring, summer, autumn, and on out-of-town winter trips. And I donít detect one iota of envy in the T-Bird when I do so; itís contented to remain in the garage and leave the driving to the Grand Am.
Of course, you who have no concern for snowstorms - especially you who live in the sunny tropics - have no need of an old winter car to take all the snow abuse our cars take here.
Ahhhhh, you fortunate beings!
Neither do you have need of home snow-blowers. Yesterday morning, our cityís truck-plows "clearedĒ our street of snow, pushing it all from the street onto our driveways and sidewalks. Naturally, I bundled up toasty warm and cleared the hard packed snow from our driveway and walk with our home snow-blower. The snow was packed so hard that it first had to be broken up with a spade. Can you imagine that?!
And thatís calling a spade a spade!
Some two hours after the drive and walk were cleared of the blessing the city plows left, they came and blessed us again with another endowment of hard packed snow. Of course, out came our spade-that-we-call-a-spade, and the snow-blower. My ears were scorched, as my normally mild-mannered neighbor colored the freezing air blue with his shocking imbrications at the cityís truck-plow drivers, who also had plowed a huge mound of snow into his newly cleared driveway and walk. Not since the time I was separated from active Air Force duty have I heard anyone as fluent and thunderous in such language as he proved to be. Perhaps he experienced a sort of relief by using such a vocabulary but, as a Christian, I swallowed hard and asked the Lord to endue me with some of Jobís patience toward those plow drivers.
Still, I have concluded there's something cruelly sinister about our city's snow-plow operators. It seems to me that they get a sadistic joy from the tortures they inflict on those of us who must afterward remove their "labors" from our driveways. They always seem to smile broadly as they pass by, supposedly "clearing our streets.Ē How else can one interpret their attitude? Never once have I noticed them hanging their heads in shame as they're shoving that hard packed snow right back into our neat, freshly cleared driveways and walks. How can they sleep at night, after they've inflicted such extreme tortures on their fellow citizens?
Oh, well, I guess the resolution to my problem is to move to a snowless community - such as Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas, or even Texas. But, if I did that, what would the Lord use to grow my patience? I shudder to imagine the response to that question!
On second thought, Iíd better remain here and endeavor to be as pure as the driven snow is before the city snow-plows sully it.
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At least you New Yorkers know what to do with that frozen stuff. You ever been to Texas when there's ice on the ground? Believe this: you would NOT want to drive! Maybe 1 of 10 cars know how to stay on the road... no kidding. A 5 mile trip on an interstate (should have taken 5 minutes tops) that takes 2 hours because Texans don't know how to drive on ice would definitely "grow your patience."