Snow Day!

Happy Wednesday!

It doesn’t matter how long I live in Virginia — I will never get used to having school cancelled with only 2 inches of snow on the ground!

Unlike my former home in Massachusetts, in Virginia they cancel school by county, not by town. Loudoun County spans an area from the Potomac River banks out to the fringe of the Blue Ridge Mountains, roughly 521 square miles. Within that area, you have a wide variation of terrain and temperatures. So, while it may be raining here closer to DC, they will have sleet and freezing rain in the western part of the county. Yesterday’s snowfall was a similar situation.

The photo above was taken this morning from my front door. Since our church administrative offices follow the local school cancellation policy, I have a snow day!


I’m happy to report that the birds — and squirrels — have all discovered our feeders. I have been enjoying my morning coffee while watching their antics.

Here are a few photos from this morning. I apologize for the poor quality, as sun had not yet made an appearance.

Yesterday, our birdbath saw as much activity as the feeders. At one point, there were American Robins, European Starlings and Mourning Doves, all trying to get a drink. Once a Bluejay arrived on the scene, all the others flew away. There is a clear “pecking order” in bird world. (Notice the lone Bluejay on the roof of the bird feeder.)

Many of my friends have given up feeding the birds because the squirrels are so persistent. We have managed to discourage them by using baffles on the feeder stands, and we try to locate the feeders away from trees. We also have one feeder with a weighted perch that closes when a larger bird or animal tries to get in. Squirrels are amazing acrobats though, and can launch themselves great distances to get to some feeders!

One other trick we’ve learned is to simply feed the squirrels. Costco carries large bags of unsalted peanuts in the shell. We always have a bag on hand, and we toss them out now and then. Northern Cardinals and Bluejays also love them! I’ve even seen a tiny Tufted Titmouse carry one away in its beak.

Signing off for now from the snowy tundra of Northern Virginia. 😀

What Are You Waiting For?

Snow Days

If you live in a snow belt state, you probably know first-hand the unbridled joy every kid feels on a snow day. But the hours waiting for that official call always seem endless.

In our corner of Virginia, the Public Information Officer for our school district is a local celebrity. Parents and kids alike await his phone calls before every storm. His witty recordings have earned him a huge fan following, and dozens of memes have been created in his honor. Read more about him here.

Delayed Reward

When I was a kid, there were no robocalls announcing school was closed. There was no crawler on our black and white TV, and no website to visit. We turned on WBZ radio in Boston and listened while Gary LaPierre read through the list of towns with school closures. He read at the speed of a seasoned auctioneer — in alphabetical order. If you left the room, or there was static on the airwaves, you had to wait until the list began again. I felt sorry for kids in Yarmouth. That was a long wait for them!

If you grew up before there was internet, cable TV or cell phones, you get it. Waiting was a normal, everyday part of life. But today, we want everything now! We can’t stand waiting for anything.

Practicing Patience

In Romans, Paul writes,

“ . . . Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans‬ ‭8:24c-25

Personally speaking I’m not sure that “patiently” describes how I wait. But I try to be patient while I hope for what is to come.

But what does that have to do with snow days?

Ahhhh. Well, what if our personal growth is shaped by the hope we feel during all the waits in life, snow day calls included? Perhaps we grow by learning to wait for what we do not have. We gain strength by hoping for something we have not seen. If we have only heard about something, or perhaps experienced just a glimpse of it, then we anticipate how great it will be!

That is how I view eternity. Think of the best snow day ever, the best vacation, or happiest memory of your life. None of those can even begin to compare what awaits us at the end of our days on earth.

But rest assured, it will be worth every moment of the wait.