It may seem odd to be mentioning that it's winter in my first post for a New Year –of course its winter – after all this is Northern Ontario- the home of winter fun (click HERE) . But 2007 is different.
Despite a “promise of winter from a major storm at the first of December, it warmed up and the rest of the month it rained – and Sault Ste. Marie had a green Christmas. Now that isn’t all that unusual – it has happened several times in recent years but what is unusual is the temperatures and the lack of ice on the lacks and the ability to make snow at the ski hills at Searchmont. – we have had record breaking warm weather (see Environment Canada report HERE) and a decided lack of the white stuff.
As I mentioned before we were in Aurora (near Chicago) over Christmas with Chris, Tammye,Hunter & Camdyn (the picture was taken Christmas eve). It was more like late October or late March there. 2 years ago we enjoyed ice skating on the pond near Chris’ house. This year we played street hockey in our shirt sleeves (it would have been rather damp trying to skate on open water!!)
The only snow we saw was at the snow-making display at the Musuem of Science & Industry (MSI). We visited the museum January 2 with Chris & his family along with Melissa and Alexander. They arrived on Sunday in time to ring in the New Year with us (along with some neighbors across the street) – they had a long 12 hour drive from Kingston (Ontario) through heavy rain from Port Huron to Aurora. We played some games and had the party hats and noisemakers as it hit midnight Central time -- for us it was an hour late as we are used Eastern time and are in synch with New York and the Times Square celebration. So we said Happy New Year and quickly went off to bed.
By the way, the U-505 exhibit (at MSI) showing a German submarine captured by the US in 1945 is quite good – both in providing some WW2 history and in describing the technology of submarines at that time. Lots of other neat stuff there as well.
There was a special display of Christmas trees decorated in themes for many countries around the world. I took this one of Linda in front of the "Canada" tree - you can see the hockey sticks but there were beavers, maple leafs and many other Canadian icons represented.
But I digress – back to winter. We arrived home late Friday (January 5). It was in the 50’s (12C) when we left Aurora and it was still in the 40’s (4C) when we crossed the mighty Mac around 6 p.m. When we drove across the bridge it was green!! (or at least brown) – no snow banks, no ice –no sign of winter – nada.
We have been coming across that bridge into Sault Ste. Marie at this time of year for over 40 years - literally dozens of times and there are ALWAYS snow banks - even if the ground wasn’t covered with snow.
These spring like (or fall like) conditions persisted through the weekend and I was beginning to think that our decision to stay home rather than go south this winter was going to be OK. I mean why spend all that money traveling when you can bask in warmth at home.
But Monday morning that changed – we got winter with a vengeance and had about 8-10 inches over the next 2 days. (see See Sootoday story). In addition yesterday morning the temperature had dropped into the - 15C range (near 0F). It has warmed somewhat today and it will be above freezing this p.m. with some possibility of showers over night – the forecast shows it clearing and getting somewhat colder (-8 to -10) for the weekend.
So it’s winter in Sault Ste. Marie – I guess but it seems that we may be hard pressed to prove it by the weather. I know – I know that’s just asking for 10 feet of snow and 2 months of -30 weather – so to hedge a little –I don’t really believe winter has disappeared from our vocabulary – global warming or not.
My last post was the morning of New Year’s eve. I have already mentioned that Melissa & Alexander made it there safely (and returned home safely on the 5th – same day as we left). Tammye & the kids were fighting some type of flu-like illness when we left --- thank goodness we escaped without contracting anything. Chris had been quite ill Wednesday & Thursday. In any case after having a housefull of guests – they likely were happy for some time to themselves although I’m sure it left them feeling a little lost with the house emptying out.
After New Year's Day, we finished “phase 1” of the basement construction project – framing along the back wall and then framing in the walls for a bathroom. After the initial “learning curve” things went relatively well – although I confirmed that using screwnails to assemble makes it a lot easier to correct mistakes than when you use nails!! Besides its easier to let the power drill do the work rather than crushing your thumb with a hammer.
My brother Rob was asking if it would withstand inspection by Mike Holmes -- because if not he would say "tear it out" -- wellI suspect it might not meet his criteria but I think it will last for many years and will be a big improvementon what was there.
The weekend was very busy – I had a sermon and class Sunday morning and a class Sunday evening to prepare for. Mostly those seemed to go well – although I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been for Sunday evening and that discussion got a little off track –
Then Monday I had to start preparing for my first class at the university on Tuesday night. I did keep to a “quasi” resolution and went for a walk each day Monday through –Wednesday (as well as exercising cleaning the driveway Tuesday & Wednesday mornings) -- yesterday I didn’t make it. But intend to do so today.
All in all it has been a full week so far although I didn’t do a lot yesterday. I did put some fuel additive in my truck and take it for an hour drive on the highway hoping to clear up a problem with “missing” – hoping it was in the fuel injectors. I haven’t driven it much this year and it has sat for long periods.. This fall it started having this problem with running rough – if the injector cleaner doesn’t work I guess I’ll have to break down and take it to my mechanic. We also discovered that we have a hole somewhere un the back fender of the car and the back seat got soaked when we drove to Aurora in the rain. I guess its time to think about replacing this 11 year old vehicle – it has over 240,000 km (150,000 miles) so it has done well.
I haven’t taken the time to do much blog browsing and I am way behind on email and my lists discussions – but “it is what it is” – I live each day the best I can -- that was in part the theme of my “New beginnings” lesson on Sunday drawn from Acts 2.
I did note that Preacherman (click HERE) - - he is at home continuing to recover from his 2nd encounter with Guilliame-Barr syndrome -- has 3 short posts raising good questions about Suffering (December 22) , Who we are in Christ (December 30) and Praying for God’s will (January 6 2007). The discussion in the comments is very interesting -- pointing a to a need for personal Bible study and coming to our own understanding of these matters.
A little late but we (Linda & Charlie) wish you all a very Happy & prosperous New Year.