Saturday, December 1, 2007

Talking About the Weather

As I write this, the temperature in Bontoc is 52 degrees F. The forecast says it's supposed to range from a low of 58 degrees to a high of 73 degrees this coming week. Slightly different than the current 23 degrees and winter storm watch with a forecasted range of 21-44 degrees for the coming week. Although recent rains have caused a number of landslides in Mountain Province. If I understand correctly, for a couple days early this week, Bontoc was cut off due to the landslides on the roads. They also had power and phone outages at times.

We are hoping to make it out to pick out and decorate a Christmas tree tomorrow. Our tradition has been to go to a local Christmas tree farm. (I suppose we'll need a new tradition for next Christmas.) On the weekends, the farm has horse-drawn wagons that take bundled up kids and parents to where the various types of trees are. Once you are there you wander around looking at trees hoping to find the right one. Of course, with 6 of us all looking, we typically end up with at least 5 that are the tree. So the whole family will wander around analyzing for shape, color, fullness, and any other attribute that comes in to our mind at the time. I have found that the time involved for this process seems to have a direct relationship with how dry my feet are and how warm I am while participating in it. On cold, wet days the perfect tree has been very close to the wagon path. On beautiful, sunny days we have looked at countless trees before putting the saw to one. Then with the help of my 4 lovely little assistants, we drag the tree back to the path to await the jingle of the draft horses returning with the wagon. It can be interesting - especially on those less comfortable days that everyone seems to find success quickly - when everyone tries to load the wagon back up with people, plus their new evergreen treasures. But usually everyone is in a good mood - we are all out looking for a Christmas tree after all - and we squeeze together and tolerate the branches hitting us from every angle. Then it's back to the barn to have the needles shaken out, the branches bundled tight against the trunk, and a little browsing through the myriad ornaments and decorations. Of course, even with all of the fun and excitement, if the two golden retrievers aren't there the girls will lament their absence.

So what will Christmas preparations be like next year? I suppose it will be the same in some ways and different in others. We will still be together. But we won't be wondering if the girls have outgrown their winter boots from last year. We won't be trying to work out how to celebrate with both families. But we will have new friends to thank God for and spend time with. I won't need to worry about shoveling the driveway. But there won't be any snowmen either. If I see Santa, he will have the best tan I have ever seen him with. But the whole purpose of the holiday is still that God became one of us and found out what it was like to have a mom, skin a knee, feel hungry, and die for my sins.


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