January 25, 2017
Choosing A Different Winter By Vickie Stam
Sometimes I just haven't been as thankful as I should have been when it comes to the changing seasons in Canada. Yes, I was born and raised here, still I have my favourite seasons and winter isn't one of them.
Far too often I found myself daydreaming about being somewhere else, even when I had the pleasure of curling up in a comfortable chair next to a roaring fireplace. That still didn't quite measure up to the warmth I imagined myself feeling underneath a sunny sky in Florida.
I could picture myself armed with an umbrella to shield myself from the occasional down pour. It certainly beat the thought of gripping the handle of a shovel. The white flakes always have a tendency of staying put once they arrive. I must admit that I enjoy the snow for a couple of days and then I wish it would leave. But Canadian winters don't come and go simply on a wish.
To be honest, my mind starts compiling a long list of complaints with every upcoming winter. The moment those October winds begin to pick up I just know it won't be long before the beautiful landscape of colour will disappear. The leaves will fall from their branches and won't return for what feels like a long time.
That blanket of white that comes along with the cold temperatures is much less desirable to me the older I get. I guess you could say, I've had my fill of long winters.
Three years ago, my husband, Tony and I opted to join those who travel to sunny Florida for the winter. We slowly transitioned into "snowbird" mode, going down for one week a month and this year we've planned to stay there until Spring.
It feels wonderful to be able to get in our car and leave the minus temperatures behind us. Twenty four hours later we find ourselves trading our winter for an entirely different one.
There's something exciting about the contrast of a long silent winter to hearing the sound of birds still singing in January and leaves still rubbing against one another in the wind. Our surroundings in Florida are influenced by tall palm trees, the occasional glimpse of an alligator and the sudden risk of a tornado. What an amazing difference from one day to the next - from one country to the next!
During our stay in Florida we feel blessed to attend a nearby church; a place where we've built friendships among Christians in another country. But what I'm most thankful for is knowing that God is with us wherever we go. Whether we're at home in Canada or at home in the United States, Jesus is with us. He remains at the center of our lives wherever we are.
Not everyone is fond of every season. Whether you choose to strap on a pair of snowshoes and head outside for a walk in the snow or take your sandals off and walk along the beach, remember that no day or season in your life is complete without your Heavenly Father.