It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

If you read last week’s Chronicle, you already know the staff and residents took care of decorating the inside of the house for Advent and Christmas last week.  They did a wonderful job, too, based on the comments of our Facebook friends.  Not to be outdone, God decided the outside needed a little something extra to dress up the grounds for the holidays, too.  The “little something” was about five inches of snow that arrived on Sunday.  

The snow does make for pretty pictures, and on days when no one needs to be traveling, it can be quite beautiful to watch the landscape be transformed as the snow falls.  However, this particular snowfall discouraged a few people from coming to our Advent Day of Prayer and Reflection, and made for a challenging drive for the several hardy souls who braved the winter conditions to join us anyway.  The travel was equally challenging for the staff who had to navigate the snow-covered roads in order to welcome and care for our guests.  

The snow also affected Tracy on Sunday and JustBob on Monday and Tuesday.  It was their responsibility to get the “outdoor decorations” all rearranged in such a way as to make our property more welcoming and safe for our guests and staff.  Since it is winter and we are in Wisconsin, you should not be surprised that JustBob finished rearranging just in time to be ready for the even larger storm expected later this week.   

Thankfully, everyone who had to venture out Sunday was able to make it here and back home safely, and those who worked to make our home safe and inviting are also safe and well.  We pray the same is true for those who need to navigate this week’s  pending storm and all those storms to come.

Snow storms are both beautiful and dangerous, both picturesque and inconvenient.  They also provide opportunities to learn.  As seasoned residents who must be able to navigate through winter storms, we learn to slow down, learn to pay more attention to our surroundings, learn to appreciate those who help make our way a little safer, and maybe even learn to appreciate all those sunny, dry days that we often take for granted.  The storms of life are also a paradox, dangerous and inconvenient but imbued with blessings disguised as lessons for us to learn and grow, if we are open to learning from those opportunities.  

For the beauty and blessings, for the opportunities to learn and grow, that come with the storms of life and the storms of winter in Wisconsin, we say Deo Gratias!