It is cold outside.
Bitterly cold, not what we are accustomed to in the sunny South.
This unwelcome chill reminds me of the first home we bought. We were young, poor, and tired of paying rent. We bought an old farmhouse that was about to fall down, but we loved it because it was ours!
Built from rough lumber, it had no insulation, and was not much warmer than the outside. The wood heater, our only source of heat, warmed the living area, but did little for the rest of the house. Anytime the temperature dropped below twenty degrees, the pipes would freeze.
Frozen pipes meant no water in the kitchen (I learned to fill jugs before the cold front arrived!) or the washer, with a baby in cloth diapers and a four-year old. Almost always, the ice in the pipes would expand and cause a leak. As the warmth and liquid water returned, we had gushers in unexpected places, appearing after Hub had left for work. To fix it,I would turn the water off until he was home and could make the necessary repairs. We survived.
Those years made me grateful for things that others might not think about...the fact that we have been blessed with a house where the pipes never freeze, even when we see the rare single digits in Alabama!
I'm also reminded that my mother didn't have to worry about the pipes freezing in her farmhouse when I was a very small child; there were no pipes. Our source of water was a natural spring that bubbled up a few steps from the kitchen door. After my mother arose from her warm bed, she fully dressed (no time for frilly robes), built a fire in the cookstove, then went to the spring for fresh water. She was so thankful for that spring with its good water. Father, forgive me, but sometimes I get irritated when it takes more than ten seconds for the water in my bathroom sink to warm up.
Its all relative.
In this brand new year, I am grateful for all His blessings, those I have today and those He has waiting for me this year.
251. A good house
253. Extraordinary blessings
254. Seeing friends reach their goals
255. Warm gloves
256. Friends who remember
257. Sharing surprises
258. Christmas cards, especially those that are homemade
259. Fire in the fireplace
260. Watching Sherlock watch the fire
261. Spending New Year's day with friends
262. Old Twilight Zone reruns
263. Christmas wrappings piled on the floor
264. Continuing traditions
265. Seeing cousins that we only see at Christmas
266. Finishing projects to make way for new ones
267. Preparing for a new quilting class
268. Huge mugs of hot cocoa, and friends to share it with
269. Unexpected phone calls from friends
270. Black-eyed peas and turnip greens
271. Winners that remember to thank God
272. Sunshine breaking the clouds
273. Seed catalogs in the mail
274. Heated seats
275. The light in young eyes on Christmas Day
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1