Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, May 7, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

This is final exams week in most colleges. Thus I overread [That is “overheard” if it’s on Facebook] professors Bob Sampson and Anne Taylor talking about the excuses students come up with to take an exam later than the scheduled time. There are always exigent circumstances, not just “I forgot to study.” Prof Taylor noted that an amazing number of grandmothers die during finals week, although grandfathers seem to get a free pass. [Prof Sampson wondered if this were the famous “grandfather clause” we always hear about.]

Being a grandfather, I was at first pleased. I’m safe at least during finals week. Then I realized that isn’t actually a good thing.

For one thing, I’m married to a grandmother, so to protect her, our activities will be curtailed during finals week.

No going to ball games. My Grandma Mac, Henrietta Ann Smith McFarland, “Retta,” and her sister-in-law, Aunt “Nellie,” Ella Blaine McFarland, were getting on a bus in Hamilton, OH two ballparks ago, to go to Ladies Day at Crosley Field, to see the Reds. My grandfather, Arthur Harrison McFarland, “Harry,” told them, “Be careful. You know what kind of people go to ball games.” We’ll need to stay away from those kinds of people during final exams.

And we can’t go to Florida during final exams week. There is a multitude of grandmothers who have gone to Florida and died there.

More importantly, though, is the insult. Apparently the death of a grandfather does not produce adequate pathos to cause a professor to reschedule an exam the way a grandmother’s death does. That’s just not right.

I’m at an age where finals week will be coming up soon, and truth be told, I have not studied for them very much. I’m in so much trouble. I don’t think I’ll be able to convince to God to give me a later exam. When you’re as old as I am, you can’t claim your grandmother just died. Besides, Grandma and God are both at the ballpark; you know what kind of people go there.

John Robert McFarland

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]

I tweet as yooper1721.

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