Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


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

I’m the only person in our family who actually knows how to get out of the house.

When all the good-byes have been said, and the coats and boots are on, that’s the time to bring out the doll house or go pick tomatoes to send with us, or argue about who should take how much of some left-over food in the refrigerator, or discuss at whose house the gathering for the next holiday will be, and who will bring what.

It’s not just getting out the door. It’s any transition time. When it is time to go to bed, I think one should get into bed, but I’m wrong. That’s when one is supposed to pull the sheets tighter and beat the hell out of the pillows, which is called fluffing the pillows.

It’s not much better when we get going. I recall one auto trip with our young daughters and my parents and several other relatives. The car had no people, only bladders, all on different schedules.

We took my father home after he had lived with us for a while to have an operation. We found Mother on the floor, where she had been for several hours. She did not want to go to the hospital.

Helen grabbed the phone to call 911 anyway. “If you call 911, I’ll never speak to you again,” Mother said. I’ve never seen a woman dial a phone so fast.

When the ambulance guys got there, really nice and personable young man, Mother tried to talk them into stopping for supper at the Hilltop restaurant, her favorite, and only a few miles in the wrong direction, on the way to the hospital for supper. “I’ll pay,” she said.

Everybody in my family wants to delay the trip, for whatever reason, but not me. I have always been eager to get on the road, to “make good time,” to see what comes next, which is one reason I’ve never feared death.

However, when Charon, the ferryman on the river Styx, comes to collect me, I suspect I’ll say, “Why don’t we stop at Hilltop first? I’ll pay.”

John Robert McFarland

I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

I tweet as yooper1721.

My new novel is VETS, about four homeless Iraqistan veterans accused of murdering a VA doctor, is available from your local independent book store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, Books-A-Million, Black Opal Books, and almost any place else that sells books. $8.49 or $12.99 for paperback, according to which site you look at, and $3.99 for Kindle. Free if you can get your library to buy one.

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