Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


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

My consultant, Levi, and I were hanging together Wednesday last. He is 14 and working on a “Taking Backpack Buddies Food from the Church Building to the Community Kitchen” Boy Scout merit badge. I had introduced him to Caitlyn at the Kitchen as my assistant. Later we decided that would not look as good on his college admission applications as Consultant, so we changed it.

It is amazing that I got him introduced as anything at all, for I’m dysnomic. Can’t think of nouns. It’s no problem when I am writing. I just use a different word. Or I sip coffee until the preferred one appears. It’s much harder to do that in speaking. People aren’t willing to wait that long.

It’s hereditary. I get it from both sides of my family.

My father, a taciturn man, when he could not think of a noun, would simply sit there in silence until it came to him. Sometimes it went on so long that we had another whole conversation in the meantime. When he finally found his word, he would go on with his original sentence as though no other words or voices had intervened.

My mother had a different approach. She abhorred silence, so when she could not think of a word, she would simply use “stovepipe” in its place. It made for some interesting, and incomprehensible, thoughts.

In emergencies, it’s a real problem to be dysnomic. “Here comes a…what?” Bullet? Dinosaur? Truck?

When pressed, Mother would just yell whatever came to mind. One day at lunch my father was going to pour her some more coffee. She did not want any more but could not think of a word to inform him thus. [Like “no.”] So she yelled, “Get away! Get away!”

This happened to coincide with the appearance of the Watkins man at our back door. Watkins products were sold door to door, like Fuller Brushes, but were “notions”--patent medicines, vanilla flavoring, shoe laces, etc. We lived in the country. On a gravel road. Our driveway was a long distance from our back door so we didn’t hear cars drive up. Nobody ever came to our house anyway. Except for the Watkins man. When he heard mother yell, “Get away! Get away!” he left.

Mother said, “Oh, no. I wanted to buy some… stovepipe… from him.”


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.] Having met and married while at IU in Bloomington, IN, we became Bloomarangs in May of 2015, moving back to where we started, closing the circle. We no longer live in the land of winter, but I am in the winter of my years, and so I am still trying to understand Christ in winter. Also, it has felt quite winterish in Bloomington this week.

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