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Trying to make the best of a frosty January

| Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2003

How can I put on a happy face when we are still imprisoned by frosty January• All who know the real me are very aware that I am not a dedicated fan of winter weather - especially the kind we seem to be stuck in this year. But does it do me any good to complain• Not that I have noticed! So to avoid being a captive in my own domain I occasionally put myself in God's capable hands and actually go out into the hostile weather, risking life-and limb, if only to buy groceries or visit my hairdresser. Our only other choice is to stay safely indoors until it all goes away - because it will, you know. Someday!

Of course I can't speak for everyone; I know there are plenty of folks who really love all this wintertime beauty and though I could never figure out why, my very own mother was one of them. So I suppose you could say that a certain percentage of the population is in seventh heaven right now.

Perhaps January seems so dreary and sometimes downright depressing to me simply because it comes to us, unbidden, on the heels of the one month that is usually (and I repeat, usually) wrapped so snugly in goodwill and joyous anticipation as many look eagerly forward to an old-fashioned, greeting-card white Christmas. I would too if that was all there was to it - just 48 or maybe even 72 hours of pretty snowflakes drifting gracefully down to earth like so many delicate feathers but, no, it seems once they get started they forget to stop.

Way back when our children were very small, January was a rather delightful month, a cozy time to be together in a snug living room. While those dainty snowflakes swirled merrily past the cold windowpane and the persistent wind knocked repeatedly at the front door, we snuggled, safe and warm in a huge old-fashioned rocker where we read story after story and laughed and talked while the rest of the wintry world went by. (I wonder, do young families still do that or are there too many other things to distract them).

I trust that as time marches on, as it always has, and those late January blues lift a little at times, you will glimpse a tiny speck of hope at the end of that proverbial tunnel. Sometimes it is simply because, tucked in with all the unwanted junk mail and the utility bills, you find what we used to call a seed catalog full of wonderfully colored pictures of what your garden could look like come summertime: tomatoes as big as grapefruit, bean stalks young "Jack" could climb. You know, a bit of an exaggeration, But at least you have been given hope (or shall we call it an inkling?) that spring will come back. I should change my attitude toward winter because no matter what the weather, the Bible says in Psalms. "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Funny thing is, where weather is concerned, I have been telling myself that for years and haven't yet convinced myself.

But I'll keep trying. Honest!

Jacobs is a Connellsville resident.

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