Winter is approaching. What, if anything, have you done to prepare for those months of cold, perhaps snowy, weather? After moving up north in 1973, I had a routine to prepare for my least-favorite time of the year. Make sure there was plenty of wood for the fireplace as we were certain to lose electricity at least once during the winter. Keep an emergency supply of food in case we could not get to the grocery because of heavy snow. However, I always knew that the road crew would eventually be out, clear the roads, and electricity would soon be restored.
The winter preparations we made seem like nothing compared to what our ancestors had to endure 200 years ago. No electricity or gas to warm the house or brighten the nights. No telephones or email to check on friends and relatives living across town or across the country. Instead, there was much work to be done in order to be ready for winter. During the summer gardens were planted and what wasn’t eaten fresh was "put up" to enjoy months later. Fruit was picked and dried to enjoy as a wintertime treat. Heavy clothing was mended and perhaps passed down from an older child to a younger one. As the temperatures fell, going barefoot was no longer an option so a pair of shoes had to be made. Firewood must be cut and stacked to last through the winter and feed for the animals must be stored for use later. This list could go on an on.
My wish for you during this season of thanksgiving is this: We have much to be thankful for in this year of 2007. Appreciate what we have and what our ancestors endured so that we might enjoy a more comfortable life. Please say a special prayer for the safety of our military men and women who are so far from home.