Flaky Outlook

When I was a kid, snow was a thing of awe!

Growing up in Fresno, CA, I can recall only one time that it snowed at our home. All the kids went out into the yard to scrape together snowballs, build a small snowman, and have a snowball fight.

All the kids but me. I somehow managed to come down with a cold that day. Mom wouldn’t let me go outside.

Then we moved to San Mateo, near the coast and snow was a few hours’ drive away.

Now I live in Colorado and tend to take snow for granted.

Snow in the forecast conjures up visions of shoveling, bumper to bumper traffic, and fender benders.

I caught that snowflake above last Thursday at Eldora Ski Resort where they hope to open this week! My customer there pointed out the amazing flake shapes that were coming down. They’re tough to capture on a phone camera but they were really cool (literally).

Despite the awesome snowflakes,

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that winter is coming.

The short days and cold, achy temperatures get me down.

I’ve wondered before what advice I would give to my younger self. Maybe I should flip that script.

What would my younger self tell me about winter?

  • “You’re so lucky you just have to go outside to play in the snow.”
  • “If I could afford it, I’d put up a million Christmas lights, and leave them up all winter!”
  • “I bet it’d be fun to go sliding in your car around a snow-covered parking lot!”
  • “Mmmmm, hot chocolate!”
  •             “I can catch more snowflakes on my tongue than you!”

Maybe I’ll listen to my younger self this winter.

I’m certainly game for more Christmas lights. I’ve already had my first hot chocolate of the season. And if we get a big snowstorm, don’t be surprised if you see an even bigger snowman on out front lawn!

For now, I intend to enjoy these next few warm days before it really starts cooling off.

Pardon me while I go get the sleds ready while the garage is still warm…


Warm dog snuggled to my side; I gaze out on the snow melting on the deck.

Yup. It’s Winter.

I’m generally a happy kind of guy. But winter does a number on me.

Short days.

Achy joints.

And this week, sickness.

It’s just a cold (I tested negative for COVID twice), but it was enough to keep me from going to Winter Camp with my 6th grade students from church.

They’re good. Another youth leader stepped up and they have someone to lead them through the weekend.

And I’m here, nursing this crud.

What can I do?

When I first called in sick, I thought, “Great! I’ll have time to write.”

And I have written some. But, for the most part, I’ve been to cruddy feeling to engage my imagination.

Today, I feel like I’m in the middle of one of David’s Psalms where he starts out with “Woe is me” and ends up with “God is good and so is life.”

My cold symptoms are waning. I have a little more energy.

On top of that, the middle of winter was last Thursday! Spring is around the corner!

It’s weeks like this that I am reminded of my weak humanity. My human body has been weakened by a cold virus and taken my mental state with it.

I’ve given myself a break, literally. I worked from home Tuesday when symptoms started. Then I took Wednesday through Friday off work and stayed home from this weekend’s camp.

I won’t be foolish enough to overdo it today. I want to be well enough for church tomorrow. But I can channel my slowly returning energy into creative work, like this blog, and writing more on Wil Clarey Book 3 (Mystery at the Mill).

The bottom line to this ramble is:

cut yourself some slack.

If winter has you down, if sickness has been hitting you, or just the weight of life has been pushing your spirits down, it’s okay to take a break.

Regain your health. Rally your strength. Spring is coming with new life and new adventures!

If you’re stuck at the beginning of Psalm 73, keep reading, victory is on the way!