Monday, December 27, 2010

White Christmas

Record-breaking snowfall here on the east coast of VA today.  It's like a late Christmas present.  Last night, we started getting the white stuff and all day today it has fallen.  I went outside at lunchtime and took a yardstick for checking the accumulation in my back yard.  At that time, we had about a foot and it continues to fall.  Fortunately, the schools are closed for winter break this coming week, but the roads are going to be a mess around here for days to come.  This is very unusual for this area and I heard that we're breaking a 100-year record this year. 

I filled up my bird feeders and also put out a suet block for them to feed on.  With weather like this, I feel bad for any wildlife trying to survive outside right now.

Lord, have mercy on the poor and homeless and people who may have lost power during this storm. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Solstice

I just found out today that tomorrow night's total Lunar eclipse will also coincide with the Winter Solstice and it's the first time in 456 years.  That's kind of neat, isn't it?  I plan on going outside and viewing for a while if the sky is clear around here.  For those of us on the east coast of the US, it will take place starting at 1:33 am.  Another thing is that the moon will appear as a coppery red color instead of being totally obliterated by the shadow of the earth.  This is because, according to NASA, the only sunlight visible is refracted through the Earth's atmosphere.
Things like this really fascinate me.  I remember getting up in the middle of the night and going outside with my daughter to watch a meteor shower back in 2001 and being totally awestruck. 
Personally, I believe that we should look up to the heavens more often to get some perspective on things in our lives.  
Further reading about the Winter Solstice reminded me that this is the time when the Earth is tilted the farthest away from the Sun.  Actually, we are just about at the closest distance to the Sun around this time of year, but God is smart enough to shield us by having the axis slanted so we get indirect sunlight instead of the excess of solar radiation.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Snow

Last night, we got a spattering of snow here in Southeast VA.  I was coming out of the grocery store at about 7:00 pm and it was really coming down.  Later, as I got ready for bed, I looked out and the cars parked in the street were lightly covered and I could hear the sound of sleet falling.  We owe this unusual, early winter blast to the La NiƱa effect in the Pacific Ocean, so I've heard.  This is more like January weather for around here, not the first week of December.  Having grown up around here, I can count on one hand the number of white Christmases that I have seen in my lifetime.  I believe that the number is two and that may be being generous.  I can remember my wish when I was blowing out my birthday cake candles year after year was for snow at Christmastime.

While it may put me in more of a 'Christmassy' mood to be all bundled up, needing gloves and scarves outside, extra blankets on my bed and craving a mug of hot chocolate, I still don't look forward to the higher electric bills during the winter.

Today, I am getting my Christmas tree and house all decorated for the season and listening to appropriate music on the radio.  Wish you all were here to enjoy it all.