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Snow and Skiing

picture of satellite view of NE USA

The picture above is a satellite view of the Washington D.C. area earlier this week from NASA. Look at all that snow-covered ground! And that part of the country is supposed to be getting even more snow. It's neat to see the Appalachians highlighted by the snow. I bet some people in D.C., Philly, and NYC are hoping that whoever upset Al Gore will apologize to him so that he'll give them back their global warming. As the Lord dumps tons of snow on some of the hotbeds of the global warming hoax, He is proving that He has a delightful sense of humor. Fill-in-the-blank test item: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became ___."

How much snow is too much? Growing up in NW Ohio and living for about a decade in the Detroit area, my wife and I came to regard heavy snows and months of dirty snow and ice as just a normal part of life. Now that we've lived in South Carolina for over a quarter of a century, we love the idea of normalcy here — little to no snow, year after year, with the occasional French-toast-comfort-food scares where everyone empties the grocery stores of milk, bread, and eggs. (BTW, our crocuses are blooming here today.)

Did you know that snowmen can find too much snow depressing? Below is a picture a friend sent me yesterday to prove it:

picture of depressed snowman

With all the snow lately and with the Winter Olympics beginning soon, I thought I'd post a classic that I sent out as an e-mail iv a few years ago.

Top ten ways to prepare for your skiing vacation

picture of man skiing

10. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm yourself up again.

9. Go to the nearest hockey rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car.

8. For ski boot simulation at home, put a pebble in your street shoes and tighten a C-clamp around your toes.

7. Buy a pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.

6. Go to McDonald's and insist on paying $6.50 for a hamburger. Be sure to wait in the longest line.

5. Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket and ride a motorcycle fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.

4. Drive slowly for five hours — anywhere — as long as it's in a snowstorm and you're following an 18 wheeler.

3. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. You'd almost believe you're skiing in front of a snow maker!

2. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.

1. Repeat all of the above every Saturday until you go on your ski vacation.


How is the snow situation where you live? Will you be following the Winter Olympics closely? Now that the government has improved our lives with mandated DTV, we can no longer pick up WYFF-4, our local NBC station, because Paris Mountain blocks the signal for us. Oh well, we'll just read online who wins what or catch news highlights on the Spartanburg station.


"Being missions-minded is more than paying someone else to make disciples somewhere else." - Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

I've heard it said that cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the driveway before it has stopped snowing.

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24 Comments on “Snow and Skiing”

  1. #1 Joy
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 9:14 am

    You’d think all this snow would cause everyone to realize global warming is a hoax, but not so – I’ve actually heard some media folks claiming these snow storms are brought on by global warming!!!

  2. #2 Melanie
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I live in southwest VA, so we’ve gotten the same snowstorms the DC area gets. However, we haven’t gotten nearly as much as they have. We have over a foot on the ground from the last few weeks. I teach in the public schools, and so far we’ve had school one day in February (and that was with a 2 hour delay). It is also VERY cold here with the windchill in the single digits!

  3. #3 Terry Egolf
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    It’s not global warming, or even global cooling.

    It’s El Niño. One of the strongest in recent decades.

  4. #4 Heather
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I live right smack in the middle of that satellite photo. We in the Baltimore area have gotten between 3 and 4 feet of global warming in the last six days. I was born and raised in the South, and I still can’t believe what my eyes insist is there. It makes me remember some of your older posts about Northern winters!

  5. #5 b.j.
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    My hubby used to be an avid skier, even competing in slalom races, though not in a large scale, famous capacity. I had to laugh at this post, reminicent of my one time skiing. I am sure he is really going to get some laughs out of it!

    We have gotten a lot more snow here in MO than usual, too. It is funny to see how schools are out here, where in Ohio it would have been laughable, but then again, the roads here are pretty bad. I’ve really enjoyed the snow, regardless of the roads though! Of course, it is still being blamed on all this human made global warming.

  6. #6 laura
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I love that little dig you stuck in about your crocuses blooming. SC is great. I planted my peas on Tuesday, along with more radishes & turnips. We have Swiss chard, radishes, turnips, carrots, oregano, and parsley in the garden . . . what more could I ask for 🙂 ?

    We don’t have TV, either, but we don’t miss it. With good books and a bunch of kids, we have all the entertainment we can handle!

    Snow & housework are a lot alike . . . if you put it off until later, it is a lot harder than dipping in and doing what you can along the way. My dad says in PA, they don’t plow until it stops falling, and the roads are a MESS until it is all caught up. When we lived in MA, though, the plows were out as soon as the first flakes started floating down, and the only thing that kept us from going anywhere anytime was an ice storm, which might hit once a year or less . . . and that only held us up because we lived on a mountain (hard to get home straight uphill on smooth ice). Of course, we still had to shovel the driveway twice a day, to get out to those nice, clear roads . . . much better in SC!!!

    El Nino contributes to the weather (especially precipitation), but sunspot activity is also a BIG factor, and it looks as though it may be depressed for a while yet. Guess we’d better get used to cold weather again. So much weather is cyclical . . . but the politicians can ignore that to push their efforts to control the world.

    Hmmm . . . all this “cold talk” is getting me thinking about cocoa . . . have a great week!

  7. #7 Susan
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    My husband and I live in Vancouver, BC, and we have been enjoying God’s sense of humor in dumping all the snow on the east coast instead of here, where the Winter Olympics begin tomorrow. The Olympic Committee took over Vancouver, but they couldn’t take over the weather! 😉

    My husband said yesterday that we put in the order for snow for BC, but the message got mixed up and God thought we said DC!

    I enjoy your blog tremendously!

  8. #8 Laura
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    My parents live in the southeast corner of Maryland, about 1 1/2 hours south of D.C. As of yesterday they had approximately 2 feet of snow on the ground (it would be closer to 3 with all the snowfall they’ve had, but there were a couple of days that actually got warm enough to melt some). The last time there was anything close to that amount of snow was over 20 years ago, when it snowed 18 inches the weekend before and another 18 inches the weekend after we moved in to the house where my parents still live. I was less than a year old at the time, so unfortunately I don’t remember it, but my parents say it was quite the experience. 🙂

  9. #9 Jason Harper
    on Feb 11th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I’m from South Carolina as well and I’m actually enjoying the snow up north a lot! I work for a call center that gets calls from all over the states, but especially the North East…. it’s been pretty slow in the mornings the past week or two. 🙂 It picks up a lot in the afternoon when California wakes up… they’ve been having weather in the 50’s to low 60’s lately….

    Concerning the Olympics, I’ve heard that they’ve had to order snow for the slopes, and instead of having snow banks on the sides of the slopes, they’ve stacked up hay bails and covered them in snow because they don’t have enough… maybe Susan can verify that…

  10. #10 Ellen
    on Feb 12th, 2010 at 12:00 am

    This has nothing to do with your post, but I just wanted to say it was nice to see you earlier this week. Just sorry that it had to be for such a sad reason — well, for us at least. I’m sure Sandy is VERY happy to be where she is!

    I am a transplanted Northerner as well, and I do have to admit that I miss the snow! I’m not sure that I would want it months on end, but a few nice snowfalls (at least 6″ or more) would be nice. My kids would be ecstatic!

  11. #11 Rob
    on Feb 12th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    @Joy – It’s funny that you say that. I just ran across an article in Time about how global warming makes blizzards worse.

    @Melanie, Heather, and Laura T. – Thanks for the news of people affected by these heavy snows. They are for sure getting hammered by an unmerciful side of global warming!

    @Terry – I heard El Niño mentioned earlier this year in connection with the heavy rains and I remember the heavy rains of our last El Niño year. It stands to reason that heavy rains can become heavy snows. It seems to me that the “warming” thing still should be part of the mix, though, in that if it’s warmer, the heavy rains should still be heavy rains instead of snows.

    @b.j. – Thanks for the snow report from Missouri. That’s interesting about your husband’s skiing past. I’d be interested to know if he got a kick out of the suggested preparations for his next ski vacation.

    @laura b. – When you comment, you always bring not only good information and things to ponder, but also more humor. Thanks for your balanced comment! I wasn’t even planning to say anything about our crocuses, but just before I hit the publish button, my wife asked me if I had seen out our back window that our crocuses were blooming. It seemed too good not to add — maybe as a little dig, or just as another bright side of life here in SC. Nothin’ could be finah…. 😀 Thanks for insights from PA and MA, past and present. We remember a couple of big snows here — we’re talking 10-12 inches! — our first couple of years here, and Greenville County’s having only 3 trucks with snow plows for the whole huge country. They just did what they could with the small amount of sand they had … at intersections and on overpasses and bridges.

    @Susan – Wow, news from someone in Vancouver, BC!!! Your husband’s comment made me LOL! Thanks for sharing it.

    @Jason – Good to hear from you … from the frozen tundra of the USA. Your insights as a worker in a call center are interesting, as the clock moves through the day and non-snowy areas wake up differently from those snowed under. I heard the same thing about the Olympics and the lack of snow. I do hope Susan will chime in on that from Vancouver.

    @Ellen – It was good to see you Monday evening, minus the circumstances, and to meet your adorable little girl. I don’t mind snows here, even our rare heavy snows, because I know it’s not going to go on for months and months. So, I’ll join you in hoping for a good 6 inches yet this season. 🙂

  12. #12 Vikki
    on Feb 12th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Being raised in WI, I know only too well what lots of snow means. I love a good blizzard – as long as everyone is home and the power doesn’t go out. However, I didn’t like the looooooong winters and the bitter cold up there. Here in Greenville, SC the winters are just the right length. I just wish we saw more snow.

    I love to watch the students here on campus when it snows. Those from the south who never saw snow before just go nuts. Half an inch of it on the ground and they want you to take pictures of them standing in it to send to their parents and they make little bitty 1-2 foot snowmen. I would love to see a good 6″ of good packing snow once each year for these kids to experience. It could be the highlight of their whole college experience.

  13. #13 Rob
    on Feb 12th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    @Vikki – You should have seen my students this afternoon when it began to snow. Right now, as I type this reply, we have an inch of snow … and it’s still coming. Things look really pretty with the snow. So nice that most of it will be gone in a day or so.

  14. #14 A.H.
    on Feb 12th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I would love to have 6″ of snow. Actually, I would love to have all of D.C.’s snow! However, I am elated with what we have now.

  15. #15 jhr
    on Feb 13th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Baseball spring training begins in 4 days

  16. #16 Rob
    on Feb 13th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    @A.H. – Hope you enjoyed the 3 inches we got over night. It was so beautiful, and it’s even more beautiful to see it melting today. Love not having long-term dirty snow!

    @ jhr – Hope it’s not in the panhandle of FL … heard that they became state #49 to have snow right now. The only one that doesn’t is Hawaii.

    My wife and I, in Southern crisis mode, had French toast for lunch today. Delish!

  17. #17 b.j.
    on Feb 15th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    In response to the olympic comments, my mom heard that they were trucking snow from the blizzard overrun east to the canadian border, where canadian trucks picked it up and hauled it to Vancouver for the games. Thought that was funny, yet interesting.

  18. #18 Rob
    on Feb 15th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    @b.j. – Wow! That would be a long way to truck snow. Are you sure she heard that right? 😉 Must be one of those urban legends….

  19. #19 Sue
    on Feb 15th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Actually, they did transport snow via both helicopter and truck, but I don’t think it came from as far away as the east coast. According to the NY Times (link below), it was “snow from hundreds of miles away” and “Some of the 160 loads hauled in the past week were brought by trucks that made a three-hour trip.” I’m assuming that the “hundreds of miles” were transversed by helicopter, as three hours by truck through the mountains hauling snow, would probably only be about 120 miles if the driver were traveling at safe speeds!


  20. #20 Susan
    on Feb 15th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Concerning the hay bales covered with snow: the Olympics organizers did have to make some wooden forms for some of the runs, line them with hay, and truck in snow from farther in the interior of BC for the events on Cypress Mountain, which is 10 minutes from our house. We live on the North Shore, across the harbor from Vancouver. Our North Shore mountains usually get plenty of snow, while we down near the water just get the infamous rain all winter. This year, though, El Nino made an appearance and our mountains didn’t get much snow at all. Even as late as Friday morning, helicopters were still bringing snow over from the interior! Our family has noticed that the sides of the runs on Cypress are just dirt – when we heard an NBC commentator point that out I felt like our dirt was being exposed! LOL

  21. #21 Rob
    on Feb 16th, 2010 at 7:06 am

    @Sue and Susan – Thanks for the insights concerning the snow for the Olympics in Vancouver. Who would have ever guessed that this would be an issue at all? And it’s not that pesky “climate change” thing….

  22. #22 Faith
    on Feb 16th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    It seems as if some here would like to project their own slightly vindictive sense of humor onto God. Our God is just, but He doesn’t take pleasure in punishing sinners. Let’s remember that.

    Global warming is a reality, but nothing to panic about since it is simply part of our earth’s natural climate cycles (which we have only been measuring for about 300 years). And yes, the snow is a natural result of that climate change and of the cold weather zones shifting. Nothing to be concerned about, but definitely a scientific fact that shouldn’t be ridiculed, either. We Christians sometimes over-compensate when trying to distance ourselves from secular science — and as a result we end up looking silly.

  23. #23 Rob
    on Feb 17th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    @Faith – Thanks for taking the time to comment. You have been reading my blog long enough to know that most of my readers and I have the absolutely highest esteem for the Lord and would not knowingly seek to make Him look anything less than the wonderful Person He is in the eyes of others.

    To say that He has a sense of humor in dumping snow on people who say that the planet is getting perilously warmer and warmer is a far cry from saying He is being vindictive. I recommend to you Psalm 2 where the Lord laughs at those who have no regard for Him. Psalm 59:8 tells us, “But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.”

    If the world is undergoing “global warming,” that’s not what we’re seeing going on in most parts of the world this winter or in the past year or so. In my lifetime I have lived through the hype from “scientists” about our going into a new Ice Age in the 1970s.

    Climate does indeed change, but when puny man claims to be the cause of worldwide disastrous climate change, he is assuming he is more powerful than the One who controls all the climates. I believe that the current hype about “global warming” and/or climate change is agenda-driven by people who want to control others and who want to gain financially from others.

    I alluded to the verse “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” recently. In that passage (Romans 1) you have a description of most of the people who have as part of their agenda making themselves “god.” The Lord holds just that kind of thing in derision.

    I believe He is currently gently laughing at these people through unusually heavy snowfalls all over the globe and extremely frigid temperatures. Those weather patterns, along with what “Climategate” uncovered, have caused these “scientists”-so-called to change their terminology to “climate change,” rather than global warming, which they know is a hoax (read: a shell game). Please do not be duped by all this. The only global warming that will destroy this world is the extreme global warming the Lord will do when He destroyed the world with fire, as He has prophesied in the Bible.

    I appreciate your desire for people to speak carefully, but I fear that you may be buying into an agenda that is ungodly and fallacious.

  24. #24 Vikki
    on Feb 17th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    If global warming was the cause of all this snow, than why is Texas (multiple times) and Florida seeing snow storms? Shouldn’t they be too warmer for snow – especially if the earth is getting warmer? BC and not DC should be the ones snowed under. Just a thought . . .