A winter to remember… (or to forget)

It is the lull between the storms as I write this.  We had enough residual salt down on the blacktop to keep ice from accumulating Monday night.  However, today’s sleet has done what the ice failed to do. The parking lot looks like an ice rink. Don’t even ask about the sidewalks.  50 pounds of ice melt was just enough to clear the steps to the church and the rectory, and the small black ‘rugs’ outside the front of church.  And now we are waiting for what forecasters are calling ‘the big snow’.

As I kid, I loved this kind of weather.  As an adult who worries about keeping sidewalks safe for walking, and access open for people, it is a little less fun.  I tell my classmates “I love my parish.  Where else can I get my aerobic workout done (shoveling/chipping away ice) all before the 8am mass?”  Thanks to Phil Krill for his help with the daily “getting church accessible” labor.  Thanks to Bob Reid and Luke Engelmeyer for their work on keeping the school accessible.

Thanks to a combination of folks who came up during the last snow storm with plow equipped ATV’s (Tim and Mike Britt) and a snow blower (Don Muckerman) and shovels (Bob Maixner and others) to lend a hand.   In the absence of a maintenance man, their help makes a huge difference.

And then, let me say a word about safety.  In golf, they talk about the risk/reward equation to various shots.  If your chances of finding the hazard are pretty good unless you hit ‘the perfect shot’, then the risk involved tells you to “play the safe shot.”  The same applies with the decision to come to mass.  There are some times when it is neither wise nor prudent nor safe to come to mass, even if it should be on a weekend.  If the chance of falling and breaking a leg or a hip is strong, especially as you get into your senior years and the balance and agility are not quite what they used to be, then the prudent choice is to keep holy the Sabbath from the comfort of your living room.  Stay home!  And don’t worry about ‘not going to communion until you have had the chance to go to confession’ about this.  If that is the reason why you are missing mass, trust that our Lord understands.  (Now, if you miss mass out of laziness and neglect…)

This winter will pass – this we know.  It may take a few hundred more pounds of ice melt before it does.  But it will pass. In the mean time, be safe out there…