Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:25

Strange winter weather? I blame the groundhog

Written by  Harold Bales

I reckon I may be partly responsible for this incredible winter weather. I have sometimes professed my enjoyment of a nice winter snow storm. To watch snow falling is, to me, a wonderful sight. It brings a calmness over my spirit like few other experiences in life. God knows this about me and in most winters provides me just enough snow here in North Carolina to keep me reasonably serene.

Rarely do we get too much. Sometimes we don’t get quite enough to suit me. In fact, on Groundhog Day I was not terribly disappointed to learn that we could expect six more weeks of winter weather. I was hoping for two or three days of snow with temperatures at about 31 degrees, safe clear roads, crackling fireplaces and toasty, warm homes. We only build fireplaces anymore here in the South for the atmosphere in our homes. So I like a little snow for atmosphere.

I think God intended some of this incredible snowfall of recent weeks for me, but missed! Dumped most of it on the Northeast! My 58-year-old baby brother Lynn and his family live up in New England. I was talking to him the other day and he was looking out the window at a seven-foot snow drift. He was anticipating 18 more inches on the way to southern New Hampshire later in the day! He was good-naturedly talking about a new, heavy-duty snow blower he had bought and how they were having to go out several times per day to clear the way to the hot tub. Poor baby! He could be good-natured about it since his wife Mary was out “raking the roof” at the moment. Three feet of snow had accumulated there!

Those poor folk up there have had it rough. All because of an over-enthusiastic groundhog this year. Plus, a God wanting to be good to me with a little winter snow who misaimed ever-so-slightly and unloaded a gazillion tons on an already frozen North. But, I’m not complaining to God!

However, darn that groundhog! And where is global warming when we need it? Oh, you know I tease. But these climate matters really are serious. Lots of people right here in America have seriously inadequate shelter for winters like this. Tremendous numbers of folk cannot afford safe, sufficient heat. Transportation for the homebound and poor is difficult for them to arrange. Food runs short. Depression afflicts many people especially in such times.

I thank God for those who know their neighbors and look out for them. Thank God for those persons who run food and shelter centers for people in distress. What would we do if it weren’t for churches, synagogues, mosques and helping agencies of all sorts in emergencies like this? Police, firefighters, hospital personnel, highway workers — the list goes on of people who are skilled, trained, equipped and care. This is what makes for a civilized world.

There are always some folk who oppose such expressions of care for community and society. Some do this out of anger and ignorance, others out of selfishness and greed. Some are ill and not responsible for their behavior. This increases the load for those who persist in caring. To those angels I say thank you. And God bless us all!

Harold Bales is on sabbatical as he continues to recover from partial leg amputation surgery, but his Southern-Fried wisdom and humor are timeless. Until he’s back behind the keyboard, we’ll be printing columns from similar publication weeks of years past. This column appeared on this week last year. Harold is a retired Methodist minister who lives in Concord. He enjoys hearing from his readers, so send him an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.\nBasic HTML code is allowed.