Enjoying the Winter Season

Posted on January 7, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

I have always equivocated on what is my favorite season of the year. It’s usually a toss-up between spring and autumn depending on which season I’m in. The budding trees and flowering shrubs responding to warming temperatures after a gray, dismal winter stimulates a renewal of life. But the colorful leaves of fall and nippy air after months of stifling heat is invigorating. I would sometimes choose summer as my favorite time of the year until temperatures soar to intolerable levels, but never would I say winter had any merits of enjoyment.

Winter-BobbyeFireplace However, I am finding winter has something going for it! Mississippi seldom gets much snow, but we discovered in Virginia that the beauty of a snowfall is short-lived when it comes to shoveling driveways and maneuvering on icy sidewalks. With the air frigid outside, the yard and garden dormant, the holiday season behind us and travel commitments diminished, we are actually enjoying a relaxed and reclusive lifestyle during the winter days of a new year.

Winter-BobbyePoolWhen we awaken to ice in the bird bath, there is no hurry to get outside or engage in household chores. With a fresh pot of coffee we find ourselves indulging in the leisure of extended devotional reading by the fireplace prior to a mid-morning breakfast. Afternoons and evenings can be spent in the man cave without guilt watching the college bowl games and NFL play-offs. To break the monotony, Bobbye has even taken up the challenge of playing pool and becoming a serious competitor!

Winter-JerryFilingUninterrupted holiday down time at home has become my traditional time for annually culling files and organizing resources. After two and a half years we still have unopened boxes of personal archives from our tenure at the International Mission Board. These winter days have been productive times of documenting, filing and discarding. It is a formidable task as each folder opens volumes of memories and entices us to consume time delving into the details of past issues and events, evoking recollections of both joys and trials.

Each day of the new year brings reminders of the extensive network of family and friends that literally extends around the world. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all that God has allowed us to experience and thankful for another year of health and fulfilling opportunities for ministry and service. Our first big event of 2013 will be a return to Indonesia later this month for almost three weeks where we will be converging with our daughter, Lori, and her family. She has not been back since we left in her early years of high school. We are excited about returning to places we lived and ministered, and her husband and children being introduced to her cross-cultural roots in East Java.

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