Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I've always said I can handle cold as long as the sun in shining. I remember my days as a student at BYU-I where the sun next to never made it's way to Rexburg, ID. Or so it felt that way. Those spring days- where it would make sneak appearances- were pure ecstasy. Not at all important that the readings on the thermometer still had us marked at a low 35 degrees. The sun was shining and we always found a way to celebrate it's presence.

The kids all had warmy oatmeal for breakfast this morning. As we were preparing to get out the door, I insisted on jackets for all. I had already started the van a few minutes earlier to get a nice, warm air stream blowing for the ride to school. Which is the role my mom always played for us. After waking us up for early morning seminary in those winter months, she would get the car running to temper the shock of the freezing air to our newly-awakened faces. A very kind gesture, especially coming from the same mom whose response to our whining about it being freezing cold in the house was, "....BUNDLE UP." That's right, major heat regulations at the Pope house. Either turn the oven on for heat and hover, or go find layers. But at 5:45 am, she knew a warm car might have been the only way to coax us out of bed. Or possibly she knew that was the only way to get her car home safely. Because those mornings when she didn't start the car ahead of time...well, those were always TREACHEROUS rides to seminary. Us girls were too lazy to scrape the frost off and the result was a completely iced-over windshield, 3 windows that offered no transparency, 2 hidden mirrors, and one window rolled down with the driver's head completely hung out, those 2 eyes {that had maybe been open for 3 minutes} being the only perspective available. And that is how we made the 5 mile trek to church. The good thing about early morning seminary is we were usually the only ones on the road, negating the need to share lanes. Without fail, the driver always commandeered all road available, those yellow lines next to invisible to 2 naked eyes that should have had contacts in place or been shielded by glasses. But they never were. Not at 5:45. Somehow, we always arrived. There and back. Safely. Winter is brutal.

With the kids in the car, a little warm air breaking the coldness, I had to turn on the windshield wipers to erase the dew. The big boys were hugging themselves for more warmth. I looked down and read aloud the temperature, "48 degrees. It's a cold one today." We are in the depths of winter over here. But I won't complain, because the sun is shining and that's all I ask for, right?

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