Another cold Saturday here in our corner of the Arctic Midwest. It will be -17 tonight with a high tomorrow of -7 and wind chills at 30 to 40 below zero. Yikes! We walked inside a small strip mall yesterday for over 15 minutes and will try for 20 minutes today. I am slowing building back up to a mile plus as energy increases. Yes!
Speaking of energy, mine has returned quite a bit. I went to Bible study Tuesday night, grocery shopped Wednesday and visited with friends in the afternoon. Thursday morning I went to a woman's Bible study, saw two doctors and had lab work in the two 2 1/2 hours at the cancer center in the afternoon, and then went to church for a worship service Thursday night. We shopped Friday twice and we walked. I am a happy girl to be active again. Yay!
This cold weather reminds me of one of the coldest winters we have been through. When Joel Interned at Malta Montana in 1978-79 we woke up one late October morning to -27 degrees. What a shock. At that moment we learned there was no heat in the kids bedroom.....so off we went to purchase electric wall heaters. We loved that old house we affectionately called "The Internage" Many Interns had come and gone from there and the house reflected that. So small in some ways with an add on kitchen. When you went from the dining room to kitchen the entry slanted downwards into the larger add on kitchen. It appeared they had brought in two houses and stuck them together. There was a very small bedroom downstairs but we all slept upstairs. Three kids in one room, Joel and I in the other and our oldest slept in the hallway which was big enough for a bed. She loved having her bed there because she could read by the downstairs light at night after she was tucked in and was supposed to be sleeping. Ha... That girl still always has a book in her hand. We really are a reading family. All of us love the written word. My brother Todd once said, "You can always tell you are in a Dahlen house, because they even have bookshelves in the bathrooms!"
Back to the Internage.......the bathroom held a really old claw foot tub and the only shower was way down the basement, so Joel used to get up in the cold mornings and hurry as fast as he could down to the basement in his underwear to shower. Our middle girl told her pre-school class for show and tell that her daddy "jogged around the house in his underwear!" We still giggle over that one....the pastor jogging around the house in his underwear. A great visual for her teacher who was a member of the church in Malta.
Yes, we loved that little old house...it was a warm place, and oh the adventures we had that year in Malta. We loved it all....well except for Joel being gone all the time! That was a big adjustment for me. It was a four point parish with services held monthly also at a hot springs and at Zortman in the Little Rockies. Joel and his great mentor, Pastor Merv Olson covered it all. We enjoyed the vast rocky breaks of Montana as we traveled long distances to services. We always saw more eagles and deer that cars and people . Such rugged beauty. We participated in a cattle branding, a "nut and gut" feed, airplane rides to check cattle, dances in the little town of Loring, and so much more. Among other things, Joel helped with services at a rodeo and on a wagon train. There were 8 funerals in 2 1/2 weeks in the fall of that year and two of those Joel officiated at were murder victims. That experience helped him to become a very gifted pastor in that area of ministry. I learned so much about being a pastor's wife and how to direct Christmas programs since they told me that was my job! Ha...For a while the kids and I were also the janitors for the church. The extra money was nice since we were trying to live on $500 a month. A family of 6. The people were generous, holding a welcome shower for us and putting meat in our freezer. We met some great people there and fell in love with the West.
Speaking of the West we have been discussing at great length the curtailed move to Arizona, and just what direction we are going. We are putting pen to paper as we look at options, desires, purposes, health issues, and most importantly hearing God's voice. It is all part of the puzzle we call life and knowing what pieces we need to put where.
We have watched a few teachings this week, and we are finishing up the book we are reading aloud together on how to hear God's voice. We watched some TV and are starting a new puzzle as we hunker down for another cold spell. How are you getting through winter? Do you like the cold?
Until next time.................