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WHO IS IN CHARGE?
This morning’s map shows yesterday’s storm ( a “secondary,”) moving off, as the “primary” low hangs back as an occlusion just north of the great lakes. The orange, dashed lines, which stick out from that primary low, are various impulses rotating around the primary low. Each has to be watched, although they possess neither fronts nor independent sources of arctic or tropical air, because each can mess up forecast, one way or another. Sometimes they only bring a period of clouds to a sunny day, but they can be fed by the bright March sunshine’s puffing thermals and create unexpected heavy flurries, and occasionally they can regenerate into new storms if they rotate around over the ocean. So I’m watching them, and half expecting unexpectedly heavy flurries, today.
Yesterday had four separate periods of heavy snow. I ran the snow blower over the drive and parking lot three separate times, each time hoping the snow was slacking off, as I’d glanced at the radar and saw an “edge” to the snow to our west. Each time the secondary storm generated new areas of snow.
The first was before dawn, greeting me with seven inches in the predawn dark, as I clicked on the floodlight. (My wife and I slept at the childcare with my grandchildren to avoid any travel problems, in the morning.) The snow had slacked off to only a light dust of tiny flakes.
When that was done I checked the radar, and saw the second mass of precipitation blooming to our west, and soon a glance out the window showed the flakes were growing larger and thicker. Soon they were as big around as quarters, with a few absurd flakes the size of ping pong balls. The snow built up to a foot deep, but then mixed with sleet and the depth of the snow actually shrank slightly. We only had seven children, as most parents decided to stay home, as did our staff.
I allowed snowball fights, which usually are illegal, for the snow didn’t pack well, and the snowballs tended to be light and harmless, about as heavy as Styrofoam and as solid as a cream puff.
I boiled maple sap until it was starting to get gooey, and we “sugared off,” pouring the hot sap on a tray of fresh, packed snow, where it hardens into a delicious candy.
After lunch the overcast seemed to be brightening, and the snow was getting light. Even with the clouds you can feel the spring sun’s power, and the streets absorb enough of the invisible rays to melt. I figured the storm was over and cleaned up the drive and parking lot a second time, however just as I was finishing it began to snow heavily again.
The third burst just gave us enough snow, around three inches, to require a final run with the snow blower before dinner, however when I glanced at the radar before bed, I could see more squalls brewing up to our west. This morning, as I glance out, I see a fresh inch has been added.
Now, as an American, I like to feel I’m a free man, and in charge of my own life. However when I made my plans for this week I didn’t include so much snow blowing. It makes me contemplate all the things I don’t control.
Freedom is not the state of controlling God’s creation. There are powers much greater than we are. Freedom is more about how we respond to such powers, whether they are the weather, the government, or a fresh new generation of children.