Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Blizzard of '17, the Reluctant Dog Sitter, and Unlikely Friends

Well, we're predicted to have a blizzard here in Mississippi today.  Well, by blizzard, I actually mean that the word, snow, has left the lips of the weatherman which, in the South, means that hysteria has ensued.  School is cancelled for tomorrow.  Offices are closed.  And I'm sure there's not a loaf of bread left in the Bible belt.....especially here in the buckle where we believe that white bread is manna in times of wintry despair and that God will help those who go out to gather it for their families.       

We don't know how to handle wintry precipitation down here.  We just don't.  We are experts in tornadoes.  Twisters love it here and we know just what to do about those.  We know how to stay safe in hell-like heat.  We know all the precautions to take to avoid being burned alive by the sun which is about 30 feet from the southern U.S. in the summertime.  And hurricanes?  Well, we wrote the handbook on how to survive those.  But, let the weatherman mention snow and we go to buying pallets of canned goods and bread and milk....totally losing sight of the fact that the temperatures will likely climb back into the upper 60's in a couple of days and we'll be running the air conditioning.  I know you, people from the North, get a big kick out of our snow frenzies but we just do better with weather that requires chain saws not tire chains. 

We're all headed to New Orleans for the weekend so we'll miss any snow fun that will be had.  It's our first wedding planning excursion as we're going to check out some possible venues.  My non-dog loving Mama is coming to dog sit.  Sugar knows when our bags are by the door that her Grandma is probably coming for a visit.  I can tell you that neither is excited.  Sugar's been looking at me like, "I see you've gotten the Vera Bradley out and I'm onto you.  You're going to leave me here with that lady who makes me go out every 10 minutes because she's afraid I'm going to wet the floor, aren't you?  Well, that's just great.  Just great."  I believe the last time they cohabitated, Sugar uncharacteristically did a boo-boo on the dining room floor just to spite her.  I can only hope this weekend goes more smoothly or our chances of securing her services again will be slim to none.  I'll let you know how it went when we return. 

Since this post is all over the place already, I wanted to share something sweet.  A year and a half ago, when Carson went on choir tour with our church youth group, the teens were each given the name of an elderly church member and they were asked to write a letter to the person during week.  I love that about the annual youth choir trips.  The kids are usually given some sort of writing assignment in which they have to use an actual pen and paper to express themselves for the benefit of others.  The world could use more pen and paper and less technology if you ask me, but I digress.

Anyway, Carson was given Mrs. Cowart's name.  He wrote her and the church mailed all the kids' letters when they returned home.  Assignment completed.  He did tell us about the letter when he got back from the trip but not much thought was given to it after that, I guess.  Until........she wrote back.  As is characteristic of the older generation, they never let a correspondence go unanswered or a gesture go un-thanked.  I love that about them.  We, younger people, could learn so much from the importance they place on relationships and the diligence with which they approach social graces.

Well, she wrote Carson about her love of fishing as she knew that would interest a teenage boy.  He would write her back and, before too many weeks would pass, another letter would arrive in the mailbox from her.  She told him about the largest fish she ever caught and so many other interesting things.  Some of her precious letters included a few dollars for Carson to use for "school supplies".  He would always be excited to write her back.....the boy who doesn't particularly care for writing all that much.  It's been a sweet thing to watch.  Two people, generations apart, who didn't really know each other, becoming friends through written words. 

Mrs. Cowart is very sick now and, tonight, I sat in the car while I watched Carson knock on her door.  He handed flowers through the door to her sitter and asked if she'd deliver them to her.  I thought how wonderful it was that the two of them connected through that writing assignment.  And how much his generation could learn from hers.  How much they have in common even though they grew up in such different times.  Please pray for Mrs. Cowart.........that the Lord will give her peace and mercy.  She is a sweet, sweet lady who took time to write a young man she didn't really know.  And she touched his heart. 

And mine.   

Y'all have a good weekend.  Stay warm and keep your bread handy.                    



  1. Sob! You are so right! I'm grateful Carson got to know her through letters. Receiving letters and cards from the mail is almost a lost art. I'm sure he'll remember Mrs. Cowart in years to come. Awww maybe this time your mom and Sugar will be friends, ok, we can only hope:).
    Haha, like us here with rain, a big event! But dang, Tornadoes are scary looking! Have fun in New Orleans!
    Kathleen in Az

  2. So sweet! It's so important for all ages of the church to connect with each other and not be separated.

  3. Oh this brought tears to my eyes! What a blessing Carson and Mrs. Cowart have been to each other. So many older people are so lonely.

    Stay safe in your storm!

  4. How wonderful! I agree that hand-written letters are a lost art that needs to be found again!!!! Hope your wedding venue search was successful!!!!

    1. Daphne, forgive this tardy reply! I've been so behind with my comment reading! I cherish all the letters and notes that have ever been sent to me! They're truly a gift from the heart of another person. Hate to see them becoming extinct. Love hearing from you, Daphne!