Greenwich Village – Oatmeals and Washington Square Park
The Statue of Liberty
Downtown Manhattan – including the World Trade Center and Wall Street
Brooklyn – including the Brooklyn Bridge
Carols were sung, presents were opened, and Christmas lunch had been enjoyed. With a quick glance at the clock, we knew that we had enough time to hike at Sleeping Giant State Park. According to Brother, the trail was about the length of the trail at Pilot Mountain, so we grabbed some water bottles and hopped in the car.
As we were approaching exit 59 on Wilbur Cross Parkway, we noticed that traffic was moving slowly up ahead, but we continued towards the tunnel.
Then we stopped. Traffic was literally parked on the parkway for over an hour. Some people started heading the wrong way down the entrance ramp; others started making u-turns in the grass. One man even managed to cut off three people in stand-still traffic, and a lady got out of her car to yell at him.
Yet, we also saw much Christmas cheer. I honestly don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard with my family. Other families even began distributing Christmas cookies!
Much later than expected, we arrived at Sleeping Giant and raced against the clock to hike to the top. Although Brother compared the trail to Pilot Mountain, which is described as a “moderate relatively flat 0.8 mile loop,” the trail we walked was closer to that of Hanging Rock (a 1.3-mile one-way trail). It almost felt like we ran to the top, took some pictures, and speed-walked to the bottom.
…and any time Mom asked how far we were from the top, Brother’s reply was, “It’s not that far.”
Local weather forecast for the next three days-
This is why North Carolina is so great.
Since this is my third winter on campus, I have taken pictures of most of the buildings and surroundings in snow. Other than the obligatory pictures of red berries in snow, I tried to focus on capturing unique patterns that the snow created.
“Snowmageddon” hit the East Coast this weekend, and a large portion of the country was struck immobile–college students included. So what does a twenty-something girl do when her only mode of transportation is foot? Here’s a glimpse:
1. Take pictures – When I awoke Friday morning, there was about an inch of fluffy snow. Although I have a plethora of pictures of my school covered in white, I grabbed my camera and headed for the cafeteria. Sadly, my memory card has been giving me problems, and I was not able to take pictures until after breakfast. By the time I had switched memory cards, the snow had turned to sleet and freezing rain. I only got a few shots before I returned to my dorm room to protect my camera.
I went back out on Saturday and took pictures in Old Salem.
2. Study – Snow does not cancel online quizzes.
3. Sled – I walked a couple blocks with friends through the sleet and freezing rain to sled down the steep, short hill and onto the soccer field. It was so wet, so cold, and so much fun!
4. School projects – Lucky for me, my projects were the fun type: creating bulletin boards and painting inspirational posters for health class.
I also wrote a paper, which was not nearly as fun.
5. Watch movies – While I painted the poster, I joined some other girls in the movie room. Admittedly, I did not watch the entire movie. I only stayed until I was done painting.
6. Work – The on-campus coffee shop extended its hours because of the snow, I picked up an extra shift. Then we ran out of milk…
7. Make oatmeal – Not that it needed to snow before I could do this. I eat oatmeal almost daily 🙂
8. Read a book – Technically, reading The Year of Billy Miller was an assignment for my Children’s Literature class, but it was still a cute book.
9. Campus worship – Most churches were closed on Sunday, so we planned a campus worship service with a few songs, a short devotion, and testimonies.
10. Catch up on blog posts – Blogging always gets pushed aside at the beginning of the school year. I tried to catch up, but I am still a little behind.
“Miss Kat, can we go outside today?”
I glance from the deceptively sunny sky to the snowy white parking lot and shake my head. “Sorry, but no, we can’t.”
According to the weather app, temps have settled below the thirties. By law, I cannot take the children to the play-lot, despite their hyperactive cabin fever. The students, of course, are disappointed, longing to run off their energy. Not understanding that slippery dangers await beyond the windowpane, they assume I am simply a mean adult, trying to ruin their day.
When did “no” become synonymous with “hate?” I am just as guilty as the children. I ask the teacher for extra credit and whine when none is offered. I am upset when a coworker can’t cover for me. Obviously, the state highway patrol hates me since they won’t let me break the speed limit.
If any New Testament saint had reason to feel unloved, it was Paul. He cried out to God three times to be relieved of his “thorn in the flesh.” Nonetheless, God outright said, “No.” The remarkable fact is found in Second Corinthians 12:7-10, however. According to these verses, Paul’s malady ended up being an asset; it allowed God’s strength to be made perfect.
When I don’t let the kids go outside, I am protecting them from sliding on the icy steps. When the authorities admonish me to slow down, they are protecting me from causing a wreck. Likewise, when God said “no” to Paul, He was protecting Paul from conceit.
When God tells us “no,” He is not being a cruel dictator; He is a sovereign, loving Protector. As hard as it is, we must trust God’s statement in Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” He is bringing it all together to make us more like His Son.