It's brutal out there -- a full-blown Plains blizzard.
So far, though, God's whole "Enough! Be still and be at peace" initiative through better meteorology is going OK this Christmastide. After a busy day posting the Christmas edition of 3 Chords & the Truth and shoveling the walk and driveway several times, I'm a good kind of tired and remarkably unstressed.
Maybe that's because the blizzard has taken away all the wild expectations surrounding the holiday. It has been stripped to its essentials . . . and so have our lives, for just these few days.
FOR US, at least, the rush to get presents wrapped, etcetera and so on, has been diminished. Holiday entertaining, too.
Today was a day of getting done what needed to be done, managing to get to Christmas vigil Mass while the getting was . . . possible . . . and then making a pot of our traditional Christmas Eve chicken-and-sausage gumbo for a late-night supper for two.
Even though the simple act of getting to Mass involved the driveway-shoveling equivalent of a forced march, it was all good. And the snowy drive to church, truth be told, fell under the category of Things Guys Like.
IN OTHER WORDS, a good challenge. And I don't think God minded that I showed up to Christmas Mass in snow boots and two pairs of sweatpants.
You don't shovel in finery, is what I'm saying.
But now it's really late, I'm exhausted, and it's time to go to bed. Tomorrow -- today now -- is another day, Christmas Day, when we will continue to be still as we scramble to beat back the elements howling outside the door. And suit up to shovel away enough drifts for the poor dogs to go outside and do what dogs do.
JUST CALL me Nanook of the North.
Merry Christmas from snowy, blowy Omaha, by God, Nebraska.