A Wintry Spring

April 13, 2019 | My Jottings

We’ve had the snowiest winter here in NoMin. And considering the mountains of snow we had everywhere until recently, I think we could call Northern Minnesota “NoMin’s Land.” I live in NoMin’s land.

I had to have my roof shoveled off this year, needed salt-filled tube socks placed above the gutters to melt ice dams I’ve never had before, and Michael’s grave stone was almost completely buried in snow. It’s about lower hip high, and you can see the top of it peeking out behind the wreath Sara made, below. You can click to enlarge these pictures if you like.

Some of the drifts in my front yard were shoulder high, and I had to lift Mildred the Schnauzer up to set her on the frozen snow so she could do her business.

Then we had several warm days and the snow melted completely, leaving streets and grass showing for the first time in months. We rejoiced! We talked about how wonderful it was with bank tellers and grocery store cashiers and neighbors.

Then, two days ago a mean storm named Wesley (appropriate) came barreling through, and for two whole days Wesley snowed and blew until everything in NoMin’s Land is white and cold and grey again. There is no use complaining about the weather, since I have power and heat and food and peace in my life. But I don’t think I’ll be alone in kicking up my heels when spring really shows itself, whenever that will be.

It has been a while since I posted, because I’ve been working on four sessions for a women’s retreat. The retreat was last weekend and as far as I can tell, it went fairly well. The best part for me were the 100 women of the church who welcomed me and were so gracious. I have never spoken at a weekend retreat before, and it was overwhelming to prepare talks and PowerPoint presentations when I’m so out of practice. I felt like I was helpless, really, and prayed that God would just bring His strength and mercy and breathe life to my feeble words. If that happened for one person there, it was worth it without a doubt.

The church, Bethel Lutheran in Hudson, Wisconsin, blessed me with a beautiful hotel room right on Lake Superior. Hudson is three hours south of me, and the church held the retreat in Duluth for a nice getaway for their women. Even though the weekend was rainy and cold, this was the sunrise from my room.

Here are a couple of other pictures, taken by a delightful woman from Bethel named Mary.

The whole group:

Saturday morning session – Jesus is Our Bread:

My friend Lorna led the worship for the whole weekend and I’m still singing and playing some of the hymns she did:

The Saturday evening session was Jesus is Our Light, and a nice buffet meal was served as well:

I have another blessed day at home today, spent catching up on little things that have gone by the wayside these past weeks. I think I am a true housewife at heart, even though I’m not currently a wife. I love wiping off my kitchen counters, running the dishwasher, putting oils in my diffusers, folding laundry, writing out bills, making order. I don’t do any of those things very efficiently anymore because I’m getting slower and I take my time. And I take breaks. But my home is an oasis, a gift from the Lord that I don’t take for granted.

I also have a book to read. I ran into a woman I know from my church – she was returning books at the library and said ever since she retired she reads a book a day. My father was the same, and that sounds like heaven to me. I asked her for a good recommendation and she walked right over and pulled a book off the shelf for me. Not a book I would ever choose, or even a genre I’ve enjoyed, but I took her word for it and hope to begin it today.

What are you doing this weekend? Tell me one or three things…


  1. Ember says:

    Hooray! I have been so looking forward to seeing those photos! I bet you were brilliant!
    This weekend — 1) Saturday will be a day for chilling out and resting, after taking a rather challenging funeral on Friday, and before leading All-Age worship at our church on Sunday. 2) There’s grocery shopping to be done. 3)I can’t remember when I last washed the sheets on my bed so maybe Saturday should also be a laundry day.

  2. Nancy says:

    I was at a retreat myself last weekend in Biddeford, Maine Not leading it but sharing with other people. It is an old grand hotel right on the ocean now a retreat center. The retreat allowed time for reflection and walks on the beach. We were also very well fed with 3 hefty meals a day. Ran into 25 or 30 corgis with owners on the beach that were part of corgi meetup.

    Your retreat sounds wonderful. You’re a natural and I’m sure you will be in demand as your reputation grows by word of mouth. Happy Holy Week and Easter.

  3. Ganeida. says:

    Well, we just finished building a new chook pen: painted, planted & inhabited. I am spending most of my free time admiring my new beauties & getting them used to me. We are also putting in lotus & waterlily ponds & any time above & beyond that belongs to the cats. 🙂 So glad your retreat went well.

  4. Just Julie says:

    Ember — I would love to know more about the challenging funeral. I hope it went well. And don’t newly washed sheets feel the best? Ahhhhh. 🙂

    Nancy — your retreat sounds wonderful. Was there a theme? I’ll bet the corgi convention brought some smiles! Blessings on you, Nancy.

    Ganeida — I wish I could see your place. Ponds and lilies and chooks — sounds delightful. I hope you all are well! xoxo

  5. Diane Aro says:

    I’m so proud of you, Julie. Speaking and inspiring others is exactly what you should be doing, and I love the picture of you at the podium. I would have loved to have heard your talk.

  6. Just Julie says:

    You have literally been on my mind for weeks now, Diane. So nice to see you here. I can’t get over the pictures of your little grandson Miles. “Smiles for miles with Miles” is how I feel when I see him. Let’s catch up soon, dear friend. xoxo

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.