As I look out the windows on a typical late-February day in Valparaiso, I realize that I am definitely ready for warmer temperatures and a season where snow is absent and I don't have to chip ice off my car windshields. Unless you are a big fan of winter, I imagine many of you feel the same way too. Well, rest easy friends because, before you know it, you will be cooking hamburgers on the grill, swimming, running outside, golfing and watching your children's and grandchildren's sporting events under the rays of abundant sunshine in the near future. While we anticipate the pleasant weather of spring and summer here in the Midwest, our current weather reminds us of the need to be patient, to a

Are We There Yet?

When I was young, my family decided to take a trip to southern Indiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with my grandmother's family. Somehow, it was decided we would travel Thanksgiving morning by caravan. I was in my grandfather's tan LTV Ford which was big and long but not really set up for kids to be traveling in. I became bored. Our trip seemed to take longer than planned. I began to become really hungry, so much so, my patience had left me. My grandfather soon regretted taking me in his car as I peppered him and Grandma with a litany of "Are we there yet?". Now as a father, my youngest has acquired this talent. Without fail, my child will fall asleep about five minutes into the trip. After ab

Miracle of Ice

Considering polar vortices followed closely by 50 degree days and February thunderstorms, it's been a good couple of weeks to consider the transitory nature of ice. Ice has been in the news, in the air, on the street, covering the sidewalk, on our roofs and in our rain gutters, and piled up on the shores of Lake Michigan. But almost as quickly as it was created, it has also disappeared within the last few days, perhaps a cautionary tale to pay attention to. Ice is truly a miracle of nature. With the right conditions, it can form high in the atmosphere as tiny crystals which, when drawn together, become the snowflakes that blanket and beautify our winter wonderlands just as they surely compli

Valentines from God

February is a very unique and remarkable month with all kinds of events and characteristics that set it apart. For one, it is the shortest month of the year with only 28 days, or sometimes 29, but not this year. And yet with the cold and snow and darkness it often seems like the longest! But there are many highlights to be experienced in this short month. First there is Groundhog Day, February 2, a unique holiday that so far has not been captured by Hallmark Cards or advertising companies. On Groundhog Day the whole nation awaits word as Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his winter hibernation to check on his shadow. No matter what he sees, the day marks the half way point of winter. That

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