We are back from a whirlwind visit to Williamsburg, Virginia, where my parents live. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew came down from Maryland, and we celebrated a late Christmas. Plane flights are so much cheaper before and after the two weeks around Christmas. And I like stretching the season out.
When we made the plans back in November, I knew there was a possibility of bad weather, but I thought we had dodged it. The weather reports called for highs around 70 on Saturday and 19 on Monday, so I knew some sort of system would be moving through. But there was no mention of snow.
We planned to go to church; my parents worship at a lovely, Lutheran church next to the William and Mary campus, a building based on designs that Thomas Jefferson created. My sister came in and said, "It's sleeting." That sleet quickly turned to snow.
The snow didn't faze my family, who lives in the northern edge of the U.S. South. I worried a bit, as it snowed fiercely for hours. I kept wanting to run to the church windows to look out, but since no one else did, I tried to trust that all would be well.
I'm glad we didn't miss out on the worship service. My nephew sat between me and my spouse, and he followed along, singing the hymns, participating in the liturgy, going to communion. The last time we worshipped together, in fact, was for his first communion, where we didn't get to sit with him.
Pastor Ballentine preached on the second reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, which talks about spiritual gifts. My spouse and nephew made a list of my nephew's spiritual and non-spiritual gifts. I liked the idea of making a list of gifts, and of keeping my nephew's 9 year old attention focused on the message, while also giving him a diversion. He had been making a list of what a MacBook Air could do, so it was a good way to refocus his energies.
I was glad that we went to worship, but I was also glad to make it home. Snow had started to build up on the streets, which felt a bit slick.
I did wonder if we might get snowed in and miss our flight on Monday, but we did not. There was a bit of melting by Sunday evening, and by mid-morning on Monday, we made it safely to the airport.
It was good to be together as a family, to celebrate together as the snow drifted by the windows, and to worship together.
feeling the feelings…
1 year ago