Live Where You Can Experience All Four Seasons
Peaceful Snow Scene
Flowering Crab Tree
Fishing with Grandpa
Loving Where You Live
Living where you can experience all four seasons of the year is a blessing only those who actually observe the changes in nature can enjoy. Four times of the year your world changes before your very eyes.
Spring is the rebirth of nature and when farmers plant their crops and others plant their gardens, summer is when the plants and crops grow and thrive, autumn brings the harvest of all man's efforts, and winter wraps the world in splendor while man relaxes and enjoys the fruits of his labors. Many people compare nature to life and the different "seasons of man."
As the small plants peak through the ground in spring and grow and bloom, the world seems to come alive just as the newborn baby or animal "springs" to life. Who doesn't wonder when they see that tender leaf, or stem, poke through the packed ground and eventually burst into bloom; or when the "dead" trees start to leaf out and clothe the tree in green, or white, or red. Some trees bloom first and then get their leaves. While others produce their leaves and then their blossoms and some just get leaves. No matter what, life is breaking through once again.
As Mother Nature provides the rain, man tills the ground and plants the seeds. Then we watch and wait for the first signs of life appear and grow. This can be compared to the first few years of the life of a child as the parents nurture and protect just as nature does. Nothing can be more amazing.
In spring many people go fishing and hunting mushrooms. The children start to play outside again as the weather warms up. They go roller skating, skateboarding, bike riding, playing hopscotch, jumping rope, playing ball, etc.
Summer Fun on the Lake
Storm Clouds Over Iowa
As the plants continue to grow and thrive, they need food and water just as humans and animals do. Under perfect circumstances, they produce food; or in the case of trees, they provide shelter for animals, birds, etc. Young children flourish under the thoughtful care of their parents just as the plants and trees flourish under the heavenly care of God and man. Summer is the time of year when plants, trees, and children spread their wings and develop their roots. This is the season that develops healthy plants and children.
In the summer people can swim, hike, bike, walk, run, go on picnics, play games, catch fireflies, boat on the lake and water ski, go on vacations, watch baseball games and thoroughly enjoy life. This is the time of year children dream about as they are out of school and free to roam. And parents groan and wish the children were back in school!
Just as every location can have their certain form of disaster, Iowa has theirs, too. Summer in Iowa can bring some disastrous thunderstorms, with heavy rains and hail, and the occasional deadly tornado. But still I love to watch the lightning and listen to the thunder of the approaching storm. Our daughter, who lives in California, says that a lightning and thunderstorm is one thing she misses.
Colorful Tree in Fall
Autumn or Fall
Now comes the season when man can see the results of his labor and harvest his crops. Children are going back to school to further develop and grow to their full potential. The leaves on the trees begin to change to colors of red, gold, and orange. No artist can begin to put down on paper or canvas the colors that nature exhibits in the fall. Those colors can be produced only by God. Hopefully, in the autumn of one's life dreams are realized and plans for the future start to develop.
Activities enjoyed in the fall include raking and burning leaves, driving to look at the colorful display of leaves on the trees, playing in the piles of leaves, trying to find your way through a field of corn that has been turned into a maze, picking out the perfect pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, and going to football games.
Sledding down the Hill
Now comes winter, probably my favorite time of year. The crops have been harvested and the world has slowed down. Children have settled back into the routine of school and are secretly looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The world turns into a winter wonderland when the first snow falls. Trees glisten with the cover of snow or ice and the sun makes them shine like stars in the sky. Nothing is prettier than the landscape, trees, and buildings completely covered with snow. And the world seems to have a hush fall over it until the children come running out to play in the white world.
In the winter there are so many activities to enjoy, including sledding down the hill, skiing down the slopes, ice skating on the pond or rink, snowboarding, cross country skiing, walking in the snow, making snowmen, making snowballs and having a snowball fight, licking icicles, going for a ride in a horse-drawn sled or on a hay rack, playing fox and goose, watching a man make an ice sculpture with a saw, or just sitting on the porch watching the snow gently fall to the ground. (Our oldest son enjoys that every winter as he sits in his enclosed porch watching the flakes fall softly to earth.)
Of course winter brings dangers as well. The snow and ice can be very slippery and dangerous. Snow drifts can be as high as a man at times and cars get stuck or slide into the ditch and the drivers are stranded. People out walking can slip and fall and break some bones. Sidewalks need to be shoveled and driveways need to be cleaned out, which is back-breaking work. A young mother, or father, groans when their small children want to go outside and need to be bundled up against the cold; and, after two minutes, decide it isn't so much fun after all and want to come back in or need to go to the bathroom. Then it isn't so beautiful.
Christmas comes in winter and who doesn't remember one Christmas that is their favorite. Living in an area where snow doesn't fall would never seem like Christmas to me. Of course, we don't always have white Christmases but our chances are better than most. My favorite memory is going to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with the snow falling. It was, and still is, magical!
Winter, of course, can be compared to the time when people grow old and leave this world. They have come full circle just as nature has come full circle. If you truly believe in God, then this season of your life should be one of your happiest, too, as you prepare to meet him face to face.
Living where the weather is basically the same all year long would never be my choice. The changes of the season are something to look forward to and give meaning to life. If one season depresses you, the next one can lift you up. When spring seems to bring only rain, we look forward to summer flowers and activities. When summer seems too hot, we look forward to autumn's color and cool breezes. When autumn turns grey and depressing, we look forward to winter's snow and peaceful scenes. When winter lasts too long, we look forward to spring and new life. Every season brings some joy and some sorrow, just as life brings some hope and some despair. Thankfully, my life and family have brought more joy and more hope.
- Does a Normal Family Life Really Exist?
My growing up years were definitely different than the normal family. At four years of age I lost my father. Since my mother had to learn to make a living, my eight-year old brother and I were sent to live with her parents.