Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Funny Farm Memories of Cold and Warmth

As I shivered today and tucked my toes underneath me on the couch, I suddenly remembered a winter day years ago at the Funny Farm (my family's farm on the border of Virginia and Tennessee). The propane tank which normally heated our house had run out, I think, and so we were left with just a wood stove on one end of the house. It was warm enough to heat the family room, my parents' bedroom, and one bathroom. Everywhere else was very, very cold.

I must have been in my early teens, because my older brother was at school but James, Nate and I were still homeschooled. Because it was too cold in by the computer (long before we had a laptop) or the schooltable, Mom called a snow-day. We all grabbed novels and climbed into Mom and Dad's bed, pulling extra blankets in with us. Curled up at different angles (I think James was lying across the foot of the bed, but the memory's fuzzy), we read all day. Dad brought food home--our stove was propane-powered as well, and thus out of commission--and we ate it on the unfinished wood floor in the family room.

It struck me today how miserable that day could have been. Had my mom not been willing to just laugh at one more mishap (it was called the Funny Farm for a reason--anything that could go wrong generally did), we would all have grumbled about the cold and felt put-upon. Instead, we got to spend some close time together doing something we all loved, and I now have a memory of cold that fills me with warmth.

That memory is a good reminder today about how much attitude counts. Was that day a trial or a blessing? Rarely do I experience something that feels like both at the same time, but thanks to my mom's courage and smiles, that day was both.


  1. What a great reminder! I've been thinking about the importance of attitude/perspective a LOT lately. Sounds like you have a great mom. (I would so spend a day like that!)

  2. wow.. what a way to put a positive spin on what could have been a really bad situation. It really goes to show how attitude can really make or break a situation.

  3. Cindy, yeah, my mom is wonderful. And I often wish for more days like that. :-)
    Heather, it's true. I'm working at having a better attitude when I end up in situations like that. Not always easy to do, but it definitely makes a difference!


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