Monday Musings for February 12, 2018
It was a beautiful drive to church this morning. Snow everywhere, except on the roads. The sun was out. No need to shovel my driveway. My kind of wintry day!
This is the day one year ago that Laura Mullins left us. How she loved snow! I remember when I delivered a welcome gift after she and Michael visited us for the first time, it was a snowy day. Knowing they had just moved from San Diego, I commented on how the snow must take some getting used to. “Oh no!” she said. “I am from Michigan. I love the snow!”
This is also the day Abraham Lincoln was born. We made a big deal of this day when I was in grade school, and also a big deal of George Washington’s birthday on February 22. I’m really not sure “President’s Day” to honor them both at the same time was such a great idea, but I will take the day off. Monday Musings will go out on Tuesday next week.
Snow is part of the story of Abraham Lincoln’s early life. He had turned 21. February 12, 1830. That’s when he moved with his family from Indiana to Illinois. He helped his dad build a log cabin. He split enough rails to enclose ten acres of land. He was an adult but still living at home. Kind of like our Collin.
Then came the winter of 1830-31. The winter was slow in coming. In late December, they were still harvesting corn and wheat. Cattle roamed freely, without barns or shelter. Chopped firewood was still piled in the fields. Then, on Christmas Eve it snowed six inches. There was a lull until the 30th, then it snowed off and on for the next 60 days. By the end of February, there were three to four feet everywhere and drifts of up to 20 feet.
Many of the new settlers in Illinois were from the South. They were not prepared for a winter like this. Many died.
Abraham Lincoln risked his life to find food for his family. He crossed the frozen Sangamon River and fell in. He managed to get to a log cabin and a Mrs. Warnick treated his frostbitten feet, possibly saving his life.
“The winter of deep snow” was a turning point in Abraham Lincoln’s life. As the winter thawed, he set out on his own. It was time. He took a flatboat to New Orleans, where he observed slavery first hand. Then back to Illinois, to New Salem.
These would be only two more moves in his life. One was to Springfield, Illinois. The other to Washington, D.C.
I look out my window and see the snow hasn’t melted yet. According to the weather forecast, it soon will. But I will enjoy it while I can.
As I quoted from George Santayana yesterday: “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”