Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
When looking for a retirement home on the North Shore, it was easy to be mesmerized by the lake's natural beauty and surrounding area. After all,that's the prime reason for people wanting to retire here. On a visit in 2017, Cathy and I casually mentioned to the attendant at the Two Harbors Information Center that we would consider moving here if we could have the lake view without the taxes of owning lakefront property. Quick as a proverbial heartbeat, she replied, "I know just the real estate agent for you." Long story short – she was as good as her word, and here we are with a magnificent view of Lake Superior, without lakefront property taxes.
When looking at houses to consider as a retirement home, it is interesting how the obvious is sometimes overlooked when tantalized by a beautiful view. What kind of obvious things, you ask? Well, how about the driveway? We gave no real thought to the driveway as we drove up to it. We were too excited about the opportunity to look at a 90-year-old house, and it was -20 degrees on that day. Again, as we left, we paid no attention to the driveway as now all we could discuss was the house, and, oh yes – the view. Now, the driveway is long and steep. How steep, you ask? Steep enough that shortly after moving in, a strong thunderstorm resulted in a good portion of the driveway cascading down to Highway 61. Steep enough that the USPS, UPS, and FEDEX drivers have all declined to venture up the driveway in the wintertime. Now, the propane delivery driver is more fearless and will try anything at least once. Interesting to see a truck with its wheels spinning forward while the truck is sliding backward. Experience is a great teacher. This is now our third winter here, and we have a newly graded driveway and a brand new snowblower. Snow is no longer as intimidating as it once was.
This past Sunday’s afternoon activities centered on the long, steep driveway as we committed to clearing off the several inches of new snow from the previous evening. It was that light, fluffy stuff that is easy to
push if it’s not too deep or packed. Using the snowblower was not even really a consideration. Cathy even got out the leaf blower and gave that a workout until finally switching over to a shovel. She took care of the
sizable parking area while I tackled the driveway's length and the entrance from the highway. It was a good workout that took 1 ½ hour to finish. As I was going down the driveway, pushing snow to either side, I occasionally looked down the driveway to see how much more was left to be done. After doing this several times, I was getting depressed about how little progress I seemed to be making. Being a positive-oriented person, I knew there had to be a better way of looking at this chore. Sure enough – I turned around and looked up at how much I had already accomplished. That changed everything. I went another several minutes and turned around to see that more was completed than what head yet to be done. It was
encouraging and made the remaining work much easier to do.
Last week’s news stories have all seemed to have been about the daunting tasks ahead of us and the abundance of opinions of the right actions. We are looking for clear direction, a unity of purpose, and positive signs moving on that all can readily agree with. Again, being positive oriented I look back over the past year and all that our community has accomplished by helping one another. Knowing where we have been and how far we have come makes whatever lies ahead just a series of tasks to be completed…together. Foundational is turning around from what fears we may have and looking up to God for what we need.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
1 Peter 5:7 (The Living Bible)
“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
May you be blessed by God's word.