Seasons Choice

by Judy on December 10, 2013

The kids had never heard of a blizzard

The kids had never heard of a blizzard

“What’s a blizzard?” the children asked. I had just begun telling them a story … “Once upon a time, a man got caught in a blizzard.” The kids looked at me with puzzled expressions. They had not even heard the word before. They were from California!

On Monday, December 2nd, we in southern Alberta had a major blizzard, the first in many years. Typical of the ever-changing winter season climate in our part of the world, this weather event followed a week of beautiful balmy Chinook temperatures.

The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow. A blizzard warning is declared when winds of 40 kilometres per hour or greater, cause reductions in visibility to 400 metres or less due to blowing snow (or blowing snow in combination with falling snow) for at least four hours or more.

As I write this, several days later, we are in the midst of an Arctic front which has plunged southern Alberta into a deep freeze. And when I post this blog, the weather will have changed again. I realize that as some of you read this, you might be enjoying lovely warm temperatures, so may not relate to the thermometer registering waaaay below zero. However, one way or another, we all have stories about storms whether they be inner or outer ones.

In our town, the general post office conversation often revolves around the weather. “Yep, looks like a storm comin’” … “Yep, you can feel the dampness” … “Sure is cold, better hunker down” … or the week before … “Just look at that beautiful Chinook arch – snow is jest goin’ to evaporate!” … and in the summer … “It sure is hot” … “Yep, could sure use some rain” … And so it goes …

A Chinook arch in the west over the Rocky Mountains heralds a warming trend. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

A Chinook arch in the west over the Rocky Mountains heralds a warming trend. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

People who live here joke about Alberta having all four seasons in one day, or ‘just blink and it will change’. Sometimes, that’s the way I feel about this whole earth experience. How did a whole year whizz by so quickly? The expression, “And this too shall pass” has far more depth of meaning than just talking about weather. Oh how we hate to give up control! So … “To grumble, or not to grumble, that is the question” – or, “To complain or not to complain, that is the question.” A better way to rephrase that is, “To complain or not to complain, that is my choice!

High River residents braved the cold for the Christmas parade (Photo:

High River residents braved the cold for the Christmas parade (Photo:

What do I choose today? As I sit here snuggled in a warm cozy home, surrounded by multi-colored miniature lights, I look outside and there are billions of sparkling diamonds dancing in the crisp snow. The evergreens are blanketed in white. I watch on the news that the people in the town of High River, just 15 minutes north of us, are celebrating their Santa Claus parade, just 6 months after their devastating floods. Many people are still not back in their homes and businesses. And yet, they are braving the weather and coming together to make the very best of circumstances. Yes, the seasons come and go. Nothing on this earth plane is permanent. The only thing that is real is the everpresent NOW. And in that consciousness, All is Well.

Me taking Maggie for a walk in the blizzard

I’m taking Maggie for a walk in the blizzard

Now here we are in the deep freeze. Or as the locals would say, “It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” This morning it took me 20 minutes to warm up my boots, mits, scarfs and hat. Maggie, our golden retriever, sighs and waits patiently. I put her coat on, then the booties. She does not like those, but they save the ice balls from forming in her feet. I start out and practically waddle down the street. The walk is shorter than the time it takes to get ready. I pass a woman who doesn’t even have a hat on! What!!!! She hardly feels the cold at all. If you asked a hundred different people how they feel about the weather, you would get that many answers. Winter sports enthusiasts can hardly wait for the onset of snow. Everything is neutral until we give it meaning. It’s our reaction to what is happening that determines our experience. One of the common expressions in this part of the country is, “It is what it is”. Profound words!

I AM Here by Tink Robinson

My husband, Tink, is from Vancouver, BC. He doesn’t ‘do’ winter. If he gets chilled, he literally starts to shake. But last night, when the temperature plunged, we snuggled in, watched a movie, played with Maggie, lit candles, had great conversation and gave thanks.

I am forever grateful to be sharing this earth journey with my beloved husband. Tink is gifted with unique writing talents. Ever since we met, Tink has written me poems. I am so very blessed. His poem, “Seasons Choice” takes us deep inside ourselves to the symbolism of the winter, the meaning and purpose of our lives. This is from his book, “I AM Here“.

Watercolor by my Mom, Dori White

Watercolor by my Mom, Dori White

What of Spring with daffodils
and bursting leaves and scented air
Now that limbs are naked, jutting,
stark on trees so wintry bare
As windswept layers white on grey
o’er leaden streams drift in array
Will sun then burst upon the scene
and winters day dissolve away?

Alas, the scene has just begun
and must by plot play through its course

With howling gales and biting cold
through deathly still of night endorse

And yet, the stream in state suspended
waiting to be free once more

Lends its surface to the crunch
of skating children as before

Watercolor by Dori White

Watercolor by Dori White

For winters vigil like all things
has many moods with which to play

As sun dissolves the pall of grey
and recreates a jeweled array

The double tracks of whispering skis
etching graceful patterns new

Down powdered slopes of mountains steep
with air so clean and breathless view

And in the cycle of such things
the bright and bleak are there to share

For storm and calm go hand in hand
like angry clouds on golden air

As in the seasons of the mind
mankind must live through change and grow

All is One, and All will pass
it’s how we learn, it’s how we know

The sun within our hemisphere is raised by thought and nothing less
As with the wish to give of Love, help others, and the world to bless
When winter batters at your soul, you’ve still the choice to change your view
The naked tree can be your dream, waiting to bear leaves anew

Our yard in the summer

Our yard in the summer





I would love you to look at some of my other blogs to read the stories behind my songs. You can also find out more about my Services and Events on my Spirit to Story to Song Website Home

While you are there, enjoy my Gift to you – a Free Download of my song, “Give Yourself Love“.

To Listen to Song Clips or Download Songs from my CD’s, click on links below


Click on group of CD covers to download or purchase CDs

Inside of Me

Let Your Heart Sing

Flying Free

Time to Shine

Kids (for all ages) by Tink and Judy

Sing All the Way Home (Vol. 1)

© Judy Armstrong 2013

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheryl Hinds December 11, 2013 at 5:10 am

I just love your writing Judy. It creates visuals and feelings. All the great things that good writing does. It’s warm and fuzzy. Like yourself of course. Love and hugs.


Judy December 11, 2013 at 5:40 am

Thank you dear Sheryl, I love receiving your messages too! Thanks so much for reading my blog and for commenting! Love and hugs back to you, Judy


Jerry Boyd December 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Lovely message from you and TINK. (Had to type his name in caps to keep the automatic spell check from correcting it to “Think.” LOL!) “This too shall pass reminds me of my own personal mantra “One Moment, Please.” Stopping to say to myself, One Moment, Please, allows change to move me into the next moment. That’s the moment when my vision clears and I find the moment blessed.


Judy December 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Hi Jerry, too funny about having to CAP Tink’s name! ha ha … Thanks so much for your advice about “One Moment Please”. Love it! I am going to incorporate that from now on! Blessings, Judy


Jerry Boyd December 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

And your mother’s watercolors are gorgeous!


Judy December 12, 2013 at 3:04 am

Hi again Jerry, Mom would be thrilled to know that you appreciate her watercolors. She is 95 now and getting forgetful. She began with oils and soon transitioned to watercolors. She used to say that working in that medium was like a meditation. You can’t fix them. What you paint the first time is what you get. With oils, you can blank out a section in white paint and start over! Thanks so much Jerry.


Carolyn Cooledge December 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I am blessed by your friendship. Your Mom’s watercolours are amazing. I was the grateful recipient of a copy of Tink’s book. Love you both. May you have the merriest of Merry Christmasses & may they all be white.


Judy December 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Thank you Carolyn for taking Mom’s watercolors and Tink’s poetry into your beautiful heart. Yes it looks as if we will have a white Christmas, although anything can change! I can imagine how beautiful the sunsets are where you live. Love and blessings, Judy


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