By all reports, this is one of the worst winters on record. From Texas, where most of my known friends reside to China, my adopted home thousands are enduring the effects: brutally cold temps, unusually strong, bitter winds, storms and all sorts of precipitation.
After hearing the broadcaster announce that several are reported dead and thousands are left without power in Texas I leap to the keyboard, doing a frantic search for their local news outlets. Nothing conclusive there or on any national weather information pages. Opening my address book, I send everyone I know an email, asking if they and theirs are well and what the conditions are. It being just after midnight there and knowing that a lot of my friends are just now returning home from work, I hope for a few immediate replies.
I realize the irony of emailing them. If there is no power they cannot possibly receive, let alone respond to email (unless they have one of them newfangled smart phones). On the other hand, if they are OK and are suffering no service interruption, nothing wrong with dropping a line to let us know they and theirs are all OK, right?
I am not disappointed. Within moments a few emails pop up. All is well in ‘my’ part of Texas so far.
Thanks for the quick reassurance, y’all.
Knowing from our blog stats that readership now extends virtually worldwide I cringe at hearing several thousand have died as a result of this unusual weather phenomenon.
To our friends in Russia, who are also bearing the brunt of Mother Nature’s cruelty: We hope you are well and holding up just fine. Please take good care of yourself and each other. If possible, let us know you made it OK. Leaving a comment would be a great way to do it. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks. Both for letting us know you’re OK, and for your readership and participation in our adventures.
Haven’t heard much of anything disastrous about northern Europe, but that doesn’t mean they too are not having to knuckle under. We send our best to you… a figurative blanket of caring and concern.
To my adopted countrymen/women in China: All over our country, but especially the northern regions are being viciously lashed right now. We hope you hold up well and that everything is going OK. Our thoughts are with you. We send you warmth and good cheer.
Meanwhile I, in southern China am living in relative comfort. Sure, it is cold and the snow pelts down but I am safe in my apartment and cozy in my layers of clothes and warmed nesting spots. No power outages, no disadvantages. After cleaning up from my and Gary’s Christmas dinner party of last night, I get ready to curl up on my heated couch and read the afternoon away. But not before I voice my concern for all of you.
As I write this I realize the futility of my action. What could we possibly do for you, other than offer you the comfort of knowing you are thought of? Maybe that helps. Maybe that is enough.
‘We’ are my conspirators and I. Quite possibly ‘we’ also extends to the rest of the readers of this blog – those who are and those who are not affected by this terrible winter storm. I like to think that, since we are in our 3rd year of publication, partakers and publishers have become a sort of global family. We may not know each other personally or have any contact, but I feel like I know your heart.
Besides: being human beings, we should be concerned about one another anyway, right?
I’ve canceled my Lil’Uns class for this evening. I don’t want the little girls or their mothers to have to venture out tonight when they could stay at home, cozy up and enjoy an extra bounty of time that they otherwise devote to their everlasting pursuit of knowledge. I promised Lea, the administrator of our little school that I would work extra on Saturday, our next class, to catch up on today’s missed lesson. This decision offers me the extra benefit of not having to go out on such a nasty, cold day. I won’t complain, but I will miss my little girls.
Sam just left after delivering the school’s annual Christmas offering of chocolate and wine. Satisfied that I’ve done my best to reach out to you, I’m going to go curl up with my Kindle. Seems a good day to keep the drapes closed, simmer a nice soup and read the afternoon away, doesn’t it? I’ll try to keep from munching too many chocolates as I read. I hope you are equally comfortable.