Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter in the Ozarks

Well winter has arrived in the Ozarks!

The freezing rain and sleet started falling Monday afternoon, changed to snow Tuesday and continued to fall until late Tuesday evening. One of the odd characteristics of winter precipitation in Southwest Missouri is that we get a lot of ice and freezing rain. Monday's rain (temps below freezing) was accompanied by occasional thunder. Sometimes we get snow with thunder. This means that upper atmosphere temps are warm and generating convection, while the lower temps are cold. Last year we even had tornadoes in January.

One of the frustrations of living here is the poor way that the state and local municipalities clear the roads. After having lived north of Chicago and in northern Iowa where there is plenty of snow and cleared roads, it is plain to see that these guys haven't a clue as to what it takes to clear the roads. For one thing, snowplows work best when the blade actually touches the road! For another , it's best NOT to wait until the snow stops falling to start clearing the roads. Road salts and chemicals only work when you apply them. This list could go on for some time, but you get the idea.

Fortunately, the cold weather usually doesn't last too long. Today's temps reached a few degrees above freezing to start some melting. Tomorrow's should do the same. Most stuff should be thawed by the weekend! The heaviest ice was to our south and east with hundreds of thousands of people now without electric power. Some estimates expect areas to be without power for up to two weeks.


Our Missouri Baptist State Evangelism Conference was impacted by the weather. Many people started heading for home on Monday afternoon to get on the roads ahead of the winter weather. I didn't make it back to the Tuesday session and suspect that the attendance was down. I did get to see many friends, booked some dates and am excited about the upcoming associational conferences.

We had our Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists (FMBE) Annual meeting. I'm also very excited about the enthusiasm of this year's President. Jim McNiel was also the first President of the FMBE. He returns to the office with great enthusiasm for promoting the use of itinerant evangelists in local churches. I sat with Jim and a staff member from The Pathway for an interview about our organization and evangelists in general. I'm getting pumped up about the year.

Hopedale kid's camp will be a little bit different this year (it's a money thing), but I think that all of the players are excited about the changes. In reality, the budget tightening will help us to focus on our primary mission of reaching kids for Jesus. Doing things bigger isn't always the same as doing things better. With an overall theme of Refocusing, I think that the change in venue will help us as we plan for the weekend event.

The Tri-County Baptist Association is also making plans for kids camp. I'm looking forward to working with Nadine Gold and other staff and volunteers to make that camp a success as well.

In just over two weeks, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to baseball's spring training camps. Spring can't be far behind! I can't wait to hear those glorious words..."Play ball!"



Anonymous said...

They suck at plowing here in Flagstaff too. I actually once saw a plow get himself stuck. A gigantic plow! You'd think he would know how to avoid that.

Mike said...

Glad to know that you know about "generating convection". Gives me a little more faith in our air traffic system. Not a whole lot more, but a little more.

wv - nopsaliv (use in a sentence - I got to close and got nopsaliv on me)

John said...

Yeah, Michelle, I've seen a stuck snowplow here before, too!

Mike said...

Learned something new today. It's 12:12am and I learned where your mother was from. So now I can coast for the rest of the day. Learnin' stuff is hard work.