Gratitude Day 566

Sat., Feb. 6, 2021

1 Peter 3:10 – For the Scriptures tell us: Whoever wants to embrace true life and find beauty in each day.

Greetings from Wisconsin on a snowy and COLD February morning!

Winter has completely arrived within the last week in our neck of the woods. We’ve had snow. We’ve had cold with even more cold the upcoming week. We’re making up for a previously rather mild winter in short order. A couple days ago, Hubby Rick proclaimed that he thought winter was just going to be easy this year. NOT! He momentarily forgot that February, March and April can be full of winter weather as well.

Not to be completely discouraged by the chilly temps, we planned an outing yesterday that turned into simply a lovely day. Our destination? The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship in Lake Geneva, WI. A year ago, we discovered this event but not until after it was over. We were determined to attend this year … even if the temps were single digit.

Before we arrived at the snow sculptures, Hubby Rick was channeling his inner summer thoughts. Who goes motorcycle shopping in February? We do! He’s spent HOURS and literally, I mean HOURS online searching for just the right motorcycle. It’s been nearly 20 years since he really rode a cycle seriously. While coming home early one morning from work, a coon ran out in front of him. Rick considered is a slight miracle that he didn’t flip the bike. This was the end of his commuting on a motorcycle. Ever.

But now? He’s convinced that he wants another cycle. As a solid member of Grandpa club, he’s agreed to some parameters before a bike rolls into the carriage house: home before dark, no riding on the interstate or over the speed limit, no hot-dogging. If he’s going to have a bike, then he needs to ride like a Grandpa, not a teenager.

Anyways, I think he was more excited and anxious to look at bikes than snow sculptures. We did both. He hasn’t made a purchase yet, but let’s just say, there’s a strong contender.

With the cycle shopping completed, we now made our way to the snow sculptures. Teams of three people from various states are part of the competition. They began with large cubes of snow on Wednesday and have until 11 AM Saturday to complete their piece of art. The snow cubes were scattered along walkways right along Lake Geneva. As the west wind whipped across the lake, Rick and I were glad we had dressed as warmly as we did. And wondered how the competitors could commit to spending long hours chiseling away at cubes of snow as they craft their pieces of art.

Each team has a predetermined theme and miniature rendering of their final presentation to follow. In this competition, it appeared that now power tools are allowed. Rather, competitors use hand saws, ice scrappers, chisels and other hand tools to craft snow into literally works of beauty and splendor. We watched team members mix water with snow and use this to enhance their displays. They painstakingly removed tiny slivers of snow at a time to create specific and unique designs in the snow. Sculpted into three-dimensional beauties of art, the patience and skill in knowing what snow to remove and how to create realistic and recognizable designs from the snow is utterly amazing to watch.

The Super Bowl of snow sculpting, all of the teams in this competition had to qualify by winning a previous event. Team numbers were lower this year, more attributed to COVID-19 than the challenging weather. Organizers had the snow cubes spaced adequately apart so observers could walk past, read about each team and their theme and not feel crowded. While the wind was sharp, the sun on our faces convinced us that being outside really wasn’t that bad.

After seeing all the snow sculptures, we walked through downtown. Many businesses had ice sculptures in front of their businesses. Also pieces of art, we didn’t get the background how these are created. Nonetheless, we were amazed by the detail. With below average temperatures throughout the weekend, there won’t be a chance any of these will melt any time soon.

As we walked through downtown, we discovered that some businesses were participating in a Cocoa Crawl, offering hot cocoa or chocolate treats to passersbys. We took in some of the treats and enjoyed warming up with small cups of cocoa flavored in various ways. We loved seeing families and folks bundled up while enjoying the various sculptures and treats along the way.

When looking at a large cube of snow, it would be difficult to imagine how it could turn into a beautiful work of art. Yet, these snow artisans did exactly this. Maybe the weather was a bit chilly … but Hubby Rick and I were completely convinced it was still a beautiful day. Filled with sun on our faces, watching people create fantastic pieces of art out of snow and ice, while sipping little cups of cocoa were completely beauty-filled. Hearing snow crunch under our boots, watching kids slide down mountains of snow, hearing people ooh and aah over the specific details on various sculptures kept us entertained and amused.

Yes, Hubby Rick would much prefer riding a cycle in 85-degree weather over looking at sculptures in single-degree temps. But experiencing one certainly makes us appreciate the other. When we embrace the opportunities of each new day, we find beauty. Today’s beauty will not be the same as yesterday’s highlights. And that’s OK. Each day, the beauty will be unique and different. Some beauty might be more poignant for some than others. We all see beauty slightly different from each other. This is wonderful, expected and what makes life so interesting and special.

Whatever you do today, find beauty in the day. Whether it’s staying inside where it’s a bit warmer than the chilly outside, find beauty. If you do have to be outside and it’s bitterly cold, find beauty. If something challenging happens to you today, find beauty in some detail. Celebrate the little wins: the sun, a blanket of impressive snow, spending time with a person you love. When we find beauty in every day, then the challenging aspects of the day become slightly duller and less intimidating and demanding. Make today a special day and celebrate the beauty right in front of your nose and eyes.

For opportunities to see beauty every day, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – You are so right: we CAN find beauty every. Single. Day. May we have our eyes and ears open wide enough every day to see the beauty right before us. Amen.

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