I just got back from a weeklong trip to Indiana to visit my father. Dad, my sister, and I went out to dinner for his 88th birthday. I enjoyed the time I spent with them. Dad and I sat and talked together, watched TV together, and worked together on several smallish projects that needed to be done around his house.

This has been a cold winter in Indiana and in much of the nation. Snowfall in the 2013-2014 winter has been one of the top ten snowiest on record. Schools have postponed and/or cancelled many days. Hoosier students are in danger of falling behind unless they add hours to the school day, days to the school week, or weeks to the school year. They’re trying to figure out what to do to make up for lost time.

Something was missing in Indiana. With plenty of snow in evidence on streets, parking lots, yards, fields—basically everywhere—I didn’t see a single snowman in front of anybody’s house. Not one. Where had all the snowmen gone?

In Oregon, as soon as the flakes fall on the Willamette Valley floor, people start scheming how to liberate their inner snow angel. Instagram fills with cute photos of toddlers in snowsuits. Dogs run and jump to catch flakes or snowballs. Outdoorsy types don snowshoes or cross-country skis. Young families come together building snowmen, snow forts, etc.

In Indiana, I saw plenty of snow and yet not one snowman. For a period, the temperature was below-zero cold, but not all the time. The snow was powdery dry, but not everywhere. My conclusion? Too much snow and cold weather killed the desire to play in it. They were sick and tired of snow. Hence, the snowmen went bye-bye. First endangered, then threatened, finally extinct.

Living in a land of plenty (of anything) can kill our appreciation, numb our gratitude, and anesthetize our delight. During the month of March, our church is offering you the opportunity to forgo plenty in order to experience simple joys once again. Along with others, we are going to eat rice and beans three meals a day as often as you care to for the entire month.

Wait a minute you say, “I didn’t get that memo!” (The memo follows this post.) Why are we doing this? What’s the point? Read the memo. Another helpful place to learn more is at www.eatriceandbeans.com. Join us on this experience and afterwards, who knows, maybe you’ll appreciate the variety and quantity of foods available to you in new ways. For more information on why we are doing this . . . read the memo :-)

Memo rice and beans

 

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