It is different now

The Day Summer Turned To Winter

Warm and wonderful

Dixie and I lived year-round in Palm Desert, California, for four years before returning to the Pacific Northwest. It is a special community and summers there were happy, albeit a bit toasty, temperatures reaching 110+ with sweltering regularity.

Our record heat day during those four years was 126 degrees fahrenheit (52:22 celsius). And we experienced it while driving. The car’s engine could not keep the air conditioner going without overheating. Every few miles, the air had to be turned off to give the engine a chance to cool down. Of course, during the interim, we heated up.

During my growing up years on an eastern Washington farm, summers were the best; and winter cold and dreary, my least favorite season. So while living in the desert, I declared summer to be my ‘winter,’ while winter was without doubt the best season of the desert year.

It is different now

Last summer, I played some golf and went to some ballgames. Saw a movie. Planted flowers in the pots on my condo decks, and did my best to nurture them. I kept the hummer feeders filled. I read some books. Did some writing. Went to church. Met with guys in my home every Wednesday to talk about life and pray for one another. Did a couple of speaking engagements. And I will again.

This summer will be predictably mild and beautiful. Flowers will preen their myriad colors and forest glen’s will be alive with a hundred birdsongs. Mountain lakes will shimmer in bright sunlight and the Puget Sound waters will once again turn a deep blue-green. Skies will be clear and Mount Rainier will preside above it all in regal majesty. It will be the way summers should be.

The way it was that day. Two years ago.

But it’s different now.

Today the song sparrow ceased her singing.

Today the hummingbird did not dance.

Today my summer turned to winter.

This day is different.

This day when life forever changed.

The day she went away.


Written in memory of my wife, Dixie, and for all who feel your own “summer has turned to winter.” She’s been gone two years now. I miss her every day. Healthy grieving is an important part of our “sacred journey.” For followers of Jesus, there is a promise we all hold close that we will one day be together with those we love who are in His presence now.


Stay in touch with your family and friends. This is a season for turning empty loneliness into healthy solitude, one in which we can grow in ways only those who’ve been left behind can understand.


Jesus has not forgotten you. As C.S. Lewis once noted (paraphrased), with strokes of strength and beauty, at times resulting in seemingly unbearable pain, the Divine-Artist’s nail-scarred hand carefully brushes the most vivid and glorious colors of all onto the canvas of your life, until you are a finished work. He loves you and so do others who walk with you in this winter season. ~W