We went to the temple this weekend.
I love to be there.
Even though it takes major planning, it is always a joy to spend time in the house of the Lord.
We were gone for 3 full days, and knew our pellet stove would run out of pellets before the weekend was over.
It wasn't much of a choice to turn the stove off...we just figured we wouldn't waste any pellets warming the house while we were gone.
Arizona turned out to be very cold.
It was very different than we expected...we usually wear shorts and short sleeves with no problems...but this time, it was actually cold enough that I was shivering walking into the temple.
I figured if it was cold in AZ, then certainly it was much colder here...as we usually have a significant difference in temperature between the two places.
Come to find out, it was freezing here...
actually, quite significantly below freezing...
and with our home not being warmed, night or day for 3 days, it cooled down to a mere 36 degrees inside.
Both Pat and I were a little shocked at just how cold it was when we arrived home, but because it was late, we just bundled the kids into 2 sets of pj's and put them all under 3 or 4 blankets.
Sam-Sam was debating whether or not to stay asleep, and so I put him on my chest and wrapped the front of my winter coat around him.
He acutually fell asleep that way...and as I sat shivering, inside of my coat, my mind turned to our pioneer ancestors...who had little protection against the biting winter cold.
No shelter from the wind.
One or two blankets, and for some, no good winter coats, because they either didn't have the money to have one, or they had planned to arrive in Utah before the winter storms approached.
It took all night for our house to approach warm...
and the stove ran all night.
Even yesterday, it still was chilled in the rooms away from the stove...
and again, my heart went out to those who lost their lives...
sheltering their children against their hearts, trying to trap their body heat to keep their little ones alive, and yet still, feeling their child grow cold and still because they simply could not fight the grip of death that comes to those who cannot get warm.
I am so grateful for the shelter of my home.
Not the emotional or spiritual shelter it gives me from the world,
but this time, for the actual shelter from the physical elements that impact us.
I am grateful, when the wind chill lowers the outside temperature to 15 or 16 degrees, that my home provides protection for me...and for my family.
And I pray for those who do not have the ability to heat their homes...
and for those who do not have homes.
Because truly, they literally are freezing.