There once was a comic strip in your local paper named Pogo. The strip, now defunct, always made a deal of Friday the 13th, with lines like "Friday the 13th came on a Wednesday this month" and the like. Others have remarked upon the late Mr. Walt Kelly's joke. Like here.
There are those who are superstitious about this day. I'm not one of them, but some do take it quite seriously. Whatever. I was even once told that it corresponds to the date in ancient Egypt at the time of the Exodus, the day upon which the firstborn of Egypt all died. Somehow I doubt that -- our weekly calendar, including the 7-day span, as well as the number of the day of the month, cause one to doubt the veracity of it. Makes an interesting urban legend though.
Yesterday's weather had us well, WELL, into the 50's. Accompanied by some record-challenging downpours of rain, and consequent flooding, but in the 50's. Not now! We're back in the 20° range, but above zero, not below. Having experienced -20°F in this area, I am not eager to repeat the experience. Your mileage may vary, of course. Anyway, our "high" for today is predicted to be 32°. I liked the 50's better. And the coming week, the period Tuesday through next Sunday, have us mostly in those 50's. Which is not to say that we won't enter a period of serious sub-zero temps for the ensuing two weeks. But it does remind me that the "official" long-range forecasts for this winter were confident of a long, brutal, bitterly cold season, and a long one at that. Hmmm. More of that "settled science" that the "warmists" are all so certain of. What I am relatively confident of, is the lengthening days. Shortest day of the year is right around the first day of the Winter Solstice. We are slowly, slowly pulling back from that. Per the astronomers, our "day", as opposed to "night" for today is set for 9 hours 30 minutes, and tomorrow to be 1 minute 30 seconds longer. So we are relatively confident that the "day" will make it to 10 hours around the end of January, and 11 hours around the first of March. The Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring (officially, not necessarily weather-wise in these parts) is around the third week of March.
Wife had another bad night, though not as bad as some. Having spent yesterday afternoon "watching" her namesake 4-year-old great niece may have worn her down, just a bit perhaps. So she's still in bed under a pile of blankets.
I probably need to venture out later. Some of her meds got shipped into the pharmacy. I really should have gone yesterday, but other matters -- and my own forgetting -- crowded that out. I do think that I may wait until, say, 1:00 pm: the rain in combination with the current temperature creates an "interesting" phenomenon the locals call "black ice", meaning it is ice that is not readily visible until you are skidding across it: it's not white like your ice cubes, it is transparent so you just see the asphalt road beneath (or the concrete) and you are fooled into thinking it's safe. Hint: it's not.
Trouble often comes to us that way: disguised as something other than what it is, a veneer of trouble over the top of something we rely upon, like a road surface. Other examples come readily to mind, don't they?
And, Wife is up. "Enjoying" the experience of simultaneously throwing up and having diarrhea. At the same moment. Not something we've not gone through before: she actually has a few doses of a medicine prescribed for the nausea, and some of the over-the-counter generic Immodium for the diarrhea. Both, of course, can be caused by "bugs" floating around, though the diarrhea is almost certainly from the ulcerative colitis, one of her constant companions that Humira normally deals with, but with the sinus infection she can't take the Humira, so the colitis reappears. The nausea and vomiting may, again, MAY, be from a "bug", but is also potentially an offshoot of the heavy-duty antibiotics that she is on for the sinus/upper respiratory infection. I gave her one of the remaining anti-nausea pills, and she has enough for today and tomorrow, but no more. Just called the Primary Care doctor's office, getting an answering machine, and left a message. We shall see. Just another day in Happy Land. Yes, it wears you down.
Today's passage from the Old Testament is chapters 31 and 32. Jacob has decided that he's worn out his welcome with the in-laws, and decides to light out for home. And trouble follows close behind. A real tense situation ensues, but the departure continues.
And then he meets an Angel of the Lord, or perhaps a Theophany. A very big deal, in either case, and one of those world-changing and life-changing encounters.
And note the part about the heap of stones. Monuments, named ones. We still do that, see the cornerstones of certain buildings. Or battlefield monuments. Or small park-like settings where something of import occurred. Jacob and Laban piled stones up at a place Jacob called Galeed, which may be the origin of the place name Gilead. Later, Jacob encounters the Angel of the Lord, his life is changed, and his name as well, and he calls that place "Peniel". It is near Succoth, on the EAST Bank of the Jordan, the area the Moslem heathens claim that no Jew ever dwelt in. A lie, of course.
It is not a bad idea to mark the places and occasions where great events happened. It helps to remind us of the great things that the Lord has done for us and for those we love. Of course, we ourselves should also be not just dead standing stones, but "living stones", mobile signs of the Lord's work in our lives and the life of this world.
The New Testament passage for today is 24-42 of the 10th chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. Part of the commissioning of the Twelve as Jesus sends them forth, but good words for us as well. And not exactly what those "TV preachers will be saying, is it?