OctSNOWober!

Because I refuse to have the umpteenth post titled Snowtober.

If you aren’t living under a rock, you’ve probably seen plenty of references to Snowtober over the past weekend. What a crock! If I wanted snow in October, I would NOT have chosen to settle in Pennsylvania. I am so not amused by this flagrant flaunting of winter during October.

And also? As fate would have it, I had a workshop scheduled for Saturday morning.

First the hurricane and now this? I think Mother Nature has it in for my workshops. Fortunately we Pennsylvanians are made of strong stock, and we went ahead with our plans. I had sponsors flying in from Colorado for this event, so I decided to barrel ahead, come what may. I expected a light turnout, but I was in for a great surprise. We filled the room to overflowing, and I even had to bring in an extra table and chairs at the last minute. I feel incredibly humbled and encouraged by the enthusiasm of everyone present.

Here’s a group of us (unfortunately some had left already):

photo credit: www.babypop.com

Debbie did a fantastic job teaching us about affiliate marketing, and the folks from Horizon and Room 214 were fabulous sponsors, bringing lots of product samples to pass around, along with a short presentation on compliance and working with brands.

Afterwards, a small group of us decided to flout the weather and stay out for lunch before heading home in the winter weather mix. As it turned out, I think the driving was probably better when I headed home later in the afternoon. I heard that earlier visibility was bad and the roads were icy, but I didn’t have any trouble getting home.

I wasn’t the only one whose plans got interrupted by this unexpected show of winter in October. My husband had the youth group from our church at a local campground for the day, expecting a lovely fall weekend in which to play outdoors. Instead, he got this.

Back at home, our electricity had been out for several hours, and the natives were getting restless (my mom was generous enough to keep the girls while the rest of us were out and about). Also, my gorgeous new mums, which were at their height of glory earlier in the week, were now buried beneath a blanket of heavy snow. And while I didn’t run into too much trouble in my travels, all over the region trees with their limbs still full of leaves couldn’t stand up under the weight of the snow, and roads were littered with branches. I wish I’d taken photos; for some reason, it never occurred to me!

It wasn’t only driving that was hazardous. Evidently it wasn’t even safe to step outside your house, as trees plopped unceremoniously onto soggy yards and even houses. Never have I been so thankful to live in a neighborhood of young trees.

We fared pretty well. Fortunately we were only without power for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. All was restored by bedtime, and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy huddling by the fire under my favorite green chenille throw with my Kindle while the storm raged outside. In fact, we decided to dim the lights and use candlelight for dinner that night, as we had grown to appreciate the ambience by then.

Sunday morning we worshipped in coats and mittens and sang along to my husband’s guitar, as our church was still without power and we rely on an electric piano. While it seemed inconvenient at first, our pastor pointed out how Christians in other parts of the world would give anything to have our freedom to worship, electricity or no. Suddenly it didn’t seem so uncomfortable anymore.

But the saga doesn’t end there. I got a call last night from the kids’ school, issuing a 2-hour delay as some schools in our area are still without power, and many backroads are still treacherous to drive. So we all got to spend a leisurely morning together before the bus made its rounds mid-morning.

And now it’s off to school for the annual Halloween parade! Mother Nature isn’t the only one with surprises; I have a little surprise of my own up my sleeve. Warning: prolific picture taking is about to commence.