Every winter we at Nativity of Mary say "goodbye for a while" to all of our "snowbird" parishioners who, winter after winter, migrate to the warmer states for a few months.
So now, for a while, Florida natives will see many more Minnesota-blue license plates driving side-by-side with their Florida-orange plates. Likewise, the cactus-plated cars in Arizona will have to compete with more Minnesota cars for parking spots at the local Lizard Jack's Tobacco and Drug Store and Tumbleweed Cafe.
In past years (here and here) I have used my bulletin column to reach out to you lucky drifter snowbird parishioners. I would hope that you are still thinking about us back here – and praying for your not-so-lucky drifted-in home parish and reading the bulletin online.
It has been a snowy January here in Bloomington and frigidly cold at times, so we are also hoping that you have taken with you your offering envelopes and can send us something to help with the heating and snow-removal bills here. I promise that for every offering that we receive from you I will send an extra angel to watch over your house while you are gone (that probably means that I will ask one of our ushers to go to your house and make a snow-angel in your front yard).
It has been so cold here that we had to put a warning sign on the holy water font. The holy water has frozen and a few people have broken finger nails trying to bless themselves.
Keep an eye out for my ducks too while you are down there. Every spring, for the past many years, a mother duck has come to our school courtyard to make a nest and hatch a new batch of ducklings. I feed them, change their water, chase the hawks away, then those ducks fly away and I never hear from them again. Caring for ducks can be such a fowl and thankless job.
We miss you snowbirds. I will light a votive candle in the chapel for you, huddle myself around the flame, and think warm thoughts. May God bless us with an early spring and a safe return of all of you good people. Until then, we are united in prayer,