Cummins begins New Year overseas

Hello and Happy New Year to you dear readers of the Southern Sentinel! I hope all of y’all had your black-eyed peas, turnip greens, cornbread and fried chicken on new year’s day. We did have them here, thank the Lord! I wanted to share with you all a little more about the weather since it has changed here, for the worse in my opinion. The other day it started snowing and did not stop for several days. Just prior to that we had rain and you know what happens when water and snow are mixed and sloshed around – you get ice and lots of it. So one has to be very careful when going from point A to point B. There are some roads that are paved and they tend to get black ice on them. So, one gets forced to walk in the gravel that is everywhere grass should be and that is hard on the ankles. Along with the snow, came much lower temperatures, down in the 20s. The folks here just keep going. I was kidding and told one soldier that in Mississippi we shut things down for this kind of weather and not to expect me in the next day. He just laughed. Humor is a necessity here. I also ran into one soldier from Jackson, Miss. We got to commiserate about the cold weather in the way only two Mississippians can do. He was a chaplain’s assistant. Now, just when you thought the weather or acts of God could not get worse, I experienced my first earthquake. Since that time in the last two weeks, I’ve experienced three, so far. My quota has long been met. I could have lived my whole life and not missed this “experience.” The first one was slight during the day. The latter two were after midnight and each one woke me up from my hard-acquired slumber. I thought they were jet planes taking off at first. The whole “hut” we live in was shaking and vibrating, etc. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer and other prayers and, then, suddenly as they came they were gone without any known damage occurring, other than the damage to my psyche. I found our later they were both a “6.0” on the Richter Scale. My granddaddy in Grenada is very easy to spook. I would give good money to have seen his facial expression with the quake! No, really, I would not wish that one anyone. Just telling him about it will be good enough. As I type this, today, just like God’s promise to Noah after the Great Flood, the weather has cleared, the birds are singing and the sun is shining bright. I bet there is a rainbow somewhere! If we could just offer up those minor inconveniences in life to our Lord in reparation, solidarity with his Son’s death, we can make our daily trials and tribulations actually worth something. I challenge each of you to find the good in life just the way the Wise Men did as Christ manifested himself to the Gentiles. Again, Happy New Year and, if you need anything from me, the ladies at Magnolia State Family Medicine are there for you. God bless you all and our precious Mississippi. Sincerely, Christopher J M Cummins, MD CPT, USAR Serving in Bagram, Afghanistan

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