I have often wondered if there is a connection between the climate one grows up in and the character of the people who live in it. There must be a reason that we often ascribe attributes to groups of people – the hardiness of the north-easterners, the hospitality of southerners, or the grit of the mid-westerners, for example. I realize that these are stereotypes but do they can contain a seed of truth? This winter has been particularly “character-building” for us in Canada. The deep Arctic cold mass and wind chill brought our temperatures to the minus 30 degree centigrade range often. Yet, life must go on and so we waddle about in our weather appropriate clothing, heads down against the wind, determined to go where we need to go. Children learn to respect the cold and at the same time have fun building snow forts and snowmen, skiing, sledding and clearing the driveway (well, the last item on my list is “fun” only until kids reach the age of dissent). Of course, there are many days when the deep cold brings with it clear blue skies, bright sun and sparkling snow. In a land where the weather is our news and where the year is strongly marked by the changing seasons, there comes a particular kind of optimism. We have been this way before and we know how to get through this. I thank God for The KDS members and all their wonderful character traits bestowed on them by all of His creation, including the weather.