[#] A parable about Manitowoc, WI

My wife and I used to live in Wisconsin, in a town called Manitowoc. Manitowoc has a great full-service marina (allegedly the only one on Lake Michigan), and is a great place to live in the summer. The lake does a really swell job of keeping the temperature in Manitowoc enjoyable about 6 months out of the year -- 60's in the daytime, and 40's at night.

The problem with Manitowoc is that in the winter, it is far enough north (like Green Bay) that many nights dip way below zero -- like -20°F and -30°F . That's cold. In fact, it is so cold that if you don't have a heater, you're probably going to freeze to death.

I can remember one week in particular when we lived there that the temperature did not get above 5°F. That’s cold – so cold that salt won’t work on the streets and sidewalks, so everything is just frozen over. That's so cold, in fact, that you can hardly even make a snowman because the snow has little or no cohesion -- the flakes don't have any dampness to stick together, so they stay a fine powder. Even the air has zero humidity -- which you can feel in your nostrils.

I was sure glad, during that week, that I could get up and turn the heater on for myself – because if I couldn’t, I’d be dead right now. Some of you might think that would be a good thing, but my kids would be dead, too, as would my wife. I think it’s amazing that I wouldn’t be here right now except for the fact that a machine kept me and my family alive during those cold weeks in Manitowoc.

Of course, even though I couldn’t have possibly kept myself warm those weeks when the temperature was too cold, at least I could feed myself. Thank God I didn’t need a machine to keep me warm and to feed me. Who would have bothered to turn my machine on if I needed to be kept warm and also to be fed?

Apparently, nobody.