Saturday, April 21, 2018

ANTICIPATION

It’s been a long, long winter in Minnesota—up here on what we like to call the Arctic Tundra. Both the first freezing temperature and the first measurable snowfall occurred in early November. Since then temps have fallen below zero Fahrenheit 24 days, and on four of them never climbed above zero even during the day.


For the season, over 78 inches (6 1/2 feet) of snow have fallen here—two-and-a-half feet above average—with this April already setting the all-time record for most snowfall during the month—and there’s still over a week left.

The ice-out date for most of the lakes around here averages early April, with the latest ever recorded at Lake Minnetonka May 5, 1857. This year, looks like we may be giving that record a run for its money.

          I plan on getting out there to soak up
          some radiant heat from that strange,
          glowing orb in the sky.


FOOL ME ONCE
Statistics are interesting, but forgettable. What really sticks with us are the experiences. Like leaving for our annual month in Mexico during a raging blizzard, and then returning—with every expectation we’d come home to green grass and tulips in bloom—to another blizzard.


Like my underestimating the severity of a forecast winter storm and finding myself all but snowed in at my studio with no option but to take on nearly a foot of unplowed snow and near white-out visibility on my way home…twice. Each time, I managed to avoid hills, fend off other, inexperienced winter drivers, and maintain the critical head of steam through intersections that try to grab you like white tar pits, only to get stuck solid in my own driveway.

         Sunny days like today, finally starting to
         flirt with 60 degrees, are like morsels of
         food to a starving man.


STRANGE, GLOWING ORB
Now you should know that we norte├▒os start pining for spring sometime in February. By March, when the skating, skiing, ice fishing and our other questionable rationalizations for tolerating winter are winding down, the anticipation has built to the point of distraction—we call it Spring Fever.

My point is that this past winter, every time we’ve allowed ourselves the slightest hint of that delicious expectation of spring, it’s gotten smothered cruelly in yet another cold, white blanket.

So sunny days like today, finally starting to flirt with 60 degrees, are like morsels of food to a starving man. So I plan on turning off this glowing screen in about two minutes, heading home to grab the puppy, and getting out there to soak up some radiant heat from that strange, glowing orb in the sky.

And I hope—no, I vow—to luxuriate in every precious wonder-filled moment of this much-overdue spring and the coming summer. How about you? What’s your excuse going to be for making the most of the season?

2 comments:

jean said...

I feel for ya'll as I look at tulips and flowering crabapple trees in bloom. I have a friend in St. Paul who drools whenever we compare weather reports in April (although we did get a slight snow this year). Hang in there, Jeff, spring IS coming and hopefully soon! :)

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hi Jean -- It's so nice knowing of your presence here for so many of my posts! Thank you for your loyal following.
As if on a cue from my post, spring has indeed sprung here. In fact, I'm working on a little post about all the new sprouts I saw emerging yesterday, less than a week after we were inundated by the last gasps of snow & cold. Hope you have a wonderful spring day too.

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