Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Great, Historic Tax-Day Junco Blizzard.

"I am not going to whine about another foot of snow, the second storm in two weeks!" he whined.  It is Minnesota. It's climate change. It is our new reality. Get over it, pick up your shovel and get to work.

Everyone copes in their own way.
We had dinner reservations with Barbara and her cousin Kjell at Crescendo, a local restaurant. Kjell visits from Norway once a year and I am likely the only local man he knows. If the restaurant was open, cancelling was not an option. They were open, which surprised me a little because by that time I-90 had been closed to the west. (You know you are in the Northland when there are entrance gates to close the Interstate on-ramps.) In the words of J.F. this late season storm was "a real calf killer".

On the way to Crescendo we passed a fellow jogging around the lake with his dog. Both coping, not letting a blizzard come between them and their daily run. 

I could not say Crescendo's was crowded, but there were a number of tables of diners. It is a small town. People know each other. The conversations sometimes migrated to other tables. People got up and came over to talk. The entire room sang Happy Birthday twice for different celebrators. Badly, but with much gusto. The lone out-of-town traveler at the table behind us seemed more than a little bemused.

I ordered an old vine Zin for our table. I had a salad and nice wild mushroom pesto ravioli. (The menu indicated that it was "Basil Pesto". Is there other types of pesto?) I passed on dessert. Except for the coffee of course.

This morning, the Juncos are still outside the living room window. I scraped the snow off the table  and threw down a bag of small birdseed, They were eating whatever was on or under the table. I think there may have been fewer birds than yesterday, but still quite a flock.

Through the window

Everyone copes in their own way.
I shoveled a little. Snow shoveling time is like lawn mowing time. It is a time for thinking. And remembering. In this case remembering back to a really bad winter when I was about 12 years old. I had shoveled our walk and the neighbor's, and was back in front of the television (black and white snow with rolling bars). The neighbor next door, P.C. Sorenson, was shoveling his driveway. P.C. was a mover and shaker in our little village - he had been a farmer, but also president of the bank and president-of-the-board of a number of local businesses. He could have paid to have someone shovel his driveway, but he was an old Dane. He didn't get rich throwing his money away. He     shoveled.

Through the window, I glimpsed a shape dropping down. I assumed P.C. had slipped and fallen, but he didn't get up. I ran out to see if he was okay. He wasn't. I called out to Sprankle, the preacher across the street who was also out shoveling. He came running over over and together we tried to get P.C. into the house. He was dead weight. Dead. Weight. Eventually we called the cafe up the street and got help to get him into the house. P.C.'s wife Enola had called the ambulance. P.C. was laid out on the living room floor. Enola put blankets over him because he was cold and she kept wondering what was taking the ambulance so long. I was 12. I knew there was no hurry for an ambulance ... and I knew why Pete was cold.

Today I was exhausted from shoveling the heavy snow. Catching my breathe, I leaned on my shovel remembering P.C. Sorenson. Pete was the first person I saw die - a milestone of sorts. At at the time he died he seemed very old to me, probably even 75 years. I will be 73 in a month.

I took a break.

Coping in my own way - Gunnar


mike w. said...

A couple of years ago i decided this about snow: God put it there, God can take it away.

Love the Juncos!

Gunnar Berg said...

I generally deal with snow removal by spending winter somewhere warm. I am not obsessive about snow removal, but it is either shovel, hire it done, or sit isolated from the world. Without shoveling even our all-wheel drive truck ain't going nowhere. I could hire it done ... but I am an old Dane.

Annie Mattson said...

Glad you took a break. I had the old Norwegian who was shoveling with me - take a break, too!

Kurt said...

Use a smaller shovel and rest, a lot. I have another week where its warm and then back to the cool and wet. The rain is sometimes depressing,but at least you do not have to shovel it.

Gunnar Berg said...

"Everett Jensen is an extremely reliable source. According to him, P.C.Sorenson died on January 2, 1960 at the age of 84, which means I was 14 years old at the time.
We should never let facts get in the way of truth ... or a good story."

Coline said...

Darn snow! Just back from a trip south hoping to return to spring. The snow had melted so now we can see that all the roads are potholed...

At 14 I was too enthusiastic about snow shifting and my back has been paying the price ever since. Now the van stays in the garage and I stay in and watch it from the warm.