Okay now — can we please get this winter done with?  I mean, really.  It has been below zero here for more than 40 mornings now — and the record, as far as I understand it, is 46.  We’ll beat that for sure.

 

And the snow?  We had this much once before that I recall – January of 1997.  My sisters and I have been travelling up home to clean my late mother’s apartment, and in the first weekend of January, we had a huge snowstorm while we were up there… I”m tallking barely able to get out type snowstorm.  My sisters and I worked Friday night, Saturday and Sunday – I had a little Chevy S10 pickup at the time – and it was full of stuff, which is the only reason I had any traction coming the 160 miles back home – anyway, LOTS of snow.

 

So I come around the corner to my home only to find Wilma at the business end of the snowblower — a good 10 inches of snow, and she had not had a great deal of experience running the thing… I park on the street, we greet each other, and then I send her in.  I finish the snowblowing job, drive the pickup into the yard, and start to unload it.  Remember, this is a lot of stuff — and once that’s done, the city snowplow came by, so back out I went again to snowblow the end of the driveway.  Welcome Home, Charlie!!

 

And let’s add to the fun… no school the next day, so I spent the day up on the roof, pushing snow off of it, since it was so very thick up there…. and most of it, by nature of how our house is laid out, fell mostly into the driveway, so once I was done clearing the roof… out again with the snowblower.

 

It was this particular January of 1997 that started my spiral down into the winter dregs.  Winter was never quite the same after this – even ice fishing lost its attraction.  This weekend, full of clearing mom’s apartment, driving back in a pickup filled with her stuff, only to have to clear snow for two days — that’s enough for anyone to lose their taste for a good winter.

 

And I had my winters, yes!  Growing up, we took our sleds to the BIG HILL in town and had a great time sliding down second street — or over to Casey’s Hill.  Then as we got older, skiing on the dumps outside of town (that’s the iron dumps …hills of dirt removed from the open-pit mines up there on the Mesabi Range of Minnesota…) – We’d plow our way through, making our own trails, and then finding a trail down a hill – where we’d break our way through.  If time allowed, and if the stuff was there, we’d make a small jump to try … and oh, what FUN we had then!

Ice fishing… I give you January of 1980.  A former student of mine (Brad) and I had become fishing buddies in every sense of the word.  My canoe, his car, whatever it took…. In this particular January, school was closed early 3 Fridays in a row .. and all before noon.  I KNEW in my fishing heart that I would drive home from school and find Brad waiting in front of my house, car ready.  Off we’d go to our little fish house (a wooden frame with sheets of metal from the local newspaper printing shop….and heated with a small chicken incubator turned into a stove… and a cribbage board built into a fold-down board…. we had a great time every single Friday — I will remember that fine winter time forever…

 

So now, the fun of winter has eroded away, and this year is no better … I’ve already mentioned the cold weather, and the snow … and did I mention the cold weather and the snow?

 

So don’t mind me.  Spring is coming soon.. . I just don’t know what year….

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