“We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway.
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasin’ after some finer day.

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’.” – Carly Simon

Yesterday was supposed to be the first real snowfall – according to Paul in the Star Tribune and to Sven on the T.V. I waited. And waited. Finally some flakes about noon. Then nothing. A false alarm.

I’m reminded, once again, of waiting for the opening curtain in my high school play – so nervous, yet knowing once the lights came on and I opened my mouth and spoke the first lines, all would be well. It must be how the runner feels, poised at the starting line, waiting for the gun to go off. Or the patient being wheeled into surgery who just wants it once and for all (regardless of the prognosis) over! Done.

At this point I just need to prove myself capable of withstanding a Minnesota winter. Then I will have won my stripes and have done with it. And not just for the nay-sayers, but for myself. I admit I’m a bit edgy.

The fact that the opening snow curtain just keeps getting set back, in opposition to past estimates and ordinary time frames – only adds to the tension. I say “Let’s just get on with it and plunge ourselves into winter!”

By all accounts this seems to be an unusual year. I can remember a flight to Fargo from LAX in the early part of October years past, having to anxiously await the pilot’s AOK because of the blizzard conditions ahead. In fact, the counter persons at our departure gate passed out disclamer statements which suggested we might wish to reconsider. Covering their you-know-what in case the plane met misfortune, I presume. But reconsider? Reschedule? Pray? As it turned out, the old-timer Fargoan in line next to me scoffed and laughed, and so when the time came we boarded with all the other prairie locals. But believe me I prayed.

Floods in the east and mid-west. Tornados in the south. Perpetual drought in Texas. No snow in sight til December in Minnesota! Don’t tell me we aren’t experiencing global warming.

I would never get gold stars or brownie points for being patient. I rip open the letters on my way from the mail box to the front door. I hurry-up T.M. whether it’s our departure to the grocery or the movies. I plunge into chores and don’t stop until I drop. I’m not proud of it. It doesn’t represent the Buddha’s Nobel Middle Path that I verbally espouse and you can bet that by mid February I’ll be wishing I could turn back the clock to sunny mid-November. But for now, I’m waiting for the curtain to go up on winter.

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