In the past I’ve written about “the wonder of wafting flakes, the cushy clumps of white upon the evergreens, the comfort of saying the word, “brrrr” as I peek outside, simultaneously rubbing my hands together as I smell the bouquet of baking ginger cookies.” And I have referenced the Snow Queen, surveying her wintry domain, here on her/my hill, looking out at crystals and icicles. All the Minnesota novelties to a California girl.
Silly me. It’s our third winter here on Mt. Faith. And it is no longer thrilling, definitely not poetic, absolutely over-the-top ridiculous, are you-kidding-me absurd, what were we thinking, and frankly – I never knew Midgard, our mother Earth could be such a bitch. Sorry.
It has been weeks with below zero temperatures (read that 40 plus below with the wind chill) and not much hope in sight. As I write these words the blizzard is in full force, the Frost Giants hurling the storm with a vengeance. And I can only ask myself – how did my darling Grammy Marie and Grandma Pauline and Great Grandma Elin survive in this land?
If I am inside with central fuel oil heating, and no need to regularly traverse the frozen slopes to the designated outside “bathroom,” and not dependent on long, arduous ski runs, over a hundred miles away, to Alexandria for basic supplies, then how indeed can I complain and whine?
How did they do it? How ever, these ancestors of ours on the upper plains, did they live in log cabins and holes dug into the ground until they could construct a proper structure? How was it possible to stay warm and sane when all hell broke loose and the Gods reigned havoc upon this land?
I can’t even get down my driveway (actually, not back UP again) and it is making me crazy. My calendar is loaded with appointments – meetings for planning 1 Vegetable/1 Community (beets this year), Lake Region Writers Network task force for conferences, Master Gardener information booth at the mall, Unitarian group facilitators meeting, fiber day potluck, book launch party, garden club program, Someplace Safe benefit tea. And that’s all in the first two weeks of February.
And no. We’re not contemplating moving back to California. But we have new respect for our fellow Minnesotans who manage to go on with life and laugh about their homeland and say “Uff Da” a lot. It must have been bred-in by the likes of Grammies Marie and Pauline and Elin, and if that’s the case I guess I need to practice dredging up my inner Norwegian.
For one, I’ve made a promise to myself to begin to sort through seed catalogues (note: ONLY those on the Monsanto-Free list!) and plot out the new garden that I pre-prepared last fall, focusing on bee and butterfly friendlies – monarda and asclepias, sunflower and cosmos and goldenrod, Joe Pye weed and salvias.
And whenever I look out the window, instead of cursing and focusing on the dreaded driveway, I must envision all the promises of the spring to come. Especially the peonies which we separated from the Clara and Hemnes cemeteries and the old home at Hickson, and that represent my personal heritage, thanks to Marie and Pauline and Elin.
And last – T.M. must order new snow tires.