Friday, April 25

The Great North

Kate and I are back at the cabin, arriving last night – six months after our last visit. It’s always fun to return after the winter, even if it’s raining and cool. But I always wonder as we approach if there will be trouble. A tree across the lane? A burst pipe? When we got here this year the door to the cabin was open. Not a good indicator of things to come. But in this case an inaccurate harbinger of trouble. The cabin was clean as a whistle. Not even the sign of a mouse. I had left a fire prepared in the woodstove. So it was burning away almost immediately. The pump started producing water with a minimum of effort. The water system filled quickly. Within 30 minutes we had running water, clocks with accurate time, music playing quietly. My biggest problem in life was the lack of ice cubes for a cocktail of my choice. So I settled for a really nice glass of wine. It was and is nice to be back.

Today has provided more iffy weather. But without leaving the cabin I’ve seen a bald eagle twice. Once on the tree in front of our cabin - which required a photo. Loons were here to greet us last night. A pileated woodpecker has been making his dinosaur-like call all day. And I saw a little bird called a brown creeper between sauna sessions this afternoon. It’s hard to describe what a pleasure it is to be sitting outside in a light rain and 44 degrees, steaming away from the residual heat of the sauna, watching a tiny little bird that you see only every couple of years climb a tree a few feet away. But at least for me it’s a wonderful thing.

Kate is fighting a cold. She’s reading away. I’ve finished one book today and look forward to starting on the next in a few minutes. Greta has blown out her right rear knee so long walks, a staple of our existence here, are pretty much out of the question (she goes “under the knife” on Monday). It looks like one of those “did nothing and rested afterward” days. I can ask for nothing more. By the way, our supply of ice cubes is now more than adequate. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Monday, April 7

Ironic Harbinger

I decided two years ago to make the red-winged blackbird my official harbinger of spring. Today as I was biking to work I heard my first call of the red-winged blackbird. At that very moment it was snowing pretty hard and I was biking into a ten mile an hour headwind. It just didn't seem very springlike.

I realize that I choose to live here in Minnesota, and I am usually very reluctant to complain about the length of winter. But I am ready for warmer weather and the advent of spring. With blackbirds and without snow.

Saturday, April 5

Coming Soon . . .

To strip malls everywhere, it's the -

"It's Not Just Good, It's Fu Xing Good!"®

They serve only drinks made with their signature vodka.

(I about drove off the road I was laughing so hard. And, this very establishment is located on Rice Street in Saint Paul - really).