A Change is as Good as a Rest

April 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm 2 comments

WP_20140417_001April, 2014, southeast Minnesota. When I first started making notes for this post a few weeks ago, I recorded that the fifth day of spring brought us a wakeup wind-chill temperature of five below zero. I suppose I should have appreciated the symmetry of that statistic. Then on April 1st, we woke up to a 22-degree deepfreeze. And to lots of witty comments about Mother Nature’s April Fool’s Day sense of humor. Har. Har.

Now, having just returned from a week in ultra sunny central Mexico, we are a bit depressed over the idea of shoveling 8″ of wet, heavy snow out of the driveway on the day before Good Friday. (See above photo.) The one positive thing about a slow, delayed thaw after voluminous snowfalls was the advantage to people living in flood plain areas. What this additional accumulation means for them, I shudder to think.

The flood-avoidance benefit was the one thing I reminded myself of when my shivering, achy bod moaned its way through another willpower driven exercise session. I don’t often “feel my age,” and the workouts definitely make things better in the long run. But the record-breaking cold of this season exacerbated my usually manageable chronic complaints, big time. And returning from sunbaked high desert territory to the ice-capped frozen north, well, we all know what extreme contrasts can do to throw a person off balance.

As a distraction, and because we can’t be out planting annuals when the ground is still frozen solid, I turn to culling my humongous book collection. This is Phase One of a household commitment to clearing out and paring down – another sign of my advancing years, I suppose. That, and a recently discovered, urgent desire to sell our house and move south As Soon As Possible.

My winter complaints seem to be repetitive. What I find in thumbing through volumes published decades ago is that some social complaints sound that way, too. If I were to write…

“I tell you, my friends, the trouble with this whole country is that so many are selfish! Here’s [millions of] people, with ninety-five per cent of ’em only thinking of self, instead of turning to and helping the responsible businessmen to bring back prosperity! All these corrupt and self-seeking labor unions! Money grubbers! Thinking only of how much wages they can extort from their unfortunate employer…What this country needs is Discipline… ”

…a regular reader of this site might just think I was on a rant about the disastrous situation in Detroit or the tragedy of having close to 50% of the nation’s population robbed of their dignity by a nanny government, with its womb-to-tomb assistance programs that imply the utter inadequacy of individual effort and mock the noble notion of self-reliance.

A rant like that, maybe. But the above quote is taken from Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here.

I suspect that Mr. Lewis and I would not have shared political views on much of anything, and he was most certainly ridiculing the narrow-mindedness of his character’s anti-union comments, but the quote nonetheless reveals sentiments that echo true and relevant all these years later.

“And when I get ready to retire I’m going to build me an up-to-date bungalow in some lovely resort, not in Como or any other of the proverbial Grecian Isles you may be sure, but somewhere like Florida, California, Sante Fe, & etc., and devote myself just to reading the classics, like Longfellow, James Whitcomb Riley, Lord Macaulay, Henry Van Dyke, Elbert Hubbard, Plato, Hiawatha, & etc.”

This, according to another Lewis character from the same novel. With the addition of desiring to do good works in my retirement years, I could echo these sentiments as well.

Does anyone out there know anything about South Carolina? I know it seldom snows and the housing market is buyer-friendly. But I suppose a little more information would be a good idea before we transplant ourselves and our three travel-resistant furry companions 1,215 miles from home. Culture-shock might again be an issue. Then there is that climate-shock thing, too.

But I think it’s an adjustment I could tolerate. Having looked again at that snapshot I took this morning, I’m pretty darned sure it’s an adjustment I could tolerate.

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Winter Redux Please Do Try This At Home

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. donna  |  April 18, 2014 at 4:26 am

    This morning, upon waking up and seeing all this snow, I resolved NOT to shovel. With a sour attitude about all that snow, I took my dog for a walk through the woods. I did not get far, before I was grinning ear-to-ear at natures beauty. What a cure fresh air, exercise and time with nature and our Creator is.

    Reply
    • 2. kirkhams  |  April 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Ditto. I have observed that phenomenon in past posts, but this one was meant to be a little cheeky. And while we’ve been doing this winter thing for many decades, I am only now beginning to understand why many people flock south for their retirement years. Up until 2013, I never dreamt we would ever leave Minnesota.

      Reply

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