April 11th.

I don’t want to be presumptuous here, but I think Spring has finally arrived. It’s April 11th, the temperature is supposed to reach into the sixties, and the ground is unthawed. That’s right folks, for those of you in places further south than Minnesota, the ground actually freezes solid in Winter. Scary, isn’t it? When Sophie and I went out for our morning walk today it was 40 degrees F, the air was clear, sun shining, and little to no wind. A perfect morning for walking.
Above is a photo looking down the end of my driveway toward the lake. It’s days like this that really make me appreciate living here. It’s always interesting to see what type of refuse has accumulated over the Winter in the ditch along my road. There are three categories today. Irony, concern, and disturbing. The irony category is for empty cigarette packs.
The ash tray can be filled with stinking butts and ash, the car itself smells horrid from cigarette smoke, and yet that nice clean empty cigarette pack is going to litter up the car, so that has to go out the window. Really? The next one is concern because I always find beer cans and liquor bottles in the ditch. People are drinking and driving along my road. I have fairly steep ditches on either side of my driveway and I’m always afraid someone will go in the ditch and hit my driveway. When I was sixteen, this very thing happened to me. We weren’t drinking but the car went in the ditch, hit a steep driveway like mine and went airborne. I spent a month in the hospital with a broken back, and another three months recuperating. I cannot believe that anyone could do something so stupid like drinking and driving. But the evidence is there, right there in the ditch. The last one is the disturbing category. I found an ice cream pail with human excrement in it. I know it was human, because it included toilet paper. I’ve never had anyone leave their toilet in my ditch. So there’s one for the record book.

I have an old tree in my front yard that is slowly falling apart.
It’s an old Box Elder tree and pieces keep falling off of it. This chunk has been here for a few weeks now and I’ll have to haul it off the grass pretty soon. I smell a campfire.
Other than that it’s a nice day. The grass is starting to turn green from the recent rain we’ve had, although yesterday morning it snowed so hard and with such big flakes that it was hard to see out the window. But that’s what we get in Minnesota, snow yesterday and 60’s today. And we love it here!


Painting Therapy


I finally got around to painting my broken canoe paddle today. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time now and just haven’t got around to it. I found the broken paddle on the shore of Balsam Lake in northern Minnesota. The lake has a lot of meaning for us. My wife’s family has been going there since before she was born. The first trip we took as a couple was to Balsam lake and we’ve been going every year since. The lake is great therapy from the craziness of daily life. We go with no agenda what so ever. We bring our kayaks and fishing gear and our grill. We sit, or fish, or go for a walk. We paddle. No T.V., radio, or phone. We bring the laptop to watch movies on if it rains. We just absorb the atmosphere, and enjoy not having a plan. We never want to leave.
Here is a picture a little further back so you can see the paddle. Someone had a bad day when this broke. It was just thrown on shore and left for me to find. Painting water and boats is also good therapy in the Winter. It helps me think of Spring. The temp today is 46 degrees F and the snow is melting rapidly which helps with the cabin fever we both feel this time of year. The painting also helps. here is an example of my wife’s work.
This was done on a pair of barn boards and is still in progress. Ann has done a lot of painting this winter but I have been so busy writing that I haven’t taken the time. So here it is, my winter masterpiece.