Publication Date 3/16/17
It’s coming baby, it’s coming.
I backed out of the garage at 5:32 a.m., glanced to my right, and saw a faint glow on the horizon. Either Minneapolis was on fire or I was seeing the beginning of the sunrise.
It felt really good. Warm weather and three days of brutal wind had broken up the ice on the slough and the cheerful cackling of waterfowl brightened the morning even more than the glimpse of the sunrise. In the afternoon, I sat at my desk and watched a bald eagle soar over the grove, making the cats and geese nervous, but lifting my spirits.
And then it got cold. And it snowed. And it was Daylight Savings Time, so back to dark and lonely mornings.
I guess it’s not coming after all.
What’s the use of global warming if you can’t count on it? I mean, it’s been a warm winter, the snow melted a month ago, and I had started to paw around in the dirt, and look speculatively off toward the horizon.
And then it got cold. And it snowed. And did I mention Daylight Savings Time? Yeah, about three days of soft rose on the horizon and then right back to pitch black.
A few years ago I had a gig in Uganda. We spent most of our time almost exactly on the equator. The length of day varies about ten minutes from longest to shortest. The temperature variation from January to July is 10 degrees.
Ten degrees? Where I live, it can change that much in ten minutes. I’m not kidding – in 2008 the temperature dropped 71 degrees in one day, from 78 Fahrenheit in the morning to 7 by nightfall. It happened on April 3, so I’m guessing there are still a few potential bad days coming.
I’ve heard people in places like California mock my part of the world, because we’re so conservative, so set in our ways. You know why that is? Because all the optimistic folks are dead.
Seriously, April 3, it’s 78 degrees. Any normal person would be in shorts and a tank top, soaking up the sun. My people might be out in the sun, but we wouldn’t be relaxed - we’d know exactly where we put the snow shovel and mukluks. The California people? Frozen blue, ten feet from the porch door.
You see, the quintessential California disaster is an earthquake, unless you’re Tommy Lee Jones and then it’s a volcano erupting from the La Brea Tar Pits. Occasionally, it’s an alien invasion. I watch movies; I know what I’m talking about.
You can’t really prepare for an earthquake or a volcano, unless you want to walk around with a pillow strapped to your bum and asbestos umbrella over your head, and most people aren’t going to do that for long. What happens, happens. You might as well get a latte and go surfing.
But bad weather? You can prepare for that; you can be ready. All you need is a flexible wardrobe, a bad attitude, and a willingness to believe that the worst thing you can imagine is probably going to happen any minute.
You don’t believe me? I come from a place that has blizzards in April, Governor Jesse Ventura, and the Minnesota Vikings and the Twins. We know about ups and downs. We’re ready, baby, we’re ready.
So, bring on a snowstorm and Daylight Savings Time. I’ve seen worse.