16
Apr 06

The Train

APRIL 1, 2006 — I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF. TRAINS ARE SPECIAL. They been featured at various places throughout my life and sometimes long stretches in between. When I take the train I connect these dots and the memories that go with them. Yesterday I disembarked from a train — Amtrak’s westbound Train number 7 — as it was just getting warmed up for the long climb across the Rocky Mountain west on its way to Seattle.  Continue reading “The Train” »


15
Apr 06

What’s happening to me


One day I wake up. I walk to the window. Open it and allow the outside air to enter my bedroom. I put on shorts. I walk outside. Birds are chirping more loudly than usual. A pair of cardinals are scouting real estate. We keep our dog out of the front yard in the hope they will choose our giant pine tree. My son starts riding his bicycle. My daughter wants to know where she can find her special electric razor so she can shave her legs. And the city has posted our street no parking. The semi-annual curb-to-curb street cleaning. Oh, yeah, and did I mention Daylight Savings Time? The 15 inches of snow that was on the ground yesterday has disappeared into greening grass. But trees and shrubs. No signs yet. This is Minnesota. They’re expecting snow in International Falls. For sure everyone in the state has removed their ice houses from the lakes. And so I ask. What happened to winter? How can it go away so suddenly. So completely. I’m having trouble adjusting to all of this. I worry that winter is cued up waiting to leap upon us like a hungry tiger. It’s a plot. The City of St. Paul is trying to lull us into believing the worst is over. That tanker in the photo might as well be a Zamboni machine. WINTER WILL RETURN! I can stop it only by moving to Florida or Arizona.

It always takes awhile for these fears to abate. For me to forget what it’s like to be watching the sun set in the southwest instead of the northwest. Spring is here to sucker us in yet again. And we will buy the whole tamale. Summer is coming. Warm days. Swimming pools. Walks in mosquito infested forests. Camping. For awhile I resist the notion of giving into it all. After all, the idea of warm weather. Summer breezes. This is Minnesota! It’s just unnatural.