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Irony

Agriculture.com Staff 03/25/2008 @ 8:14am

If you want to live in Minnesota, it helps to be comfortable with irony. How else can twelve inches of snow on the first day of Spring be explained?

I'm sorry, but what's up with that? The first flakes were just beginning to fall when I ran into our baseball coach outside the grocery store.

"How you doing?" I asked.

"We were so close," he said. His chin was quivering and I'm pretty sure I saw a tear in his eye. "The field was almost ready. Another couple of days and we'd have been playing."

What some of you might not know is that if you want to play high school baseball in Minnesota, you spend about the first month of the season wading through snow banks so you can get to the gym and practice inside. This may sound crazy, but if you've made to March in Minnesota, you're pretty much crazy already.

Have you seen pictures of cave creatures -- lizards, toads, fish, etc. -- that live in caves, far away from sunlight and warmth? Over time, they get pale, a little flabby, a little dull. And when brought out into the sunlight, they huddle quietly, shivering and confused, blinded by the light.

Yeah, that's pretty much me.

My apologies for the whining, but I'm sick of winter. I can't remember whether we had an early fall -- maybe it started snowing the first day of September, maybe we had good weather until December. It doesn't really matter. I'm sick of winter NOW.

The grass in my lawn was just turning green, I was thinking about raking leaves and I'd started running down my pre-spring checklist of things I needed to get done. Then all of a sudden, I'm up to my fetlocks in heavy, wet snow. Heart attack snow, the newspapers called it. Typically, if we get a couple inches this time of year, I don't even start up the snow blower or loader tractor, because it all melts away.

But with a driveway that's a quarter of a mile long covered in a foot of snow, that wasn't really an option. The blower managed to bloop out a couple of semi-liquid belches of snow and then plugged up. I used the loader to clean the rest of the yard. One of the little nuances of using a loader to move snow around a gravel yard is that if the ground is frozen, you can do a really good job. If it isn't frozen, which is where we were, you can't. Either you leave six inches of snow or else gouge out a thousand pounds of gravel. As I write this, my yard looks like a WWI battlefield, complete with the wreckage of various car parts that were scraped off trying to bump over the massive ruts.

I'm not the only one that's fed up. Everyone I know is getting over the flu or a cold and I don't think it's the result of germs. I think our bodies are just rejecting winter.

And it's not just people who are affected. When the temperature was 50 degrees a few days ago, I had opened up the chicken coop and the chickens got used to frolicking outside. Okay, frolic might be a strong word. Chickens don't really frolic, but they certainly enjoyed the spring sunshine. Now they're huddled in the doorway, muttering.

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