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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Actually, the Barn Seems to be a Reasonable Alternative


In a move that will surprise no one from these here northerly climes, Mother Nature pulled a fast one and dropped the temperature a casual 30 degrees last night.

I was against it.

Of course, in many ways, I blame myself.  Despite the temperatures being in the 70s for the last month or so, despite this being The Winter That Weren’t, I should’ve known better than to have put away the heavy woolens.

Look at me, all cocky.  Won’t be needing the cashmere anymore, will we?  No need for leg warmers.  Why, we’ll be wearing swimsuits in no time!

Yes, sir, while last week’s bus-stop temperatures, even at 6:00 a.m., were in the high 50s, low 60s, this morning’s temp was 35.

Thirty-five.

Why I oughta…

My lined wool jacket, tucked safely in a mouse-proof  bin, now resides in the basement, two floors down.  Home to the ever-advancing cobweb, I avoid the basement in the same way I avoid the temptation of a fourth margarita or anyone saying “smell this – does this smell funny to you”?

And so Monday morning I did what all right-thinking Minnesotans do:  I pulled up my socks, donned my little cap – and jacket and scarf and leather gloves – and swore under my breath.

And then I went outside.

Here is where the images of my ancestors, clad in layers of home-made pants and darned sweaters rear their collective head and shake it sadly at me.  You call this cold?  Get out there and milk those cows!

This confuses me, initially, as I own no cows, but then, cleverly, I see what they mean:  I should get out there, catch that bus, and earn a living like I’m supposed to.

So when my fingers start to ache with the cold, I trudge on.

And when the rain drops come, big as pancakes, I am grateful to have reached the bus shelter.

And when I board, the bus is warm and dry.  No kitties sitting up, of course, begging for squirts of milk.  No smell of hay, no steam coming off the cows.

But if you tilt your head and squint, just right, the lady at the front of the bus in the black-and-white coat looks familiar.

And the ancestors in my head smile.

57 comments:

Douglas said...

You have ancestors in your head? I just have The Voices (May They Never Be Fully Silent).

I was taken aback yesterday morning by an unexpected chill. Yes, it was barely above 60 degrees and I had neglected to grab a light jacket on my way to golf.

Oh, the suffering!

Pearl said...

Douglas, almost had to pull out your heavier tee-shirts, didn't you?! :-)

ThreeOldKeys said...

HEY !!!

Was that you squinting at me on the bus this morning?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Yes, cold again here as well..but..being used to the cruel tricks weather can play on you in Ontario, I kept the winter clothing well within reach. I remember the steam coming off SOMETHING in the barn..what was it now..of yes. Never mind.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I Love this, Pearl. That good old Protestant work ethic lingers long after it should have left the barn, doesn't it? I have never decided if my ancestors would be castigating me, or secretly cheering me on, what with my not-so-latent laziness and neglect of a work ethic. I appease myself with gardening and call it work. Yard work. I hope that qualifies.

Pearl said...

ThreeOldKeys, :-) I shall try to be more unobtrusive in the future. :-)

Delores, oh, yes, and I almost wrote about that but then remembered my own reluctance to be around people who said things like "hey, smell this. Does this smell funny?" :-) My grandparents farmed, though, and I love the smell of it all, from the pump house to the manure...

Teresa, it does linger, and yard work most definitely counts. :-) Anything orderly. I've seen pictures of your flowers and your yard and know that all of that takes work!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I blame myself for the cold snap. I had washed all the winter jackets and stored them--along with the hats and gloves.

crowbloke said...

i think we may have your warm weather, it turned up here 2 days ago with a sorry look on its face. it`s quite happy here, so dont worry.

Chantel said...

I believe we all cursed ourselves...in my 100+ yr-old home, I peeled the plastic from the window six inches from my side of the bed.

I slept on his side.

From the Mind of a Madman said...

Bundle up.... and go out there and buy milk from that store.... your ancestors would be proud... and probably very jealous!

Pearl said...

Green Girl, ah-HA! I knew it! First I thought it was me, but then I thought, nope, I'll bet it was someone in Wisconsin... :-)

crowbloke, could you have it call me? Whatever I did to offend, I'm quite sorry for. Tell it I will make margaritas...

Chantel, :-) 'tis a long, cold night when the outdoors comes indoors!

Pearl said...

Mad Man, in some ways, they certainly would be! In other ways, though -- well, I think they slept better...

Pat said...

Do not cast a clout till May be out!
Now whether that is the May the blossom or May the month- who knows?

Robbie Grey said...

We too have had a non-winter. We're flipping coins to figure out if it's going to be summer by mid-April or the bottom's going to fall out, this method being just as accurate as the trained meteorological professionals.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

You are SO funny! Laughed out loud here this morning. And yeah, it's frickin' cold in Muskoka, Ont., too.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn't give a good diddle if we approve of her capricious side or not. Hopefully, this is winter's last (short-lived) gasp, and you won't have to trudge down to the basement to rescue some of those woolies.

R. Jacob said...

And just last night I was thinking about sleeping outside by the pool...

esbboston said...

Combining the two, does anyone ever ask you to smell their fortified margarita?

esbboston said...

Your smiling ancestors sound kinder and gentiler than my screaming ones.

Queenie Believe said...

Brrrrrr sayes Queenie in the Valley of the Sun, Arizona.
But alas, I so relate to the ancester haunting... As my mother said when I first moved south of the MasonDixon line... "Always remember, you come from hardy nothern stock."
Have a great day!
Always, Queenie
P.S. Thanks for stopping by Queenie's wee blog and your lovely comment.

jenny_o said...

It's not just the ancestors in your head smiling!! So many good turns of phrase here, I don't know where to start quoting :)

We had two days of not warm but hot weather. Shorts-wearing weather. Sweaty brow weather. Then it dropped 22 degrees(Celsius, that is) in 24 hours.

Fortunately, being a maritime Canadian, I always have the shorts AND the winter duds within easy reach in the closet.

Talkative Taurus said...

While I don't have it as bad as you all up north, this up and down in temperatures is killing us down south, too. My sinuses are so screwed up that I really hate Mother Nature about now.

Oh, and because we didn't have much of a winter (which we love), we'll have mosquitoes that can carry us away this summer (which I think it goes without saying, we hate). *sigh*

L-Kat said...

I love this! I too packed up all my winter gear and swore to only wear my sandals from now until the first snowfall (October). I probably looked very odd yesterday in my light jacket, hat, mittens, and flip flops. I should know better: I remember Minnesota blizzards in April.

Austan said...

This screwy weather is messing everything up. Sugaring is back to a halt after starting a month early. Fruit trees that started blossoming just south of us may have a hard freeze on the buds tonight. Who knows how this will shake out, but when cherries go for ten bucks a pound I won't be buying them! It's 35' here this afternoon and going down to the 20s tonight. Glad I didn't put anything away!

Kat said...

This morning when I fed my cows, it was snowing.
It's still snowing.
I'm getting really sick of all this talk of early spring all over the country. Someone send it to Washington, m'kay?!

Joanne said...

Thank goodness our ancestors survived or we wouldn't be here to complain. Actually, I was grateful this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining on my WINTER coat.

Symdaddy said...

Have you got the same ancestors as I have? Mine are always nagging.

Nag!

Nag!

Nag!

How'd'ya think they became 'ancestors', huh?

jabblog said...

It's not even April yet - what WERE you thinking?

Sioux said...

Hopefully that lady in the black and white coat wasn't as gassy as cows are...

vanilla said...

"Lady... in the black-and-white coat..."
Holsteins in your past, too?

CarrieBoo said...

Roz's dirty snowpants still hang in the closet for fear of jinxing the warm weather -- but wait, it was YOU that jinxed it, then! ;) Why I oughta!

busana muslim said...

This is a great posting I have read. I like your article.

bill lisleman said...

Next time those ancestors give you a hard time, tell them that they are so yesterday and show them your I-pod.

Susan Kane said...

Ancestors chuckle mostly. They see our cavalier attitude about weather, and shake their ghostly heads. We have it so easy.

Shelly said...

Mother Nature is a tricky old broad- gotta watch her like she's a 16 year old driving an 18 wheeler in the lane next to you.

Any time you get a hankering to meet up with the real cows, come on down. We've got 'em in all shapes and colors.

Eva Gallant said...

We had a black and white named Molly, and a chestnut brown named Emerald when I was a kid!

Tracy Jo said...

I know, right?! Yesterday was rough but today we are back on track with warmer temperatures. :-)

Dee said...

Dear Pearl, . . . your ancestors smile as I'm smiling now. Peace.

Craver Vii said...

What a kerfuffle! It was aboot two degrees centigrade here too, eh? Where did dat hoser run off to with my toque? It's cold enough that some of us in the lower forty-eight are feeling kinda fellow Canucks, for sure. Oh wait-- you're from Minnesota. I thought... ;-)

Tom G. said...

and the barn smells better than the bus on a rainy day.

Buttons said...

I like the barn better.You crack me up. B

Cindy F. Adkins said...

The same thing happened here! My poor daffodils are laying on the ground! Thanks for stopping by...I'm glad you enjoyed my post!
Cindy

Gigi said...

And here I was complaining that it was cold this morning in NC. I'll hush now.

Bodacious Boomer said...

That seems so crazy to me. We won't see the 30's again til mid November. It was 85 here last weekend.I was sweating like a snow cone in Phoenix.

Belle said...

I never know what to wear in the spring. One day it's hot, the next it's freezing. I was just going to put my winter stuff away. Maybe I should wait.

Jocelyn said...

YES. You've hit it here: I spend most of the winter wrapped in puffy stuff with high-tech advantages, wondering how my grandma managed to milk 80 (80!!!) cows twice a day for all of her adolescence, in little more than some wee knit thing.

I suspect she had character.

Me? Maybe not so much.

But I'm warmer. So I win, right?

Glen said...

sod the bloody cows - stay in bed!! that's my motto anyway :-)

the walking man said...

You're tougher than me Pearl, I froze my ass off then went to bed until it became today and 15 degrees warmer.

esbboston said...

Umm, I would suggest adjusting your comment control so that the person named 'anonymous' can no longer leave comments. Its a fairly easy setting to change. Oh, one of my pen names is "A. Nona Mousse". Pretty sneaky considering I am a male, and not necessarily considered pretty. Hahahaha, I accidentaLLy wrote a doubly pretty sentence, alpha and omega.

Mr. Charleston said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. I went outside this morning and it was 65 with an expected high of 80 under clear skies. Had to dig my shorts out of the bottom drawer. ;)

River said...

Our weather is playing tricks too. We carry jackets to work and home again, just in case, but we never need them. Yet. Heading into autumn and today it was 84 degrees.

I wouldn't mind having ancestors in my head.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl, you really don't mind the cold, you're just practicing up to be a Canadian. "We don't care if the sun don't shine, we get our lovin' in the wintertime....lalalalalalaaaaaaa"
Snowflakes and wind this morning. Arrrrrrrrrgh! Get out the old toque... ":)

Diane said...

My solution is both simple and elegant. Never put anything away! Now how hard was that?!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Pearl, the word pictures are fabulous...raindrops the size of pancakes! I laughed out loud at "avoiding the basement... like...smell this..." I needed this today. Thank you!
Rosemary

Pat Tillett said...

Brrrrr! It was down to the high sixties here today! A cold snap!
You mid-westerners are sure made of hardier stock than we left coasters.
Seriously, have you ever had frost bite? How cold does it get? What's all that white stuff on the ground there? Sorry Pearl! To quote my favorite mid-westerner, "I keed, I keed!"

NellieVaughn said...

Milk a cow? I haven't even taken it out on a date!

Susan in the Boonies said...

Bossie the Bus Driver.

My favorite image? Kitties begging for squirts of milk.

Of course they would.

Your ancestors would be proud that thought of such a detail.

But I'm sure the passengers on the bus sometimes steam. At least in the heat and humidity of summer.