This week we have been observing Earth Week. If you are like me, I really didn't "celebrate" the week too hard, especially when it was too cold or windy to even be outdoors. However, when I would hear about the special designation for the week, it would make me think about our Earth and what it means to me. We can think of Earth in two ways: as the planet on which we live, or as the soil on which we depend for our life. At this time of year, the second definition comes to mind more often than the first. We rely on the earth for so many things.
It was just a week ago that I was complaining in this column about what was hopefully, the last snow storm of the season. We made it though that and the snow is already gone, now we are finally into spring. With spring, naturally comes a great deal of work. We move out of the house and into the yard looking around at the damage caused by winter. At the lake we are watching as the ice very slowly melts and wait to see how the harsh, cold winter has affected it and what the shoreline will look like. In the yard we are finding a lot of rock and also a few bare spots, the result of snowblowing.
OK, it is time to shut off the snow and open up the spring rain faucet. A nice cleansing rain would be much better than more snow. Can someone tell the weather that it is spring? Just before the arrival of this latest round of snow I took some time to walk around my yard and look at the effects of winter. I noticed that I would have some work to do in my flower beds, clearing debris and pulling out last fall's final blooms.
One morning last week I ventured out on my regular routine, going to the Hancock Post Office to pick up the mail and send out some correspondence. Before stopping in there, I went over to the Hancock City Hall where I needed to pick some things up from Andrea, our city clerk. When I walked in her office, which was empty, I heard her talking across the hall in the library. I peaked in and discovered she was on the phone while simultaneously filling balloons with helium.
The other day I was waiting to pick up a prescription at the drug store and a woman came in to do the same. As this woman was handed her prescription she was told that it would be $636. She kind of flinched a bit, started to write out the check and then proceeded to goof up on the written part. She looked at me and said "I'm not used to writing out such a big check." I was astounded that people are paying that much for what appeared to be one small bottle of pills. Fortunately, my husband and I have a co-pay for prescriptions so have a maximum amount we pay.
Leave it to Minnesota weather. You just begin to think that the snow is going away and before you know it, it comes back to bite you. Where else could the first days of spring, actually mean a return of winter? As I write this the snow is falling steadily and Easter is just around the corner. Easter usually means new life. The start of spring brings to mind signs that flowers, trees, grass and, even humans, have a type of rebirth. New life, new birth, new color and hopefully more warmth!!! However one thing about a spring snow storm is that you know it will not last long.
As I sat with my family at my father's bedside for the final time, I watched as he struggled to breathe and held his hand as he fought this last battle of his life. It was a difficult thing to accept, losing your last parent. However, his quality of life had diminished a great deal and he was so ready to go, it would have been selfish for us to want him to stay. Over the last few years I have looked at my father's hands and often reflected on the many roles they have played in my life.
Remember the Fuller Brush man? Or maybe the Avon lady, Watkins lady or Amway lady? Do you remember when Sears, Montgomery Ward and JC Penney catalogs arrived regularly at your home? Shopping in the comfort of your home was a wonderful and novel change in those days. Eventually these door-to-door sales advanced into something else that took hold. I believe it may have been the start of Tupperware parties that created the change. Women were invited into the homes of their friends and relatives, were treated to a nice lunch, had a chance to win gifts and best of all, socialize with other women.
I cannot imagine how the students must be feeling, who were riding on the school bus involved in the recent accident near Cottonwood. The accident and events following are traumatic and have a long-range ripple effect. To lose friends in such a way must be life-altering. Riding on a school bus is an experience. Growing up in the country, that bus ride twice a day simply became part of my life.
It has been a number of years since I sat on a frozen lake trying to catch fish. I can't say that it is something that I really missed and don't even know long it has been since I last went ice fishing. However. last weekend I once again braved the elements to take on the sport. I love a challenge. I like to compete, learn new things and challenge my brain and body. Therefore when Buddies Bar and Grill announced their first annual Ice Fishing Tournament, I sat up with interest. I immediately started to pester my husband to enter us in the contest.