Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ohio, Indiana, and Intimations of Winter

..........Yup.   As we drove through Ohio on the way to Indiana, it started to snow.  So we called the studio to find out how everything was going and to say, "Hey it's snowing here!" and Katie said, "Hey it's snowing here!"  So I guess winter is coming whether I want it to come or not.  Mind you, I despise warm weather.  I'm one of those people who has to have a fan in the bedroom every day of the year.  (Poor Larry).  And because I'm from Minnesota, I think much more kindly on prospects of winter than many people do.  I remember, to give one example, how people went door to door in Worthington, Minnesota, with a Folger's coffee can to gather money for families who couldn't pay the heat bill.  I vividly recall squads of neighbors helping one another with massive, truly daunting snow removal challenges -- with snowbanks at corners so tall that car owners had to put flags on their aerials in order to be seen while driving.  I also fondly remember the long, languid evenings at the fireside with nothing but one another.   We didn't have a TV for a long, long time, and when it came, it was an old, used Edison........too small to be all-consuming.  We talked to one another; we helped with one another's paper routes in mid-winter, we laughed our heads off when we ran out of groceries and had to put water on the Wheaties.  And so, in many respects, winter was an opportunity for engagement and learning and love, not a burden.     

But, still, it's better to be able to walk down the street, to sit on the deck, to be able to go to a lake and roll up the jeans and wade.  My main objection to summer, in fact, is not the opportunities for movement it offers, but the heat, the decreased productivity, the suffocating miasma in the big stucco house that can only be cut with big fans and, yes, air conditioning.  Intolerance of heat, in fact, has increased as I age.  It's so much harder to get cool than to get warm.   But what do you expect from a Minnesotan?  No lover of year-round heat ever spent more than a few years in Minneapolis -- a city, by the way, that has adapted almost perfectly to cold.  University students can move from builcing to building in shirt sleeves all winter long -- there's a tunnel system! -- and shoppers in downtown Minneapolis can do the same thing through a series of above-ground tunnels (can you describe a glass tube connecting one building to another as a tunnel?).  Snowplows move like a well-disciplined army to clear every street in record time -- and, mind you, they're at work DURING the blizzard, not just afterward.  Detroiters, by contrast, seem to be in denial ("Are we really in the temperate zone?"), throwing salt at snowbanks.  How stupid is that?   Salty slush in the place of snowbanks.

So we went on our trip to Ohio and Indiana.  It was fun, and of course we found oodles of really wondrous vintage buttons.   I also found scads of vintage crocheted doilies that I'm going to use to create lush, frilly necklines on a series of crocheted sweaters, should I live long enough.

But more later, when I have pictures.


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