Saturday, April 7, 2007
Gee, kids, it’s Easter, let’s go outside and build a snowman. Here it is, April 7, and we awoke this morning to a light covering of snow here at our cottage in central Wisconsin. Ok, so there isn’t really enough to build a snowman, but there is more than enough to make it difficult to find all those Easter eggs that people have hidden out in their yards for tomorrow’s Easter egg hunt.
When we planned on spending Easter week here at our lake cottage, we were definitely counting on some reasonable spring weather, not this repeat of January. The temperature this morning was 4 degrees. Four feakin degrees!
What did we do to deserve this?
The golf course is supposed to be green, not white, at this time of year. If I tried to hit a golf ball in this weather the ball would probably shatter and my club would snap like a twig from the cold. That is, if I was crazy enough to even get the clubs out of the car. Even in yesterday’s 30 mph winds and numbing cold, there were a couple of real diehard golfers on the course. I love the game as much as most avid golfers, but I draw the line at suicidal cold. As much as I was looking forward to several days on the course this week, I will wait until I can go outside without freezing my own balls and not just those golf balls.
Naturally we had other outdoor plans for this week, too. But routine things like putting in the pier, transplanting some plants onto the deck planters, fertilizing the grass, and setting out the outdoor furniture will just have to wait awhile until Mother Nature decides to smile on us again. In the meantime we will spend our days here inside doing inside things like reading and watching movies and reading and writing and reading some more.
It could be worse. At least the cottage is heated. We will just have to avoid looking outside and getting depressed.
It is still unseasonably cold here, but despite the harshness of the weather, we are happy to see the return of many of the usual lake birds. I can’t help wondering, though, if the wonderfully warm and mild weather the past couple weeks duped them into an earlier than usual return to our little corner of paradise. Geese, ducks, a few noisy little types of songbirds, hawks and even some gulls are in residence already.
The most welcome of our bird neighbors are the Blue Herons that fish and graze along our shoreline and enthrall us with their incredibly graceful flight takeoffs and balletic soaring landings. I only hope that the tortuous cold doesn’t create any long term problems for those marvelous creatures. I may be wrong in assuming that they migrate southward for the winter and return here each spring. I am not well versed in the habits of Blue Herons, only pleased to be able to enjoy their comings and goings along our lakeshore. They may in fact stay here all winter, growing a thick coat of insulating feathers to protect them from the harshness of the season. Either way I consider their presence a true blessing. In fact I am working on a wall sculpture that features one those magnificent birds in a typical wary pose of watchfulness among the shoreline reeds. When it is completed and installed here at the cottage, I will share it with you and hope that it gives you some idea of what I am talking about when I rhapsodize about them.
Last evening we, the lonely parents, were treated to a phone call from our son, Jon and daughter Carrie, way out there in San Francisco. Jon and wife Katie went there for a long weekend and connected up with Carrie and Jeremy, who live in Oakland, for the day on Saturday, doing the usual tourist things and spending a great day together. It was such a pleasure hearing them laughing and telling us about their day that we momentarily forgot that we were here alone without them. In all the years past we have always had one or the other, and sometimes both of them, with us on Easter. So this was a departure from the norm and just one more reminder that kids grow up and move from under their parents’ wings. I guess that’s normal, but I don’t have to like it.
I am writing this jibberish on my new MacBook while I sit in my recliner, looking occasionally out the window at the cold and gray skies. Tomorrow I will venture into town to find a hotspot that will let me connect to the internet and post this for your consideration. Until then……….
Monday, April 9, 2007
Ok, I am officially confused. As I write this here in the cottage in my recliner again gazing out the window toward the lake, I see the sun shining brightly, if only for a moment, and a snow squall of biblical proportions trying to obscure that sun over the lake. If there is anyone who can properly explain this weird weather, please submit your explanations for my consideration. This is getting too strange to be anything but the Armageddon predicted by the prophets. Get your house in order, the end is near.
We did manage to get some of the aforementioned outdoor chores done today while the temperatures hovered a few degrees above freezing. But it wasn’t pleasant being out there. My nose is still running from the cold and my fingers are tripping on these keys since they have yet to warm up sufficiently. We did not get to town today as planned, so this missive will wait another day before you get to see it. That is if we can get to town through all the likely snowdrifts.
Damn my golf clubs are getting lonely out in the car.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Alright I admit it, we paniced. We listened to the weather forecast last night and got spooked by the prediction of 6”-8” of wet slushy snow that was likely to appear in central Wisconsin over the next two days. Even given the fact that the weatherman is wrong about half the time with his forecasts, we decided that we didn’t want to take the chance of being around for a likely snowstorm. So we packed up and loaded the van and headed on home this afternoon, running ahead of the predicted storm. This is not how we envisioned our spring break.
Last year during this same Easter week, we were on the lake in our kayaks and I had gotten in several rounds of golf. This year my golf clubs are still languishing in the van, unused, and not likely to see a golf course for a couple weeks yet, and the kayaks are still tucked away in the boat shed high and dry. For the past four days we have been asking ourselves why we didn’t head south for the week, where we would have at least a fighting chance for some warm sunshiney weather. Our optimism in finding that sunshine and warmth at the cottage was ill placed and we are kicking ourselves for being so trusting. Having lived in this area all our lives you would think we would know better than to trust Mother Nature. That old hag has done another job on us.
Wait till next year. I hope we have learned our lesson and will take off for warmer climes when Easter rolls around again. But then, the lure of the lake and its birds and other creatures exerts a strong pull on us at this time of year when all is fresh and new and full of promise. That is, when it isn't all covered with snow.