I’m in the middle of a hectic week at work which will be topped off by a couple of significant ceremonies on Sunday at church. During the regular service my wife, aka Night Visions, will be ordained — an interesting story in and of itself, but for another time. Following service we’re having a graduation ceremony for the Mall Diva to commemorate both her home school high school graduation and her completion of her cosmetology program and imminent licensing. This latter event will require a little speechifying from me so I’m distracted with what I’ll say and how I’ll keep my composure, not to mention working out sundry details in bringing these events off smoothly.
I say all that just to say that this means tonight’s blog entry is not going to be a deeply thought and highly polished gem of reason, but a few random thoughts about winter.
- Charlie Brown and me. I know I already touched a little on the Charlie Brown Christmas special recently, but watching it always brings back memories. This was the 40th anniversary broadcast of this classic, and I was there for number one as well. Yeah, it’s weird to realize I’ve been around long enough for the 40th anniversary of anything, but it’s a good biblical number. I know I saw the first broadcast because my mother made kind of a big deal about it at the time and, because my brother and sister and I didn’t know Peanuts from the Katzenjammer kids, telling us about the comic strip and even buying us a paperback Peanuts collection. Once we saw the show we loved it, of course (we watched it at my grandparent’s house because they had color tv).
Now, whenever I watch the show I always think about how much Charlie Brown’s neighborhood reminds me of my own neighborhood from back then, and I also remember that I had a corduroy hat with a bill and ear flaps just like the one Charlie Brown wears. Watching the show with my kids gives me the opportunity to ask Tiger Lilly what she wants for Christmas and have her say, “Real estate.” Of course, I’ll never forget the true meaning of Christmas.
- Colder than a well-digger’s monkey. That’s right, I’m not from Minnesota, so cut me some slack, Andy. Now, I don’t mind weather that’s “bracing”, “brisk”, “nippy” — or even “Minnesota-like.” It’s that Canadian weather that rushes across the border like it’s in a hurry to get to Florida that I can’t stand. Mr. President, defend these borders!
I have a winter coat that weighs about 35 pounds. It zips up past my face and extends below my knees. It’s not very rakish, but it’s lined with down, thinsulate and a layer of cashmere and I swear it’s almost bullet-proof. And sometimes I wear it and still feel like a streaker. I left the house the other day and it was like getting busted across the face with a frozen codfish. It was the kind of cold that makes your nose hair stand at attention while the wind goes through your pockets looking for loose change; the kind of cold that gives you goosebumps the size of Volkswagons on your flannel-clad bottom. It was so cold (how cold was it?) that the legislature was keeping its hands in its own pockets.
- Northern Lights. It also gets dark around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon this time of year. That would be almost unbearably depressing when it’s this cold except for one saving grace. When I leave my office each evening I stand under a large, lighted portico and look up the Nicollet Mall. The lights of the city glowing in the darkness turn the sky a rich purple-blue that is nearly as mesmerizing for me as the ocean. Often I’’ll linger a bit, just taking it in — until I get hit in the face with a codfish.
Four more months til golf season.