Here we are, on the other side....The other side of the cold snap, the other side of our telephone challenges, and biggest of all, the other side of Paul leaving home.
I always think that it is the cold weather causing troubles like the phone was suffering over the weekend. It probably has nothing to do with it, but it sure is a convenient excuse. If you tried to reach us and were unable, we are sorry. Remember that you can always email us. We don't know how long this tenuous relationship with working phones will last, but for now, call away!
The cold snap wasn't so bad....just enough to remind us that we are in Minnesota after all. What would winter be without a blast or two? We hit about twenty-six below zero, and it warmed up each day to the low teens and even single digits below zero. We are on a warming trend again, with the temp already one degree above zero. Robert called the other day, and it was 15 above in Fairbanks, while it was 15 below here. And one other interesting little temperature tidbit: Yesterday Sharlene told me that Barrow, Alaska was reporting thirty-one degrees, and guess what it was in Atlanta, Georgia at the same time? Thirty-one degrees. Winter can be strange.
The snow, on the other hand, is great. The ten inches that fell a week or so ago has really improved the trails. Greg and Bob (from Gunflint Pines) were able to go out and groom all of the trail system, and folks skied over the weekend, despite the cold temperatures. Some chose to snowshoe instead, as that was a bit more of a workout, and kept them warmer. No matter what they did, the best part is just getting outside. The air is so crisp and fresh when it is cold like this. I had reason to call an office at the university in Morris last week. I learned that Paul needs to stop in to that office this week, and the woman pointed out to me that they were located in the same building as his dorm room, so that "he won't even need to go outside." I replied that I Want him to go outside, because it is good for him. She agreed, and also noted that it probably wasn 't as cold there as it is here. So Paul, if you are reading this--and Robert, too--go outside! It's good for you. (Once a mom, always a mom--grin.)
Paul and Greg took off from here early on Sunday morning, as it is about an eight-hour drive to Morris. They wanted to get to school in time for Paul to check in to his dorm room, but also so that they could watch the Packers game. One last evening together, in which the Packers did not win, but they had a good time. Today, Paul went back to the classroom--first time in better than seven years for that. He has a couple of friends already at Morris, so they will show him the ropes of the place. And I'm sure he is quite happy that he won't be having to haul firewood in to keep the place warm anytime soon.
When these young men with strong backs leave home, we need to find a new way to do the work that they have been tackling for the last few years. After Greg left Paul in Morris, he drove on to the Twin Cities to pick up a snowmobile. It seems like that should just be standard equipment at a winter resort. We do have an old machine--one that's been here about as long as I have. But it has seen its hard times in recent years. Robert had a knack for getting it to run, but lately it really was in trouble. It was time for an upgrade. Greg found this one on Craigslist, and it looks like it will meet his needs. Soon it will have a sled behind it, to haul things around, and it will also be used to go and check the ice thickness. After the cold snap, we should have more ice.
As I finish this up, it is snowing out. Not much new snow is predicted, but we can always use a freshening up. If the clouds stay, we won't be able to see the full moon tonight. Addie and I saw it rising last night, and what a beautiful globe it was. The brightness of it these days casts all sorts of moonshadows at night, so that even at two in the morning, we can see out the window with little trouble. It's an awesome sight.