Playing the Lottery

Snowy Road December 10

Snowy Road November 24

 Ski trail, first packing

Ski trail, first packing

Blooming Cactus

When the weathermen begin to forecast storms a week ahead of time, I am beginning to know better than to get seriously involved.  Like the lottery mania that recently gripped the country, snow anticipation can grab me and not let go.  I'm learning not to follow the reports too closely, and to just have patience.  Too many times, we've watched the predictions start high, only to be disappointed as the downgrading begins. I go to bed with that feeling re-captured from childhood, hoping that the flakes will pile high enough to cancel school.  Remember what it felt like when you got up the next day, only to find that your wish had not come true?

One really good thing about those predictions is that it inspires us to get a lot of outside work accomplished.  Storm coming?  Better get that firewood stacked! Several inches of snow on the way?  Put all that summer stuff away that somehow escaped our view before the last storm.  Pretty soon, though, there won't be any of that kind of work left to do.  Let it snow freely, I say.  Every day! (I think we are at that stage.)

In the recent scenario, we didn't win the Powerball, nor did we come up empty-handed.  I would have loved for the storm to track just a bit further north, like was first predicted.  At the same time, I'm happy for our friends in mid-, metro-, and southern Minnesota, as they got dumped on.  We are looking at around 4-5 inches, and it is still sifting down.  Greg and Paul are both out plowing, and that is a good thing.  Building snowbanks--I like that.  Before last week's warm-up, our neighbor Bob took out the Pisten-Bully groomer, and packed the ski trails.  That snow stayed put, and is now safely ensconced under the new blanket.  It shouldn't be too long before I can again put the skis on and rack up a few kilometers.

One lottery that I fortunately win every year is that with our Christmas cactus.  As near as we know, family history pegs this one at about 125 years old.  We almost killed it one year when it got left out in the fall too long.  Greg wasn't home to carry it in, and I was eight and a half months pregnant with Paul, so I wasn't going to try to lift it up.  The poor thing froze back to its stems, and Sharlene and I sweated how we would tell Grandma Peggy if it happened to die.  But it was hardy, and recovered well.  Each year, it blooms from early December well into late February.  Must be that northwoods air that keeps it so healthy and going strong.  Sounds like a good recipe!