Winter Thaw

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finally we're having a real Minnesota winter. We got snow well before Christmas and haven't seen the grass since. When the lake froze it stayed frozen; none of the teasing of previous years with a little snow and a little freezing weather followed by weeks of dreary but dry conditions. The ski slopes took shape quickly, and the view of snow out our living room window acts as a constant reminder to have some fun.

A couple of weeks ago we had a thaw that threatened to wreck our winter playgrounds. We had a week of temperatures into the 40's, compounded with bright sunshine and even the dreaded winter rain. We managed to loose only about half of our snow-pack, though, and the ski runs survived.

There are benefits to the mid-winter thaw, of course. One benefit is that we can get the back yard cleaned up. The last time we had a long winter we never had the chance to clean up Marco's "business." By the time spring came along and the snow finally melted, the backyard had turned to poop soup. It doesn't work to pick up Marco's "duty" once-a-week or even once-a-day because by the time we get to it, it has melted into the snow and frozen. Chipping it out is not much fun.

So when the forecast called for warmer weather, Margaret and I immediately siezed the opportunity and made a date for winter fun in our own back yard. When Saturday came we set to work like spring-sick lovebirds and had some "we time" in the back yard. We chatted in nasal tones, not because we had winter colds but because we weren't too keen on the olfactory stimulation.

We collected our bounty and combined it into a heavy duty garbage bag which we placed at the side of the house. We didn't want to stink up the garage by putting it straight into the can. Margaret cautioned me not to forget bringing it to the curb on Monday night when I take out the garbage. I would never....!

But of course I did forget. 

The beauty of garbage service is that you'll always have another chance the following week. And the next week I actually did remember, without a reminder. "Margaret will be proud of me," I thought as I went to retrieve our mother load. She was away at her uncle's funeral and would be happy to know I can take care of the household chores all on my own.

But the winter thaw was over by then and instead of having a neat package that I could easily transport to the curb, I had a big bag of turds frozen to my sidewalk.

Margaret isn't so proud afterall.


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