Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Brief Winter

The dog woke me early on New Years Eve. A sudden startle to consciousness before dawn, she’s downstairs making loud repetitive guttural coughs and I spring from the bed with the hope that I can hustle her out the door before the coughs are interrupted with the splash of liquid on to the floor. I’m lucky this time. When I shove her into the pre-dawn light I realize it’s raining. December 31 in northern Minnesota and it’s pouring.

A half hour later there’s ice pellets mixed with the rain. Another half hour and it’s all snow falling thick and fast.

It snows all day and into the evening. When I drive to town late in the day the road is slick, holding enough snow that the car is pulled back and forth by the weight of it. After dark I push six to eight inches off the deck.

I begin to contemplate skiing, consider digging my skis and wax bench from the debris in my garage.

I wake early this morning in order to wax four pairs of skis and hit the trails. I power up the computer as I wait for the coffee pot chug. When I glance at the forecast I see that the next five days will be sunny and well above freezing. The skis stay in the garage.

I’m going to the gym.

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