Looking for the Exits from a Strange Spring

The screens were brushed clean and reinstalled allowing fresh air to clear the house of winter’s stale air. The echoes from the gun range filled our ears once again.

Spring had arrived – for a very short visit.

That was a couple weeks ago. Since those heady two days of 70-80 degrees, we’ve gone back to what I refer to as North Shore weather – the weather we, as kids, were guaranteed to have to endure whenever we camped anywhere north. Our back yard on East Seventh St. in Red Wing was far enough north for us. We wanted to go to the mountains out west to have a snowball fight in July.

We expect fits and starts every spring. That’s why we haven’t put out the deck furniture yet. It’s always a tough time of year since we’re anxious to get outside, especially this year. Even with a short, mostly mild winter we still were held in place by the pandemic.

I’m not complaining since I’ve been able to ride my electric bike quite a bit already. We’re actually a bit ahead of seasonal change. So much so, that I drained the gas from my snowblowers weeks ago. I didn’t even change the oil in the big one since I used it for mere minutes only twice. It must have been a bad winter for snow plowing services.

We have each received our COVID vaccinations. It took two trips to Rochester for Catherine who signed up early. By waiting, I got mine right here in Red Wing – Moderna for her, Pfizer for me.

Daughter Clara has endured an inordinate number of weird things recently. Ironically, it started on Good Friday. Her car was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist as she waited to make a left turn into her townhouse complex. Getting her badly damaged car repaired involved some investigative work since the frame could have been bent. She’s driving a rental for now.

Then, not far from her home in Brooklyn Center was the shooting of Daunte Wright, leading to nights of protests, riots, vandalism and curfews. The police headquarters is just a few blocks from her house. She stayed at a friend’s house in another suburb that first night.

The security team from the company she works for reached out to her about her safety. Apparently they put some staff up in hotels during the George Floyd riots last year. You wouldn’t expect to have to worry about security working from home.

Then she learned that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine she just received may cause blood clots in young women. It’s been a stressful year for her, an extrovert, stuck working from home. 

Our son Reid has had some strange events as well. First, the plumbing failed in the house he and some friends lease in Maple Grove. It had something to do with the water softener or water heater. Anyhow, the water was orange and smelled awful. Not long after it got fixed, it started acting up again.

Fortunately, he’s moving soon and will work from that location until his employer Target decides he can return to work at their headquarters in Minneapolis. Working remotely has been both good and bad for him. He’s saving time and money not having to take the bus to work. But the promotion he should have received some time ago only just recently went through. I’m sure the pandemic has messed up a lot of employee advancements. Getting trained online for a new position is not ideal but since he knew some of it, he’s already training another person in the same position. Working from home for a corporation just isn’t the same right now.

He recently texted us that his next door neighbor was out in his yard screaming and throwing belongings everywhere, then hitting it all with a baseball bat. OK, then. Yeah, Reid, moving sounds like a good idea.

Oh, and his first vaccination appointment was postponed.

I read somewhere that pets are affected by our increased presence at home. Dogs love it. Cats will be glad when they can sleep in peace again. Our cats are so conditioned by an automatic feeder that when I moved it to another location and put their water dish in its place, they now just sit and stare at the water dish at the appointed times expecting food to come out.

It didn’t help that I also eliminated one of their scheduled feedings because we were overfeeding them. If Pavlov had had cats he would have quickly learned that a chiming grandfather clock is just as effective as ringing a bell for dogs.

I just want warmer weather to arrive and stay so we have something to really enjoy instead of just hoping for it. To keep me occupied, I bought some fancy turn signals for my bike so I don’t have to perform arm contortions to signal my turns. Since you’ve probably never seen a bicycle with blinkers, you’ll know it’s me. And one of them will likely be left on.

Next I might clothespin some baseball cards to the spokes so you can hear me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.