In an effort to have fresh topics, I keep column ideas on little
pieces of paper. After I use up the more meaty ideas, I typically
have a small pad of random ideas that don’t warrant a column but
perhaps should see the light of day. Here’s a random sampling from
those pieces of paper.
Lisa and I were watching an old episode of M A S H. IN this episode,
Hawkeye repeatedly ignored Nurse Kelly as a romantic possibility.
Kelly became upset and told Hawkeye that he was overlooking her in
lieu of other members of the nursing staff. When Hawkeye finally
realized she was right, he went to Nurse Kelly’s tent only to find
another man present who did appreciate Kelly. So many times, I have
wished for something new when the truth was I already had something
better and right in my own backyard. I think humans are climbers
which is good for survival of the species however I think we need to
know when to turn-off our ambition and enjoy the lovely fruit that
grows in our own back yard. It is better to appreciate the tomatoes
you have than to pine away for the pineapple an ocean away.
My thoughts rarely wander far from animals. We have enjoyed the red
squirrels this winter as they ravage our bird feeders. I know people
don’t care for red squirrels but watching them travel their systems
of snow tunnels is like watching whack-a-mole without the whack.
Another animal on my radar is the calico cat at Fleet Supply. There
is nothing like an on-staff cat to give a farm-store legitimacy. I
like to park my truck and watch this little calico radiating on a
shelf in full sun. She also enjoys a spot in customer service right
by the till, I have to pet her while they ring me up-I cannot resist.
Everyone I speak with says that frost really penetrates best as the
weather warms. I have an alternate theory to warm temps causing the
front to deepen more quickly. The air temperatures of a few weeks ago
had to penetrate the insulating blanket of snow before the ground
could feel their effect. The cold is now under that same blanket of
snow and protected from our recent warmer weather. It is still
driving the cold down but I would theorize that it is not more active
because of warmer air temperatures but rather the ground is
experiencing the end of the freeze process and this is the worst it
will be before the snow thaws and warmer air brings relief to the
ground. In other words, this is the end of the effective time that
frost has to penetrate and so it is at the point where it drives the
deepest into the ground and the warm air temperatures have nothing to
do with it as their effect cannot even be felt due to the insulating
blanket of snow. This theory may receive the same welcome and
appreciation as Galileo found when he suggested that the earth is not
the center of the universe. If your water froze this winter, you
probably don’t care about my professorial discussion on frozen
water-you just want it to thaw. I’ve been there myself.
I will finish a project this week-end. Each completion brings such a
feeling of accomplishment but is quickly followed by a small panic
and the thought “what’s next?” Fortunately, we live on a farm with
lots of old buildings and fence that can always be improved even if
it doesn’t need repair so something always awaits elevation to a
current project. I guess this is what it means to putter.