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The Last Windrow: Life's Big Questions

One thing this long, snow-filled winter has done is create an opportunity for each of us who chooses to live on this frozen landscape to question the large questions in life. As we stare out our house windows at yet another blast of snow and cold, our brains continue to work, although some of our southern neighbors might question that fact.

I’ve found myself looking out our picture window more than once lately and wondering why some things are as they are? These thoughts would not appear in the depths of summer, when the garden and the fishing boat call. 

Those are times when there is little room to ruminate on why we are actually on this planet and why certain things do not make sense. 

For instance, we all have heard about the close encounter the earth had with an asteroid a few weeks ago. OK, it missed us by the distance of seven moons, but this giant rock was still hurtling through space and if it had hit us — well, let’s just say I probably wouldn’t be going to have coffee with my friends tomorrow. 

If this rock had crashed into earth, all the technology, all the politics, all the money on earth would have been worth nothing. As the snowflake drifted down to alight on my nose the other morning on my way to the garage, I thought about that. 

On my way into work, rumbling along the snow-packed and slick road I wondered why we have hungry people yet in this country when trainloads, truckloads and shiploads of grain and produce move by their very doorsteps. Shouldn’t there be enough produce for everyone to have three square meals a day in a country that is the most productive on earth? 

Why is it that this doesn’t happen? I can understand our efforts to feed the world, but what about our own citizens? Some things don’t make sense. I thought about that while trying to avoid the snowdrifts that had blown across our road. You see how my mind wanders?

I was pulling into our small community when my mind went back to the time when I first moved here. The town was small then, but held all the retail and service businesses needed to serve a large area. It was a bustling place with people coming to work early in the morning, buying their groceries, getting their haircut, selling their eggs and buying a sack or two of feed for the chickens on their way home. 

Although many of those businesses are still in place and the town still bustles at certain times of the year, much has changed. Other than pure economics, why have regional centers seemed to become more attractive to those who live nearby? 

It never made sense to me to drive a long distance to save a few dollars when the small business in town was asked to donate and support every cause that came down the pike. I wondered about that as I pulled into my parking lot where the city plow had just finished pushing last night’s snowfall to the side. 

Spring will eventually come to the northland and my mind will again be filled with excitement at finally being able to take a walk on dry ground, tune up the fishing boat and sharpen the tines on the garden tiller. It will be a welcome reprieve from this longer-than-wanted winter when the big questions of life drift through our winter-weary minds. 

If that asteroid had hit earth, those thoughts wouldn’t have amounted to much anyway. THAT would have been a big thing. I thought about that the other day while listening to the extended weather forecast. 

See you next time. Okay?