John Wetrosky, Columnist
Memorial Day weekend is upon us. It opens the door to real summer, although we in the Northland know that it can still snow on Memorial Day weekend. We have seen it happen. But, perhaps the weather gods will smile on us this year and picnics will happen, parades will parade and we as a collective people will remember those who have gone before, sacrificed and all the other things this great country has provided.
The young girl did two backward flips and a triple somersault right in front of my window last week. I didn't realize a human body could do that. Well, at least not mine anymore. Our town had a "fun run/walk" last week. The run was a memorial event for a young boy who was tragically killed in a school bus accident a number of years ago. The event had great turnout on a stellar Minnesota Saturday morning.
I've got to be careful when I start bragging about how good the upcoming Minnesota fishing opener might be. A few years ago I wrote in this very column how exceptional that year's fishing opener was going to be. I wrote that it would probably be the omega, acme, pinnacle, out-of-this-world fishing experience.
I'm high in phosphorus. The numbers are off the charts. My nitrogen and potash are within limits, but my phosphorus is a concern. No, I'm not talking about my last trip to see my doctor. I'm talking, as most of you may have guessed by now, about our garden. I sent a soil sample to the University of Minnesota a few weeks ago and just got the results back last week. It cost me $17, but that's a small price to insure a basket of sun-ripened tomatoes.
I was grinding coffee beans early one morning last week. I'd opened a new bag of beans and that sweet aroma rose up to my nostrils. That smell keyed a part of my memory cells as to how this drink has followed me from the farm kitchen table to Canadian lakes to farm fields to my deer stand in the north country woods. Coffee has been a constant part of my life, and the puff of coffee bean scent got me thinking about this column, which is dedicated to the drink.
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to fish. The sport is embedded in my chromosomes. If I didn't know better, if there is a thing such as reincarnation, I think I might have at one time been a fish. The open water season is upon us. The border waters between Minnesota and South Dakota open shortly. The ice is gone. Minnesota's governor will be making his appearance during the annual Governor's Opener happening at St. Cloud on May 13.
I kind of resemble that little Model 8N Ford tractor that sits outside our home in the woods. Once again I have resurrected it from its winter home, reinstalled its battery, checked the oil and dumped the acorn shells off the steel seat that the red squirrels have used as a resting spot through the snow season.
I really don't want to write this column. I really don't. But, due to pressure from members of my community and the free world, I somehow will find a way to work through this and issue my once-a-year Minnesota Twins forecast. This task is really worse than fixing health care, folks. That is an easy task when compared to looking through the tea leaves of the Minnesota Twins and their upcoming season.
The last vestiges of the glacier that has taken over my driveway since last December gradually is ebbing into the lowland below our house. It is time for it to be gone. Spring came this week. Too many days while the glacier has existed have been spent trying not to slip on it, thus threatening to knock my artificial hip out of place. But the spring sun has now become high enough to evaporate this remnant of a for-the-most-part gentle north country winter.
It's time to tackle your tackle for the coming warm water season. Minnesota's inland fishing season is only two months away! Ah, that sounds good to me! After enduring another winter, I've retired my snow shovel for good. I don't care how much more snow might hit the ground, the shovel shall remain retired at the back of our salt-encrusted garage. I refuse to acknowledge that we still have a week or so of calendar winter to absorb and I'm off thinking of pleasanter things. Things like open water fishing.