Pardon the hiatus. Just as my readership thronged to ten or eleven, I took some time off to ready myself for the great northern migration. About this time every year, the Mystery Woman kidnaps me and rolls me uphill from the Hill Country of Central Texas to the Lake Country of Minnesota.
It's not an even trade. All the walleye in the world cannot compensate for the lack of Tex-Mex. And let's don't even talk about cheeseburgers. Or chicken-friend steak. Or BBQ.
Oh sure, they have those foods in Minneapolis, but they are timid and pale. No heartburn. No kick. Not ever.
To compound matters, we are separated by a common language (a stolen phrase). My dulcet cowboy tones often don't resonate in the northern ear. Once at a drug store drive-through, the young woman behind the glass asked me to repeat my home address four times before finally admitting she just wanted to hear me say it. At the post office, the Asian clerk never could understand me and finally asked for a translator. Seriously.
I told them I used to be on radio and TV but they only nod knowingly, "That was in Texas."
Humor gets me in trouble Up There, just like it does down home. Once I was trying to throw a weighted line over a tree limb so we could put up a swing for the grand daughter. A couple older than me stopped to watch from the sidewalk. Never said a word. Just watched. Finally, after several unsuccessful attempts, I coiled the rope in my hands, looked at the old couple and said: "It's damned difficult to rope a squirrel." They took off like a shot. Never saying a word. Crazy Texan.
Actually, I like their playful, understated sense of humor. Norwegian, I think. With a touch of Lutheran for emphasis. Garrison Keillor live! And I like escaping the brutal weather in both regions. This winter in Texas, we missed weeks of below zero weather and umpteen feet of snow that fell upon our neighbors in Minnesota. And last summer, we outran the long stretch of blazing 100 degree days in the Texas sun and sipped white wine on the front porch in Minneapolis. Clink.
So, for the ten or eleven who read this blog, fair warning -- we're going dark for a week. But we're taking notes. Expect thrilling new episodes the end of next week.