God, if there be such a creature, has a wicked sense of humor.
Take the weather report: snow is finally in the forecast. Not in Minnesota but in Texas. I got all this winter gear, puffy coat and everything, and where does it snow? Texas. We got zero measurable snowfall this November, the second warmest on record.
They do winter differently up here on the tundra. First, I noticed everybody walking around with a knowing look, like everybody was in on the secret except me. Then, I began to see intriguing items advertised in the newspaper, like heated pet bowls and strap-on spikes for your boots. Apparently spurs have limited utility during Minnesota winters.
We may not be doing this snowbird gig right. I've misplaced the manual.
The days grow dark faster. Around noon you drive with high beams. As winter approaches, outdoor conversations get shorter. There’s a run on firewood and oatmeal and whiskey. I can't find Vienna sausage anywhere. At first I was puzzled to see neighbors putting up Christmas decoration before Thanksgiving but not turning on the lights until the day after. It’s tradition. Decorations go up while you can still move your fingers.
When talking with the Mystery Woman, people lower their voices an octave and ask in knowing tones: “How is George coping with winter?” Hey. I’m standing right here.
I’m coping just fine, thank you. And I can hardly wait until I catch my first ice fish. Ole said he would take me.