“I’m so ready for spring!”
Have you said this, or heard someone else say this to you recently?
I have — several times in just the past couple of weeks in fact.
I suppose it might have something to do with our desire to have a “white Christmas” and then, as soon as the Epiphany passes and we take down our Christmas trees, we wish the snow would just disappear from our yards as well.
I admit I grumble when I have to shovel off the driveway and gingerly walk across ice patches in parking lots. And, the cold and the wind do get tiring after a while. I hate that my hands crack open in the winter from the cold and excessive handwashing, and that sometimes I just can’t seem to get warm, even when I’m wrapped in a blanket and snug in my home.
I could focus on the negatives of winter, but why, when there are so many positives!
The Nobles County Library is in the midst of its Winter Reading Program, and I eagerly kicked it off by reading a book by one of my favorite authors last week. The first of 12 boxes is shaded in on the bookmark I received for signing up, and while I’m not sure I’ll get a dozen books read by the end of March when the program wraps up, I will love every minute I can bury my nose in a good book — a real book, not one that requires looking at a tablet screen for hours on end.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t have a problem reading such a stack of books in three months, but my hobbies are at a tug-of-war with my time this winter. Back in December, when we had the promise of weekend snowstorms and frigid cold temperatures, I started a cross-stitch project. The picture is of an adorable snowman in a red and black plaid ear flapper cap. The project is about one-quarter done, and when I finish, I have a whole new stack of colorful needlework fabric beckoning me, thanks to a day trip a week ago to see a former needlework shop owner near Hanley Falls.
What a fun day that was!
With a couple of stops on a day trip wish list, my oldest brother, mMom and I got an early start to the day (it was -10 outside that morning) and headed north to Marshall and then a bit farther north and east to the little town of Hanley Falls.
“I won’t be long,” I said as I stepped out of the car and walked toward the needlework mecca inside this woman’s home. I’m pretty sure my mom and brother knew otherwise!
I was on a quest for some colorful hardanger fabrics — colors long discontinued by the manufacturers and increasingly difficult to find.
Just shy of an hour later I walked toward the car, a bag filled with discounted treasures and a mile-wide grin as I said “Happy Birthday to me!” (Anyone who quilts, stitches or enjoys a needlework hobby of any kind can relate, I’m sure!)
Greta Garmin helped guide us from Hanley Falls to New Ulm, where my hopes for an authentic German meal were dashed when the male in the car preferred a burger and fries to a meal that included some sort of cabbage dish. The alternate choice for lunch was delicious, and we spent a little time at one of the downtown shops that boasts merchandise direct from Germany (and Norway, Sweden and Denmark too!)
The road trip continued toward Mankato, with a stop at a German meat market at Nicollet to try some things we don’t typically find in the meat shops around here — like landjaeger. We were connecting with our German heritage. Meanwhile, that fabric I’d bought earlier in the day is for needlework that was born in the Hardanger region of Norway. My heritage may be 100 percent German, but I know there’s some Norwegian wannabe in me.
The day was absolutely delightful, and it didn’t matter what the temperature was outside. As long as the roads are clear and the sun is shining, a winter road trip is equally as good as a summer road trip.
Now, where to next?