The Never-Ending Winter

Stir-crazy. [stur-krey-zee]. Adjective. 1. Restless or frantic because of confinement, routine, etc. 2. Mentally ill because of long imprisonment.

Example: I’m going to go stir-crazy if this winter doesn’t end soon.


Actually, I think I’ve already fallen off the cliff — not the mentally ill kind of stir-crazy, but the restless kind of stir-crazy.

The scene from a January blizzard.

Since before Christmas, seemingly every time I made plans to go out of town, Mother Nature stirred up some form of nastiness, whether bitter cold, snow, sleet, freezing rain or that awful, unrelenting wind.

In January, I took a couple of days off with plans to visit a needlework shop nearly three hours away. Instead, I hunkered down in the house because the windchill was minus-20.

A weekend or two later, I thought I’d squeeze the trip in on a Saturday. It snowed.

February brought more weekend weather interruptions, and a trip to Mankato was pushed into March because of Mother Nature. The trip was then cancelled entirely when I ended up with a bout of strep throat.

Finally, on March 16, I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a road trip.

(If we’re measuring wants versus needs here, I stand by my statement. For my sanity, I needed a road trip!)

I didn’t care that we were in for freezing rain and sleet that evening. It didn’t even bother me that I had to drive on a mostly rain-covered highway during the last 30 miles (ice-covered the last few miles) toward home that night.

It felt absolutely glorious to get away, even for just one day. Not even the Twin Cities traffic could spoil my fun.

This may have been picture-perfect in January, but not in April.

The only thing on my shopping list was a $3 skein of specialty thread not available at any store within a two-hour radius of Worthington. (Please don’t question my want-versus-need. My family does a fine job of that already!)

As Greta Garmin directed me from needlework shop to German restaurant, German meat market, German bakery and Norwegian import shop, I happened upon the park with the giant spoon and cherry that I’d only ever seen in photographs. I caught glimpses of Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium as I maneuvered city streets and interstate traffic, and I did it all with a smile on my face. I was free — free of snow and ice and sleet and cold — for most of a single day.

A day away does wonders for the soul.

So here it is, the first week in April, and the snow is piling up outside yet again. I’m ready for it to be over, but I am feeling a bit more content than I was a few weeks ago. My thread purchase allowed me to finish a Hardanger doily I’d been working on, and I have several more pieces that I’d like to finish before the fishing opener — 15 more pieces, to be exact. One dozen ornaments, a centerpiece, a medium-sized doily and a small-sized doily. If they’re finished by early May, it will have been the most productive winter of stitching I’ve had.

At the same time, I’ve been able to clear nearly an entire section of books from my bookshelf. Audio books checked out from the Nobles County Library and through the Plum Creek system have allowed me to keep stitching and doing the mundane household chores this winter. And because we’re doing a reading incentive program at The Globe this year, I’ve kept track of the titles.

I’m currently on book #29. Since early January.

Yes, it’s been a long winter.