Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Springtime: Some Antics (and Semantics!)

Spring arrived in Minnesota last month and the mid-March backdrop was not a pretty sight. The landscape wakes up, bringing to mind a hung over party goer waking up after a big night out on the town. The melting snow is a runny mascara that leaves blotches of gray grass like bags under the eyes. Barren trees evoke images of unshaved chin stubble, a five o'clock (am) shadow. As one can imagine this imagery doesn't leave much to report on aside from making tabloid-fodder of the countryside's morning walk of shame.


Fortunately with the thawing of winter's snowy blanket comes the Spring floods, like a refreshing shower that washes away the dirty salt and pepper piles of plowed snow, road salt, and sand used for winter traction. The lawn's once brown and barren pallid appearance became flush and green thriving after the first rainstorm. As the temperatures heat up rural life returns to normal: farmers take to the fields, trees sprout leaves and gardens start to grow, ready to start the cycle anew.

...and after.

With the snow gone the landscape has changed, revealing new things. A recent drive to the cities unveiled a lake in the middle of what we thought was just snow coated farm land. Likewise, on my way home from work I noticed a golf course that I had driven by every day without recognizing it for what it was because of the snowdrifts atop it. Like a gopher sticking his head out from the ground after a long winter nap, we've been poking around exploring the nearby countryside making exciting discoveries (more on that another time).

Another note we've made over the Winter season are the little differences in language from home. Just as some areas of the country call carbonated beverages "soda," "pop" or even "Coke," rural Minnesota has it's own quirks and preferred word usage. For instance, at work the term "punch list" is used in place of "check list." "Dinner" is the meal you eat on your lunch break, and more often than not trash or garbage is referred to as rubbish.

In the weeks ahead we're looking forward to learning what else has thawed out and is waiting to be discovered.