God must have a sense of humor to be able to come up with the weather patterns we've been blessed with this past couple months-must enjoy seeing people dance on the ice, feet flailing in the air and then the inevitable attempt to express an attitude of dignity upon arising.
I have to admit that those mornings where everything is coated in hoar frost against a crisp blue sky with a scattering of pure white clouds are so beautiful it almost makes the season bearable. Almost.
I love the sunny days and seeing the ice turning to slush for a while but then these cold nights re-freeze the water into a polished glaze that makes walking a hazardous undertaking. So far, we have been lucky-no one in our family or on our staff has taken a spill that required medical intervention. (Knocking on wood.) The most serious issues we've had so far are minor annoyances.
We live at the end of a gravel road. When I drive home in the afternoon, the road is mush that splashes up to decorate the exterior body and attaches itself securely to the underside of the car. Then it freezes in a mass that fills the wheel wells and, I assume, every nook and cranny of the undercarriage. I have no idea how much ice weight I'd been carrying around but, last week, I decided to go through an automated car wash to get rid of it. Useless waste of money! I mean it did take off the slush frozen on the side of the car and along the rocker panels but left the wheel wells packed and the undercarriage apparently unaffected. One drive home replaced everything I'd taken off.
Next morning, I went to Freerksen's self serve car wash in Dodge Center and used the power wand to slice the ice into chunks that could be dislodged and removed. I was honestly impressed with how securely the muddy ice had attached itself to the vehicle. I made cuts with the high pressure water that were six inches deep, and the bloody ice still wouldn't break off. I did finally manage to remove it all but was disappointed that I hadn't weighed the car before and after washing.
Ice on the house is a challenge this year, too. We have a shed dormer on the front of the house. Last year we had steel roofing installed, and we love it. However, the steel roofing doesn't hold snow and ice as the asphalt shingle did-a feature we like for the most part. The problem is that our shed dormer is right above our front door and, when show builds up on the shed dormer, the shed dormer dumps its snow onto our porch roof, creating a large pile right over our front door. That pile of snow then slides slowly down the porch roof, which is relatively flat, and accumulates right above the front step and turns to ice. Chunks of the ice slide forward and hang over the steps until their weight breaks them off and they crash to the ground, blocking our path into the house. We use great caution when passing under the protruding ice chunks because being struck by one would not be a pleasant experience. Next year, I'll be prepared for this but, for this year, I guess I'll just go ahead and let God amuse himself with me.
This is Food Shelf Month and our local food shelf is busier than ever this year. There are a lot of people, neighbors of ours, who are in need of nutritious food items for their families. Dodge County's Food Shelf is located at 20 E. Veterans Memorial Hwy, P.O. Box 36 Kasson, MN 55944. Phone is 634-4350. It is open Tuesdays and Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. You can drop off food or funds at the Food Shelf or mail financial gifts. Financial help is needed for perishable food and operating expenses.
Despite the Food Shelf's increased volume of clients, things are really looking up around our area. Manufacturing, home sales, auto sales and construction are doing well throughout our region and in most of the state. We seem to have weathered the recession better than most of the nation. Now we just have to pray for a spring thaw and some significant spring rains to get our soil ready for spring planting.
Congratulations Bears and Vikings!
Things are really busy here at the office this weekend with two of our school's boys basketball teams going to state after victories last Thursday and Friday nights. In case you didn't notice, both the Byron Bears and the Hayfield Vikings have earned a shot at the state championship. It is an exciting time for both communities.