When all else fails one can always talk about the weather, whether we can do anything about it or not.
Do you think the day will come when we will have some control of the weather? It would be nice to think that we could alleviate some of the natural disasters that raise havoc with so many unfortunate individuals, businesses and organizations. But would we try to take it one step further and selfishly use it to our advantage? We laughingly say, “At least that’s one area the government hasn't been able to mess up yet.”
Think it isn't possible? I don't know. There are a lot of things that have become possible we never would have dreamed of once upon a time.
I won't even go into the modern miracles, though I don't think of myself as being "that old." I'll leave it to the young people to understand the quirks and parts of electronic mysteries. It baffles my mind to think you can put a little box to your ear and talk or listen to people miles and miles away.
My only concern is that there are side effects to even good things, and we seem to misuse them along the way. Some things gained, some things lost.
I admire people who keep an eye on the weather, who journal the weather every day. Others don't journal but know when to expect unfavorable weather because they "feel it in their bones." Still others believe in planting and harvesting by the moon, the effects of a thunderstorm out of season and what effect it will have on the next season.
Those are things old timers would go by before we had weather men and weather machines. But despite all our knowledge we still have weather we didn't expect, and it "hits or misses" us just the same.
The beautiful snowfall we had for the Christmas holiday was something to behold, even though we stomp through and blow and throw snow around. I watched a group of kids in Geneva build a terrific snowman. Snow can be fun, or it is not?
Cold weather is something else. It was 22 below, with 55 below windchill, in the local area on Monday morning, Jan. 6. What can one really do then?
Is there anything fresher than the not-always-welcome cold air that comes with it? It makes the air feel clean and sharp, as well as easier to breath (well not always).
In Minnesota we expect "cool" moments, which to someone from elsewhere might be anything above zero. But the cold weather that arrived that first weekend in January could well be described using that old saying, "When H _ _ _ freezes over." When the governor says "No School" because of the cold weather for the first time in 17 years, IT IS COLD.
Do the kids say, "Hurray! No school today!" – or do they wear a bored look and reach for their cell phones to share their misery with friends? With sports called off, do the kids rest or do they find something to keep them in shape?
Staying close to family and friends in cold weather, is the basis of a lot of memories of "when I was a kid," like heat generated by splitting wood for an old wood burning stove, flannel sheets, long underwear, face masks and something warmer and drier on one's feet than "tennis shoes." Styles change, but a good over-the-ear cap or helmet, warm gloves and a warm scarf come in handy. It also brings out parent advice of "Do you have a blanket or snowmobile suit in the car in case you have trouble along the way?"
Cooks think soup, chili, hot chocolate, coffee or tea to help “warm the insides" – as if that makes the outside not seem so cold.
Wrapping up in a warm comforter, quilt, or fuzzy blanket with a good book and an attitude for comfort can ease the stress as you try not to think of frozen water pipes, a vehicle that won't start or a trip not taken because it is too cold.
Businesses and school officials, along with the general public, had to change schedules, so as not to put people in danger by just being "out and about." Of course there are always those who brave the weather just to prove they can, especially if they boast of having Scandinavian blood that “may curdle but never freezes.”
There are jobs to consider and people who "have to be" some place at a certain time because …
In all seriousness, the weather can be a threat to those who have little or no control over their circumstances. Frozen ears, feet and bodies happen and it is more than sad, it is tragic. Hypothermia is serious. People really do need to be careful.
Deviation from a normal schedule can put people into a lot of last minute decisions, like where do the kids go when there is no school? A parent at home becomes the baby sitter, teacher, or professional dealmaker or breaker, thinking up things for the kids, who may be extra revved up from snacking on sugar treats, and "what can we do now" may be replaced by television, which may offer programming of less than acceptable viewing.
The sun can come out, making a mockery of the cold. It looks like it could be warm, but it isn't. It is just bright and beautiful, if you are inside where it is nice and warm.
We do know that eventually it will warm up. Just think how we would appreciate a little of this "cool" on a very hot summer day. I couldn't help but laugh when my computer "spam" carried an advertisement for air conditioning. Yeah, I thought somebody was thinking ahead of the time, they haven't been outside or they warmed up on too much "sauce" at the liquor store.
You be the judge. Some people will say the deep freeze was the result of "global warming." Who am I to say? Akk I know is it was just plain COLD!
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.
This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:
• Thursday, Jan. 16: Carter Howard Hanson, Kiley Beenken, Craig Bailey, Remi Wayne, Joshua Crabtree, Joni Groth, Jeff Kaplan, Tracy Tracy, Melissa Wagner, Emily Bedker, Tena Bryce, Jeremy Anderson
• Friday, Jan. 17: Ava Elizabeth Schember, her 6th; Blake Michael Born/Norday, Don Anderson, Jan Bartsch, Annette Busho, LuAnn Johnson Prescher, David Strenge, Mike Peterson, Brayden Broitzman, Kayley Camerer
• Saturday, Jan. 18: Madilyn Hamilton, Deb Bohnoff, Todd Holland, Julie Bunn Hunt, Annie Miller, Tabatha Miller, Mark Misgen, Vicki Babb, Ruth Neidermeier, Garret Schley & Ellie Schley
• Sunday, Jan. 19: Brian Wayne, Laura (Otterson) Ortiz, Dennis Grunwald, Steve Jon Christensen, Barb Wayne Heyer, Kent Johnson, Thomas Kasper, Francis Misgen, Peter Spande, Dick Ewing, Dick & Laurie Swift
• Monday, Jan. 20: Brentson Lange, Jim Krause, Marc Nelson, Jenna Nicole Cooper, Pastor Alvin Cooper, Anthony Thostenson, Alicia Lizaazo,
• Tuesday, Jan. 21: Cooper Routh, his 4th, Joshua Dobberstien and Gerald Wobshcall
• Wednesday, Jan. 22: Reese Hendrickson, Taylor Lunning, Christian Sletten, Tom Haried, Lyle Shaunce, Barbara Van Gorkom, Jeff Miller, Heather Sargent
• Thursday, Jan. 23: Eugene Worke, "Emeritus" Bob Hanson, Eugene Cornelius, Rodney Sorenson, Dean Broitzman, Garnet Folie, Jeff Miller, Chris Paulson
• Friday, Jan. 24: Morgan Sophia Luhring, her 9th; Renee Polzin, Greg Menefee, Mary Cunningham, Trevor Tracy
• Saturday, Jan. 25: Calvin Thomas VanderStoep, his 5th; Sophia Mabel Olivia Mrotz, Max Thomas Powers Brekke, his 7th; Emma Meiners, her 6th; Paula Olson, Vernon Simonson, Lana Thompsen, Troy Phagan, Ladawn Hatch
May your special day be a happy memory and tomorrow a bright new promise.