Early Tuesday morning, February 2, 2016, Genie got an e-mail message from a relative living in Clear Lake, Iowa. It read, “Great things are happening in Iowa – Trump got Trumped, the groundhog didn't see his shadow (thus, no six more weeks of winter – making for an early spring).”
By the way, gas is always 10¢ to 20¢ per gallon cheaper in Iowa than Minnesota. We will let you know when the Barrel Drive-in is opening – come on down, the chicken dinner is on us at the Barrel.
We live on a street that runs east and west in Albert Lea. Arlene Murray lives on a street that runs east and west in Albert Lea. Both homes are on the north side of the street laid out such that we can see the front side of her garage and she can see the back side of our garage. Over the years Arlene and Genie have developed their own definition of a blizzard: “When one can’t see the other’s garage because of snow and wind.” Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 2016 met their definition of a blizzard.
On February 2, 2016, Genie and I were glad we’re members of NOS-SIC (Norwegians Over Seventy Stay Inside Club). We did just what the eligibility requirements are: either be a Norwegian or know a Norwegian and stay inside for at least 24 consecutive hours during severe weather. (The severity was up to 40 mph winds and a grand total of seven inches of snow. My Norwegian summarization of the blizzard was “UFF DA!”
I am not a go-to-the-movies fan. Genie wanted to go to Star Wars but I wasn’t interested. Genie dangled the carrot by saying she would pay the admission fee. Being a cheap Norwegian I said, “Okay, I’ll go.” We went to Star Wars Number Seven (I hadn’t seen any of the previous six) at the Flame Theatre in Wells, Minnesota on a Sunday afternoon. As we were driving into Wells, Genie asked me to buy each of us a box of buttered popcorn as she had been told it was really good. I said okay, seeing as how she was paying to get in.
As we enter, a man and a younger lady are right behind us, so I hold the door for them. As they enter he says, “I’ll get the door on the way out.” Genie buys the tickets, $3 for each, and I buy the buttered box of popcorn, $4 for each box. (Once again, Genie proved her ability of bargain buying.)
Genie and I proceed on into the theatre and sit in two seats at the end of a row. The man and young lady sit right behind us and strike up a conversation. They introduce themselves – he is a farmer just outside of Wells and she is his daughter (an employee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester).
The movie starts and Genie helps me catch on. (The wrap-around sound effects were excellent.)
The movie ends and we visit some more on the way out. As we get to the door, the dad says “my turn” and holds the door for us.
As we leave he says, “The Force be with you.” ‘Twas then I knew farmer Rick Feist was a member of the Wells “Minnesota Nice Club.”
Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.