Monday, March 19, 2012

If tomorrow is Spring, why is today Summer?

The calendar says that tomorrow is the official start of Spring but thanks to some unseasonably warm weather (it was officially 81 degrees here yesterday -- in the supposed frozen wasteland of Minnesota) it's been spring here for a couple weeks. While I am personally grateful for our nearly absent winter after last winter's 90"+ of snowfall and subsequent spring flooding, I am also thankful that it finally rained. Like I said, while the lack of snowfall was awesome after back-to-back brutal winters, the lack of moisture -- basically since late last August -- was a bit disconcerting. My dad is a farmer and while I haven't seen him truly worry about weather conditions since about 1993 he was openly worried about the lack of moisture.

"I've never actually seen my drainage ditch totally dry." Yeah, that was the topic of conversation as our extended family celebrated Thanksgiving at my parent's farm last year. Of course I got to see the barren drainage ditch firsthand as he insisted that we drive down through the field and look at his rather impressive bridge he had built across the now pointlessly wide open drainage ditch. "Yeah, 15 truckloads of cement and a few hundred feet of re-bar is all it took."

We peered down into the vast chasm. "The neighbor," as he pointed to the east, "came over to help me reinforce the forms. They didn't even begin to blow out."

"Yeah, but how long has it been since there was water deep enough here to make something like this stone monolith necessary? I've seen lesser bridges on state highways."

I asked and joked, totally knowing the answer already.

"With all that snow melting so fast last Spring it almost washed the whole thing out again. And it is better than the bridge over on 34 that washed out a couple years ago."

I know how it is. I grew up there. I worked on the farm. I helped pick up rocks. I helped clear 70 year-old trees which were falling into the ditch bank. I watched as my parents patched in drainage tile after losing crops to ponding water. I like to joke about things because that's where my dad and I are different. My friends joke that I am a carbon copy of my dad but I am all about coming up with the next joke. My wife knows it, my mom knows it and while my dad doesn't always laugh, he gets it too.

And maybe after our first Spring storm of the winter months (huh?) there might be some water in my dad's precious temple to modern farm drainage to necessitate his shining example of modern concrete construction but I'm guessing that it's still a bit overbuilt for a half inch of rain.

1 comment:

Jules said...

81F already? If it's that hot there now, look out for the summer. I'll pray that it cools down for you a bit. It's sort of perfect here right now. Don't really need a jacket to go out, if you wear long sleeves and maybe a scarf. Sunny for the most part and whatever snow falls, it quickly melts. I'm loving it here right now. We did have a giant dump of snow a bit ago and it did cause a bit of flooding in a few places while it melted. But really, it wasn't all that bad.