I listen to A Prairie Home Companion every week. Garrison Keillor cracks me up. This past weekend he gave some advice concerning the snow storm. He cautioned against taking photographs in case one needs to adjust the story for retelling.
Some of the weather forecasters started likening this past week’s storm to the Blizzard of ‘78. Now that was memorable. Everyone knows exactly where they were during the week’s event. Along with two other young mothers and three babies, I took a road trip. The storm chased us up the eastern seaboard to a friend’s house in Maine. We were bound in her house for the duration. Snow piled up to the second floor windows. We ate our friend out of house and home since there were no trips to the supermarket. Luckily, they had a well-stocked larder!
We all left older children at home on the Vineyard with our spouses. A weatherman called Altitude Lew came on the radio with this exact announcement: “Folks, this is a storm unlike all others. It’s up in the jet stream. Why, I’d be surprised to see Martha’s Vineyard on the map tomorrow morning!!” Let me just say that caused quite a bit of anxiety concerning our homes and other children.
Finally, on the return trip through Massachusetts, we had to do some sweet-talking fabrications to convince the National Guard to let us proceed.
Anyway, last weekend’s storm didn’t quite measure up to that, but was quite a show. It took hours to loosen the veritable helmet of ice and snow encasing my car. A friend of a certain age, who shall remain nameless, said she had to climb out a window as her door was frozen shut. I would have paid good money to see that.
I had profound gratitude for my electricity. I have woodstoves, so heat is not an issue but I’m a big baby concerning my other creature comforts like well-water and lighting.
In the garden, I tried to wrestle some branches up from the ground buried under snow and ice. Remarkably, none had snapped.
Recently, I smugly mentioned leaving my geraniums in my unheated greenhouse. I remembered them wintering over one time during an unusually mild season. Well, they promptly froze to death last week. I decided to cut them to the ground, add some good soil to the top of the largest pots and replant with spinach and lettuce. It will be easier than hauling frozen fish totes in from outside and I know the greens can take the cold.
My field peas are up. I planted them very thickly in flats and put them on a 55 degree propagating mat. I will cut them to the quick at about two inches tall. They are a wonderful addition to salads. If they grow much taller they tend to be tough and need a quick sauté. I purchased a 50 pound bag of the seed several years ago. They still sprout. Isn’t nature grand?
After re-reading that last sentence, I thought about my trip up-Island on Monday. There are a considerable number of trees downed by the storm. I guess it would be nature’s way of pruning. Many of the trees were already dead as a result of moth infestations the past few summers.
I enjoyed the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. It is mandated in the United States Constitution for the President to tell the joint Congress of the state of our union. Both George Washington and John Adams gave speeches to Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose to write out his report, a practice which was followed all the way to Woodrow Wilson, who began again giving his report orally.
During the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, the opposing party began the ritual of a rebuttal to the speech. I believe Everett Dirksen responded to Lyndon B. Johnson — or was it a young Gerald Ford? Memory fails me as it often does in these matters.
On Tuesday both Marco Rubio and Tea Party darling Rand Paul offered opinions. I am restraining from tongue and pen!