Don’t you hate it when the weather forecast was right?

Published 6:46 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I bought a new snow shovel this winter.

I’ll bet a lot of people wore out their old shovels and had to buy new ones.

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I bought the best shovel there is. It cost me plenty.

That must have hurt a cheap guy like you.

No, nothing is too good for my wife.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: I’d forgotten to shake the bottle. I got mustard water on my sandwich. Ewww, gross!

More winter. Ewwww, gross! Don’t you hate it when the weather forecast was right? I tried walking over the gigantic snowbank that had become my yard. I used my big feet. I should have used snowshoes. In my mind, I heard Carole King sing, “I feel the earth move under my feet.” I sank deep into the snow. I wasn’t surprised. I’m a season ticket holder to winter.

Winter is no secret. Yet, in a darkness broken only by the dim light of the car’s dome light, I’d searched unsuccessfully for a rogue ice scraper. I did my best. I couldn’t believe my incompetence as a veteran of many winters. At least I had 15 ice scrapers at home in ready reserve.

Fingernails and an expired membership card were employed as ice removers. The car warmed and cleared the windshield, but it was an epic battle.

The next day in natural light, I found four ice scrapers in the vehicle.

Paul Simon sang, “Gazing from my window to the streets below on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. I am a rock, I am an island.”

It’s a good song. Not as good as his, “If you’ll be my bodyguard. I can be your long-lost pal. I can call you Betty. And Betty when you call me. You can call me Al. Call me Al.”

I serve on a board with someone who was headed to work one morning, backed her car out of the garage, closed the garage door with her garage door opener, which doubles as a garage door closer, and then discovered her vehicle couldn’t move. It was stuck firmly in the driveway. She found herself in winter’s grip. Her vehicle was an island.

You live and work in a small town if you never leave early to beat the traffic.

Stan Timmerman of New Richland added to the list of “you know you live in a small town when” by telling me the story of a local priest who asked a young couple why they had picked the date for their wedding before checking with the church. It was because that date was when the American Legion was available. Once the wedding dance was arranged, they could get on with planning the wedding.

Al Batt’s brain cramps

By the time you learn what life is all about, it’s almost over.

A smart man is one who is seldom dumber than necessary.

No one has enough money. Not even those people with too much money.

We always get colds at the worst times because there are no good times to get a cold.

New clothes become dirty easier and faster than old clothes.

Nature notes

I bunked where there were no horizons. There were trees instead. I saw a black-billed magpie outside Bagley. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one of the behaviors of magpies is the supposed “funeral.” When a magpie discovers a dead magpie, it calls loudly to attract other magpies. The gathering of noisy magpies may last for 10 to 15 minutes before the birds disperse. The sight of this beautiful bird caused me to listen to Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie.”

I visited a friend’s place near Bagley where flying squirrels visit the feeders each night and pine grosbeaks dine each day. I saw a dark morph rough-legged hawk near Eagle Lake. The dark plumage contrasted with the pale flight feathers making for two-toned underwings. The lovely raptor appeared to be in black-and-white.

At home, I think I’m seeing more bald eagles this year than before. Goldfinch numbers are increasing. I watched as crows hectored a perched great horned owl. That owl was zygodactyl. That means that its feet have two forward-facing toes and two-backward facing toes. Most owls, woodpeckers and parrots have this arrangement. I heard a cheeseburger call made by black-capped chickadee during a snowstorm.

Like an Ibsen play, winter is a great disturber. Yet the house sparrows chirp merrily in the snow.

Meeting adjourned

Kind words echo from many mouths.