If all else fails, we can always talk Minnesota weather

Published 3:24pm Monday, March 25, 2013

It’s kind of interesting how the one topic that seems to bond most Minnesotans together is the weather. It is the one element in our lives that we can do absolutely nothing about, yet I don’t think a day goes by that a person doesn’t make some reference to it. I believe that there are about three different types of weather mentioners amongst us.

The first is the chirpy up-beat person who seems content with the weather no matter what. Talking to that person could go something like this: No.1. Sure is hot out today. Answer: I like warm weather!

No.2. The whatever person. It’s been raining for a week, and the basement is flooded. Will it ever stop? Answer: We need the moisture, no doubt, for the Ark that they’re building. Besides, it was time for new furniture in the basement anyway. “Wasn’t that your house floating by?” – Whatever!

The last one is the glass-is-half-empty person. Example: What a gorgeous day, it just doesn’t get any better than this! Answer: It’s all right now, but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow; I hate the thought of rain!

While I’m on the subject, I’d guess that most of us are really ready for spring. I can’t quite come up with that mental picture of blooming flowers and chirping robins, while we are experiencing near-record lows for this time of year. I am usually closest to the first guy that I mentioned above, because there is nothing I can do about the weather, so I may as well savor the moment.

This is the time of year when it takes a little more effort to get excited about open water fishing. It’s kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I wonder how many folks really know what that is supposed to mean. Ice fishing is pretty much done with, and open water fishing seems to be far off. I’ve thought about heading up north to the cabin to see how it survived the winter, but they’ve had so much snow up there, that I’d have a hard time getting to it. Last year, we sighted a lot of deer in that area but I have to wonder if the hard winter will hurt this year’s deer population.

There are times when I find myself thinking about spending time in the north woods, and inevitably my thoughts will always revert back to fishing. Whenever I feel the need to relax, I will think of the times that I have been sitting alone on a lake in the early morning on a nice summer day. There are times when it is so peaceful that the only sound that you may hear is that of a fish jumping or the occasional call of a distant loon. My favorite time to be on the lake is early morning with a light fog blanket masking the location of the fish, as they feed on the surface. I still get a rush of excitement whenever I hear the sound of a fish jumping out of the water; I guess that is just the kid in me telling me that it’s OK to still get excited about the whole fishing experience.

Sitting in a boat on a lake with no one around in early morning can be so quiet that it almost seems eerie. There are times like that, when you almost don’t want to move fearing that you will break the mood. Fishing out of a small boat is something that I really enjoy, but dropping anything on the floor even something as small as a split shot can almost make it sound like you’ve dropped a bowling ball.

Yes, fishing and relaxing definitely do go hand-in-hand, and as I’ve mentioned several times in the past, I don’t feel that there is anything more relaxing than watching a bobber bouncing lazily in a light breeze, while anticipating a bite. Fishing sometimes involves a little work to get to the relaxing part, but it is so well worth it.

I have to admit that I am not a huge basketball fan, except when it comes to high school basketball. When I was in high school — seems like yesterday — most games were played on Friday night. When the basketball team was out of town, the wrestling team was usually home, so I would go to the event that was home. The state basketball tournament was a big event and was usually televised, so I was able to follow the tournament on our 19-inch black-and-white Zenith TV. There was only one bracket back then, and the big school vs. small school scenario always made it interesting. The game that I remember most is 1960, the year that Edgerton won the championship. They were the smallest school to ever win a state tournament.

This year, I followed the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls’ team through the media as their season progressed. I had a chance to watch their state tournament games and the championship game was something special to behold. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that into a game in any sport. Carlie Wagner is a very gifted player who set many tournament records, but like any team sport everyone has a role and this was a total team victory. Congratulations Panthers on a great season!

Until next time, get outside and enjoy a winter walk or just take a drive in the country and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.

 Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune each Sunday.