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April is the Cruelest Month

Laird's Blog -

Yesterday I got to watch a couple hours of the first round of the Masters Golf Tournament. While I ordinarily am not drawn to watching golf, I love the history and beauty of this particular tournament—the only major that's played on the same course every year: Augusta National.

Because the tournament was not being carried on local television (it's still hockey season up here, with the Frozen Four playing in Minneapolis for the collegiate championship—BTW our local team, the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, is in the finals again for the second year—and the Minnesota Wild have just secured a #3 seed for the upcoming NHL playoffs), I traveled with Susan to a downtown brew house (Hoops) to catch the game at the bar. While she played bridge in one room, I drank IPA on tap in another, and watched the defending champion, Sergio Garcia, melt down with a 13 on hole #15, and the unfolding drama of Tiger trying to revive his stalled career.

I also experienced an acute case of cognitive dissonance. On the television there was no mistaking the technicolor emergence of springtime in Georgia. The azaleas and dogwoods were in their full pink and white glory, and everyone was walking around in shirtsleeves. Outside, my car was parked in light snow.

This morning while fixing breakfast, I listened to NPR. A regular feature of their Friday programming includes a visit with Climatologist Mark Seeley, a University on Minnesota professor emeritus, who looked into the tea leaves and predicted below normal temperatures and above normal periods of rain and snow for the foreseeable future (which in the world of meteorology is about two weeks). I'm thinking, will the snow be totally gone by May?

I realize that the calendar says we're fully into spring, and it sure looked that way in Georgia. While the days here are definitely getting longer—just like they're supposed to—and we don't have much ice to cope with any more, no one around here is wearing shorts or tank tops just yet. Nor have any of our neighbors put away their down jackets or snow shovels. 

Down in the "warmer" southern part of the state, the Twins played their home opener in 38-degree weather yesterday. Baseball is supposed to be the game of summer, but we don't get much of that in April. A lot of locals take vacation time this month, to go somewhere warm (which is just about anywhere else), so they don't have to endure the death throes of winter. 

Sure, the sun is higher these days, but so are the expectations. April in northern Minnesota is an exercise in patience.

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