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Snow in May

Hey kids, come on over and build a snowman! It very, very rarely fails to snow in Neihart during the last two weeks of May, and I can be pretty darn sure of that since I take those two weeks off from work, to do my Buffalo Girl planting. Usually I get anxious, annoyed, frustrated and antsy when the snow comes just when I’ve gotten all geared up for planting petunias, but this year, I’m strangely equanimious. Let it snow on my parade. Pfft.

Which is surprising, since during this time set aside for outdoor work, not only am I not planting petunias, I’m not getting my well drilled, or getting the trees limbed and topped and stacked, and getting the brush pile ready to burn or anything. I’ve been packing up books, throwing pots and trying to fix my kiln. I did walk up to the new place this morning, just to see if Tori got the drilling rig there as he said he would (he did, and I got pictures, but I still can’t seem to post them), and then I called him with the weather report, since I wasn’t sure if they’d be starting work in the snow. He said they would, but I’m not so sure.

Yesterday would have been just the day, since it was brilliantly cool, clear and just perfect for working outside (though not planting petunias because of the chill factor), which I did do. I wanted to get some of the trees that Dick had pushed over with his (cute! cute!) dozer limbed and topped and ready to become either building materials or firewood, so I threw my Huskie chainsaw in the truck and headed out. This was the first time I’d started the chainsaw since last autumn, so I knew it wouldn’t start right away, but how was I to know it would be a holy, huffing, rip-cord, choking two-cycle temper tantrum? Every two cycle engine I’ve ever encountered hates me. And I hate them right back.

It got so bad that last year – after not being able to start my weed-whacker for the 11 trillionth time – I stormed into Sears and plunked down way-too-many hundreds of dollars for a four-cycle weed whacker. I did it out of spite, and despite the fact that weed-whackers are insentient, and irregardless of any quibbling from physicists (I should know…) about the fact that quantum effects like entanglement are irrelevant on  scales other than Planck’s (bewilderingly small), that weed-whacker knew that I was acting out of spite, and it punished me. It starts all right. And then it yawns. Show it a blade of grass, and it might chop it down, or it might just tip it over, but show it a daisy stem? It reaches for a doughnut.

Back to today, though; I’ll don my goggles and my Nanuk of the North parka in a little while (the wind is driving that snow like cold, snotty little bullets that get right in your eyes, down your neck and through any natural fiber you can think of, relentlessly), and prove I’m a thoroughly naturalized Montnanan: tough, undaunted, weatherproof, steely and stupid.

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