Alan "Lindy" Linda, columnist
Do you want to know what a great wedding is to a guy? Do you really, really want to know? Well, stay tuned. Here it all comes. From a guy. Who just attended the wedding of his nephew. First, and most importantly, a great wedding is someone else’s other than your own. I could throw in something trite and shallow here, like: “Well, there goes another poor sucker!” No, we’re not going to do that. We know that isn’t true; even we males know that isn’t true. Marriage is a time-proven social and religious custom long cherished as a building block of humankind.
“Please hold for the next available operator/clerk/account-administrator/technician/helpfulpersonwhoknowseverythingbuttellsnothing.” Life on hold, that’s what we’re living now.
There are some really weird customs in the world. Here in the U.S.A., we don’t go in much for really far-out rituals and behaviors, although some might say giving a 16-year-old a license to get behind the wheel and direct a two-ton missile down the road a little bit “out there.” I guess right up there with “out-there” behavior is the world at large generally believing that alcohol is a good drug and the rest are not. But then, to make sure our belief system is intelligent, we tell pregnant women not to drink, two-ton operators not to drink, and no one under some age not to, also.
With all the things that have to be done now that warm weather is here, it gets a little overwhelming. It would, all things considered, be a good time to take up serious drinking. Since that doesn’t help, one must prioritize. So. First things first. There’s a pile of box elder logs out behind the shed that the neighbors at their place worked up last fall, and when they didn’t want them, I was unable to resist. After all, with the cost of btu’s approaching the cost of good whisky, a pile of wood is money in the bank. One could even call it an investment. The wood.
“Do you know we’ve been together now for five years?” said My True Love to me the other day. Now, I’m no lawyer, but on the other hand, I didn’t ride the turnip truck across the border and hang on over some pretty bumpy roads just to fall off over a leading question like that one. The look on her face told me that it was readily apparent that I should carefully consider how I should respond to such a question. OK, I wasn’t quite certain how to respond. However, she had a meaningful look on her face; an expectant look, a look that said she was looking for a special response from me.
I’m tired of winter. I’m tired of cold weather. I’m tired of firewood (which is all gone). I’m tired of snow. Snow on the roof, snow on the driveway, snow on the front step, snow on the lakes. Snow that melts. And freezes. And drifts. And comes again. And melts some more. And freezes again. Snow, it turns out, has many personalities, very few of which are admirable. Yes, watching it coming down from inside a nice warm window holds some charm. For about two minutes. Then the allure of seeing something blowing sideways heading for your driveway wears off.
Here are my last impressions of just a couple more things about my recent trip to Norway. The bread! Every grocery store has a long shelving unit laden with unsliced, pretty loaves of the most wonderful, crusty, fresh bread. Want it sliced? Every store also has a slicing machine there for that purpose. Norwegians love their bread. So did I. Clean burning diesel engine cars were everywhere, due, as I understand it, to encouragement by the government in the form of lower taxes on them and lower fuel costs at the pump.
I’m just back from a week in Norway, where My True Love and I stayed with her daughter, who is married to a Norwegian man. Here’s what was fun and memorable about Norway. It’s hilly, bordering on mountainous, and everywhere rocky and wooded. Straight roads almost do not exist. If one is straight, it’s probably a passenger rail line, and it has to be straight because those tear through the countryside at speeds in excess of 85 miles per hour. I was told that the only straight automobile road in Norway was built in the ‘40s, when the German Nazis invaded.
The origins of the words we use every day are nothing short of wonderful. The words themselves are wonderful, too, the way you suddenly see one that has been right in front of you but you never noticed before. Like the word “nincompoop.” Can there be a better sounding word for what this word describes?
It’s a sure sign that spring is coming when the seed catalogues arrive in the mail. I’m in constant contact with a local nursery about apple trees, because I’ve got so many of them growing here on the farm. I’ve been bugging the nursery lately about not stocking so many semi-dwarf-sized trees, which don’t get as tall as standard-sized trees. All apple trees for us here in the north are grafted onto various root stocks, most of them being from Russia, or Siberia, or someplace cold. The type of root stock determines how big the tree will get, or so goes the theory.