Signs Of Spring… In An Unlikely Place

March 20, 2018

Most Minnesotans go through similar phases dealing with winter. As fall winds downm people ignore the impending doom by saying things like, “Well, winter’s coming . . . but I really love having different seasons. I just don’t know if I could live in a place where the weather is always the same.”* And in December, for a lot of people, the accumulating snow has a certain novelty to it and maybe it’s even a welcome part of the winter holidays.

January and February bring out Minnesotans’ more-serious coping skills. You might embrace the cold by taking up skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, or some other activity suited only for sub-freezing temperatures. A lot of people deal by escaping Minnesota for a few days to a warm-weather destination. Sometimes the only option is some serious movie-watching or a new hobby that makes spending hours and hours inside by a fire a little more tolerable. Or, if you’re really on the cutting edge of winter existence, perhaps you stumbled upon an article in recent years about hygge or lagom and you now think it’s actually cool to live in a place where -15 degrees is too warm to close schools for a day.

Then, during the worst of it, we all inevitably think: “Why do I live here, and who the hell settled here in the first place?”

Right now we’re in the final phase: “When is this sh*t going to END.” Despite rising temperatures, longer days, and daring to think of what it’s like to be outside comfortably without a jacket, the giant, stubborn piles of snow won’t melt fast enough, and the real signs of spring still seem far away.

This year we’re taking things into our own hands at the Kirwin/McGray homestead. We’ve had what seems like an ever-expanding garden the last few years and, instead of waiting until late spring to plant, we’re starting things early. If spring won’t come to us, we’ll make it ourselves.

My wonderful wife stockpiled seeds over the winter, constructed shelves, hung grow lights, and started what promises to be a huge garden full of vegetables and flowers.

Part of the growing operation


Walking into the basement bring smells of dirt, plants and humidity. It’s a welcome little sign of spring until the real thing arrives in a month or two.

Last year’s garden . . . only a few months away . . . .

*Might want to ask all those people suffering through life in southern California if they agree.