The boys and I headed to Florida at the end of February, Keith held down the fort. Our vacation was too short, as all vacations are. We visited with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We ate, enjoyed the sunshine, played on the beach, ate more, swam, laughed, played tourist, ate even more, and finished our vacation at Universal Studios. Because we were driving (I love driving trips), we had to watch the weather very carefully. Keith, my dad, and the Weather Channel kept us posted on an ice storm consuming the midwest.
On our way through Georgia we stopped at a rest area to view the live weather radar. Standing in front of the screen was a very tan gentleman. He was shaking his head, despondent.
“Headed back north?” I asked.
“Look at all the pink and white on this weather map! It’s sad, isn’t it?” I commented.
“On the bright side, spring is just around the corner.” I tried to sound enthusiastic, I really wanted to head back south.
Giving me a sideways glance he said, “I spent a month in Florida. Everyday I went fishing. Each morning I got up, grabbed my pole, put on flip flops, packed a cooler, and tackle box. From the beach I’d cast my line and sit in my chair. I fished nearly naked. Now I am headed back to northern Minnesota. Do you see all the white on the radar? That’s where I’m headed. Back to the white.” Tears welled in his eyes. “Do you know how I’ll fish when I get back home?”
I shook my head from side to side.
“I’ll get up, put on long johns, two pairs of socks, pants, two shirts, down jacket, coveralls, gloves, hat, boots. I’ll grab a bucket, auger, tip-ups, and get into my truck, which I’ll have warmed up for ten minutes. I’ll drive onto the ice. I’ll drill a hole, sit on a bucket, skim ice from the hole. I’ll blow warm breath onto my frozen hands. Then I'll wait for a damned fish!” He was becoming animated so the boys and I slowly inched our way towards the door. With every syllable he pointed to Minnesota on the map. “I - am - going - back - there!” He shouted, “I am going home... to that massive front of white! Why? Why am I going back?”
As we got to the door I turned and said, “Your going back home to be with family and friends. I started running and then I called out, “You know, misery loves company!” For all I know he’s still staring at that map, waiting for all traces of white to disappear.
©Glenda Plozay, Forest Hill Farm Products,LLC