Winter in Minnesota has become a routine of sorts and for years I was proud to weather the frigid blasts of snow, ice, sleet, and hibernation. As Geppetto was to Pinocchio, I am to my wood projects, and over the last few years I have become passionate about creating one of a kind pieces. My[geographic location has begun to take a turn on my perspectives and as the cold winds begin to blow I can only think of down south as the place to go.
Springtime opens the doors to my shop like buds opening to a new life. Winter’s ability to prune back activities and opportunities has got my attention since my interests and passions center around three other seasons. But, every year the tilt of Earth brings about a change so warming that I leave the Winter blues well behind. And, right now, I am stuck inside of Fridley with the longing for wood chips, sawdust and short-sleeved shirts. It is the first time I have considered moving south just far enough for a extended fall and earlier spring. Missouri? Colorado? Maybe a tossed dart could be more specific but I am mostly surprised that I have even brought this idea to attention. I am a true Minnesotan. Born and raised Minnesotan and thought I would never sway away until the collision of passions with the Northwest winds of November came calling.
3 years ago I installed a 750 cfm heater in my shop. this can stoke up the place enough to bring back the speedo swimsuit. But, lets not go there. I have insulated and finished off the walls and ceiling with tongue and groove Pine. The vaulted ceiling levels off at 11 feet displaying numerous recessed lights and speakers. So why not just fire up the heater and break out the Speedos? Well, because that swimwear would surely get more attention than my shop itself. Actually, a shop heater should only bring up the temperature 40 degrees to be practical. Minnesota offers little support for my desires with old man winter calling the shots. The bottom line comes down to the fact that I have left the garage door intact on my shop as it offers a nice access to the driveway which I use quite frequently during the 3 other seasons. Garage doors are like giant heat exchangers and I am surprised the wildlife doesn’t just hang out in front of my shop where I am sure the temp is 20 degrees warmer than back in the woods. Then again, closing in too tight leads to problems involving sawdust, fumes, and maintaining a healthy shop environment. That is my number one priority. No, it is not the Speedo.
Inspired by the high quality wood working by the Amish and early Americans, I have tackled projects that make sense and practicality. You won’t find frilly and over the top decor being put into my wood working. What you will find is strength, physics, and awesome lines. I have seen some Frank Lloyd Wright works and have admired his ability and belief of natural transitions. Which to me means no need for trim work–the continuous flow creates a non-interrupting visual and feel of continuity. That is what I got from his artwork.
I wrote that about a month or two ago when requested to write about snow, woodworking, computers, and at the moment I can’t recall much more. I am sure I covered it all; however, Winter is not over. Today is the last day of Winter and so it is fitting that I end my complaining as Spring is about to bounce into the picture. Melting snow droplets pitter-pattering off the eves and onto the Earth which is not yet ready to gulp up the moisture for the grounds are still full of frost while Frosty, too, melts slowly down to the ground. The snow cocoon sheds slowly revealing the dormant grasses connecting the bushes and trees into a seemingly lifeless dull raw sienna scene without hope or bother. My years tell me differently as soon buds, bulbs, and seeds will soon be sprouting into the picture splashing colors amongst tomorrows composting and creatures will join in the festivities scouring about engaged in their instinctual routines without hesitation or wonder. The code has been written and the programs run on and on. Seasons are changing and that will never change.
Through time’s lessons and the trappings of experience my ways have to been changing. I now know the realities of this ever changing world that I am embedded upon physically. Yet, as the daisies do come back again so does my wonder. So does my wit. Though I never thought my wit would leave, not for a minute, but Winter has a way with me like no other Winter before has captured my attention. Why did I give Winter so much power to affect my resolve to the changes it brought to my realities? Is age a factor? Oh, no. Am I just too focused on one avenue? Am I not capable of clearing my path for my self-benefitting ways that drive that I ride seems stuck in the snow covered opportunities that I blindly miss now and then. Shifting from thought to thought to interests to hobbies to anything that fills the void of what is not Winter. That, my friend, is the confusion that stops me in my tracks like a deer in the headlights. Snow-Blind, bright light, endless nights of cold bitter hibernation while eyes wide open. Choices? Self-Determination? Depression building? Why not? Like 6 more inches of falling snow to clean the slate on the natures canvas just when change was becoming ever changing and my mind was rising to the occasion of Spring. I lay down in the soft Earth covering spreading my arms and legs out wide. As wide as my limbs can reach and I begin to move them through the snow like wings and rudders of a bird or boat trying to stay afloat in the sky or sea but anywhere but here in the grasps of Winter delusion. Rising from my imprint I see a snow angel in the snow and think to myself, “The snow melting water droplets pitter-pattering is like mother natures clock ticking away at this Winter dismay. Spring oh dose of Spring erase away the memories of old like the composts of the Earth and the fruits of thought in my mind soon picking daisies will fill the time.
Oh look, it’s slipping away, Winter go bye-bye and I’ll be on my way. Thanks, Snow Angel, Winter almost had it’s way.