On December 8 Metro Transit added a new express
bus line to downtown Minneapolis, where I work. The northern
terminus of this bus line is about 1¼ miles from
my home. This is well within normal walking distance for me, and there are sidewalks along Rice Street, where traffic can be quite serious. So
I decided it was time to leave the car at home and do my normal commuting entirely by walking and public transportation like
mia_mcdavid and I did in Chicago until 1987. I have been doing so ever since.
This has both pros and cons:
|Normal room lighting, using flash
||No flash, room lights out, lit only by Christmas tree lights.
We got the tree from Hansen Tree Farm, driving up there and cutting it down ourselves on Sunday, December 19. We had to trudge through 17″ of snow, deep and crisp and even, but it was a fun outing.
<LiturgyGeekMode>Christmas does not begin until the evening of December 24. December 19 is during Advent.</LiturgyGeekMode>
That evening we saw this episode of Mythbusters. We laughed through all the “remedies” for keeping your Christmas tree from losing needles. From past experience with fresh cut trees we knew we would not have that problem. In fact the tree is doing very well and we do not expect any problems before we take it down on January 8 or 9 (the weekend after 12th Night/Epiphany).
The compost bucket in the kitchen was full. I had to take contents to the big compost bin, behind the shed in the back yard. However, before I could do that I had to clear a path to the bin. Picture behind cut
On classical public radio they played Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Snowflakes earlier this morning. The announcer gave the name of the piece, and then said that beginning tonight we get “‘The Invasion of the Snowflakes’, or ‘Revenge of the Snowflakes'”.
Pictures from this morning
The driveway is covered with green leaves. They froze and fell from the trees before they had a chance to change color.
At this minute clergy and worship committees at liturgical churches in this area (Twin Cities, Minnesota) are rearranging their plans for the morning: Snow is falling. I doubt there will be many outdoor Palm Sunday processions today.
Some churches may try to move their processions completely inside. How well this will work depends on the individual church. When liturgy argues with architecture, architecture always wins.
After too-long a hiatus, I am finally doing something resembling exercise again. Both Monday and today I went out for walks on the downtown Minneapolis skyway system, going from Government Center to the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall and back again. I think it is about two miles on the map, but the twists and turns of the Skyway must lengthen it considerably. I need to get a better measure of the distance I actually cover.
Because of the snowstorm I stayed inside for the entire trip on Monday, but today I ducked outside for a few blocks on the return trip. This was not too bad, even though I did not bring a coat. The cold (41oF/5oC) weather kept me moving fast.
From our host in Albert Lea this past weekend:
It’s winter in Minnesota
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below.
Oh, how I love Minnesota
When the snow’s up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I’ll hang around
I could never leave Minnesota
‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground!!