top of page


Number Two spent the weekend at our house and when she got up Sunday morning, she made a request for fresh caramel rolls. I had to go to town for a few groceries for Sunday dinner, so it wasn’t a problem to swing by the coffee shop as well.

I’d been up for a while. Read the papers, tidied up the kitchen, cleaned a couple dozen eggs and let the chickens out to graze.

Or whatever it is that chickens do.

After that, I watered the plants in the greenhouse, did a little cleaning in my shop, and took out the trash.

Then I drove the ten miles to town for caramel rolls, coffees, and a couple items to replenish the larder. When I got there, I realized it was a few minutes before 9:00 and the grocery store wasn’t open yet.

I’m guessing this isn’t a problem to anyone who lives anywhere near the equator, but when the length of your daylight hours varies between 8½ hours in the winter to 15½ hours in the summer, getting your work schedule to coincide with business hours can be a little tricky.

We’re not quite there yet, but the days are clearly longer, birds are singing, and the snow is melting. It all sends me into kind of a frenzy. You need to understand – for a few decades, if I was awake, I was working. Not a problem during the hibernation months, but as soon as the snowdrifts faded away, I’d hurry through hog chores so I could drag machinery out of the mud and start replacing springs and shovels. That’s the type of work you could do wearing gloves. In fact, gloves were an asset for changing digger shovels to avoid taking divots out of the tip of your thumb when a bolt head that had worn razor sharp twisted under the socket wrench.

That previous sentence is going to puzzle some of my readers, but those of you with scars on your thumbs will grimace in sympathy.

Going through the corn planter and the grain drill was something that required a little more manual dexterity. That work waited until most of the puddles had dried up and by 10:00 a.m. your jacket was hanging someplace where you couldn’t find it the next morning. Then there were seed deliveries to oversee, fertilizer and herbicide orders to sort out, and if time permitted, manure to haul and potholes to fill in the yard.

Those days are a long way in my rear-view mirror, but this time of year when the snow is melting and spring is in the air, I have flashbacks. All the frenzy, but not much work.

Driving by the closed grocery store made me laugh, because I remembered a few years ago when one of my sisters was visiting, we had arranged an outing for mid-morning the next day. I showed up around 9:30 and she was still in her pajamas, perhaps on her first cup of tea.

She said, “I thought you said mid-morning!”

I said, “I did!”

Just a little failure in communicating, and a difference between winter scheduling and spring.

I told this story to the coffee shop owner, and she laughed out loud. Mid-morning for her isn’t 9:30 – it's closer to 8:00.

No problem. By the time I had the rolls and coffee, the store was open, and I was headed back home. I saw geese, bald eagles, swans, and a puzzled, up-too-early skunk. When I came in the door, there was a certain Sunday morning relaxed vibe in the air, and I tried to adapt to that.

But it wasn’t easy.

Copyright 2022 Brent Olson

bottom of page