Catalog party

The nursery catalogs arrived yesterday. Today, we started affixing the mailing labels in hopes of getting the whole schmear out in the mail tomorrow. I enjoy the assembly line-like process. Cindy has it down to a science. Printing out the labels, organizing by zip code, boxing up the catalogs, filling out the forms for the bulk mailing requirements.

As for me, I just stick labels and obey orders. That didn't prevent me from knocking over a cup of coffee on about a dozen catalogs and two pages of labels. That took about ten minutes of recovery time.

Back when Grandpa owned the nursery, long before computers, there was the problem of how to address 7,000 catalogs. In typical fashion, Grandpa threw a catalog party. All the neighbors and extended family were invited. It was potluck. There was singing. Each person would address about 100 catalogs and it would be done in about two hours.

I haven't yet gotten up the gall to throw a catalog party. Grandpa could pull it off because he ran the nursery as a non-profit. He assumed that everybody in the neighborhood and the family was ready and willing to contribute their time to the noble cause. And they usually were.

THE SNOW HAS EVAPORATED over the past two days. Suddenly, the fields have gone from white to black. A thunderstorm last night helped wash away some of the white stuff. Right now, rain is pattering on the roof, an absolutely blissful sound. The ditches are full of running water, and the culverts are gushing.

There is now worry of flooding in Fargo. They have declared a flood emergency in order to speed the building of dikes. With the speed of the melt, I can see why it might be a problem.

With the melt comes nightly fog. As I drove to Mahnomen tonight to teach a class, the wet fields contrasted with the bright white of the remaining snow for some surreal scenery--made more so by the fog.

Spring has sprung, and on Tuesday the Twins play their first game of the season!

NOTE: Weblog reader Irene reports that the beautiful school pictured below is now a saddle shop.