Windy and warm

One might expect a day like today in mid-May. It is fun to have one in mid-April.

This morning, I spoke to a women's group in Bemidji. I accepted the engagement last winter assuming that things would still be slow at the nursery. They are not. I should be here now, but I can't very well cancel speeches I have agreed to give.

So, I restlessly sat through a very good lunch and squirmed as the meeting went through the its paces before they got to me. And then, as soon as I was done, I was out the door--even though there was another speaker behind me. A little rude, but it would have been torture to sit there when I knew there was business going on back home.

Called on the cell phone back to the nursery and they said it was slow. Not only was it slow, but everything was going fine and I really wasn't that needed. Typical.

By the way, it was a privilege to meet 87-year-old weblog reader Helen at the meeting. Thanks for identifying yourself, Helen!

Then back home. The semi driver bringing the seed potatoes decided not to risk getting thrown in jail over road restrictions, so Leo and I took two pickups to town to throw 2400 lbs of potatoes out of a semi. Sounded bad, turned out easy.

Windy and warm spring days seem stressful even if nothing stressful happens. I am used to fighting to get things done this time of year, and perhaps the wind adds an element of drama to the proceedings. I felt all stressed out at the end of the day, but just had to take an inventory of what was stressing me--and it was nothing. All is well. It's just that the wind was blowing. So I took a nap.

Woke up to find Leo watching a taped Twins game from last year on Fox North. Leo has really taken to baseball. I spend the evenings explaining the rules and trying to get across some of the classic baseball stories.

Like, the Steve Bartman incident with the Cubs, the infamous case of a fan who tried to catch a foul ball and ended up ruining the Cubs' World Series chances in the process.

Or, the case of the Curse of the Bambino, the belief that it was by trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 that the Red Sox brought upon themselves a curse that was only broken two years ago.

Leo got a big kick out of the Bartman deal and looked up more stories about it on the internet.

Leo studies English all evening--at least when he is not watching baseball with me. It is so interesting to see how differently he approaches his learning than Cassio. Cassio learned from experience, picked up idioms, was impatient with books and frustrated with grammar. He basically developed his own version of English which was so fun to hear that I didn't care to correct him.

Leo is studying by the book. He knows past participles. I do not. He knows past imperfect, countable nouns, all the linguistic concepts which native speakers never have to understand, even though they use the rules every day.

Both have a passion for the English language and American culture which is astonishing to me. Brazil is huge, as big as the continental United States, and with nearly 200 million people. How many people in our country are so desperate to learn Portuguese that they go work on a farm in Brazil? Obviously not many.