Country Scribe : Eric Bergeson's Weblog

April 20, 2006

Little Barn and Surly Clouds

The storm last night made the leaves come out. This morning, the aspen were lime green. Last night, I think there was nothing. I was going to point it out to Leo, but first thing he said this morning was that those things that hang from trees are out!

Twins 12 Angels 10

You don't win a pennant playing ugly games like this one. What a slopfest.

Statistically, the Twins' starting pitchers are now the worst in the major leagues with an ERA of 7.14. That will change, but it just shows how lucky the Twins are to be at .500 right now. They have maintained an even record although their strength has turned into their weakness.

April 19, 2006


Leo and I were discussing culture last night. One big difference he sees between Brazilian culture and northern Minnesota culture is the level of affection displayed. In Brazil, you hug and kiss when you meet others. Leo kisses his mother and father on both cheeks when they greet. Here, of course, that is not done. You're lucky to get a light hug.

At a speech this week, I hugged weblog reader Helen. She wrote me later and said it was nice to get a hug from young man--doesn't happen much when you're 87-years-old, she said. I thought at the time--well, that's an easy enough way to make people happy!

So, I was discussing this with the women at the nursery this morning before work and before Leo arrived. They unanimously agreed that Leo should feel free to hug them. Leo then walked in and hugged Mom, whereupon the women said, "Where's our hug?" and Leo went around the table and distributed hugs to all.

GOSH, things are so busy I don't have the time nor the energy to write a lot. Today I spoke at a women's gathering in McIntosh. It went fine.

On the way home, I spotted a bald eagle perched high above the road in a cottonwood. I stopped, got out, clicked the camera, but it didn't take the picture because it has to wake up first. By the time the camera awakened, the eagle had taken flight. Frustrating, although it was beautiful to watch the bird play with the wind.

TALKED WITH NEIGHBOR and fellow Twins fan Duane yesterday. We agreed that Radke has to go. He has two pitches, both of which get clobbered frequently. After tonight's debacle against the Angels, I think Lohse has to go, too. Put Liriano in the rotation. Send Radke to a nursing home. Anywhere.

Throw in Hunter, too. He's intolerable. He once again opened his big mouth, this time to bad-mouth the Twins new hitting coach. "He has nothing to teach me," Hunter said, saying he prefers to work on his hitting with Hall of Famers Tony Oliva and Paul Molitor.

Okay, that may be true, but why would you mention it to the press? Wouldn't you have the class to keep your mouth shut rather than bad-mouth a guy who's doing the best he can? Hunter fancies himself to be in the class of Oliva and Molitor. He's not. Not even close.

April 17, 2006

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.

April 16, 2006

On the water

A log in the sun is an ideal place to get the winter cold out of this turtle's bones.

A local minnow gatherer floats around on an area pond as if it is June. Another beautiful summer-like day today. Almost surreal. I remember in 1983 there were 17 inches of snow on April 17th.