Monday, January 24, 2011

Coldest Day of the Year...

...translates into -23F this morning as I held my breath and turned the key in my car. The girl started up, not without protest, and made her way up the hill to drop my kids off at school.

Coming back down, pillars of smoke lit from behind by the morning sun, reached fingers across the road. Beautiful.

Village cloaked in smoke.

Engines sputter, cough and groan.

Snow squeaks underfoot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Been a Week

So...I wrote this today. Thanks to Tim for being my "editor".

Seven days and seven hours ago, I was sitting in the warm office of my friend, neighbor and former employer, Pete Johnson. I joined a group of other friends, neighbors, the Johnson family, and his farm crew. We ate cookies and muffins, drank coffee, answered the phone, talked to each other and sometimes just sat quietly...all the while watching our volunteer fire department put out the smoldering remains of what was the heart of the farm.

Read the rest of it here, at the Center for an Agricultural Economy.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

It Hurts in a Good Way

Recently, I've been introduced to a team sport that requires the ability to get up after falling down on ice, swing a cleaning implement at a ball (or an opponent) and constant running, shoving and sliding.


My hands are covered in scrapes, my legs and hips have purple bruises, I am sore in places that I didn't think I had muscles and last week, I narrowly missed having my eye taken out by a wily broom-handle that got away from a player.

I love it.

Maybe it's the fact that we never played organized sports as kids (does kickball count?), or that the bloodthirsty ways of my Nordic ancestors roars to the surface when I'm on the ice or maybe that I sit at a desk all day, but there is something immeasurably satisfying about throwing my full body weight at a man, twice my size, in order to stop him from getting the goddamn ball.

For those of you in milder climates or for those who have yet to be introduced to this particular sport, consider this definition a friend found on the Wiki site::

There is no known fully accurate history of broomball. The consensus is that modern broomball originated in Canada.[citation needed] Some think it came about by trying to play ice hockey without ice skates. However, recent research indicates that a sport similar to broomball, known as knattleikr, was played in Iceland in the 10th century. The sport was almost considered warfare, with the occasional death not uncommon, and games could involve whole villages and lasted up to 14 days. Writer Hord Grimkellson reported that, in a game between Strand and Botn, that "before dusk, six of the Strand players lay dead, though none on the Botn side."[1]

Yeah. It's just like that.