The Long Line

Spring is here



Time for summer bucket lists

Spring is here, or so they say. The calendar states that it arrived on March 20th, the Vernal Equinox, whatever that is. I am skeptical though, and am wondering what happened to it. Maybe it’s some secret government experiment or something that we know nothing about. I sure don’t see spring. Old Man Winter has been one crabby curmudgeon this year. He is not giving us a break – at all. I saw a meme on Facebook last week that read, “They don’t know about second winter.” You know, maybe there is some truth to this whole second winter thing? We are skipping right to summer.

In a desperate effort to get outside, we took a road trip last week up the North Shore and visited Gooseberry Falls. An interesting perspective of the falls compared to summer or fall. We spent a lot of time trying not to fall while climbing all over the ice. We ended the day warming up with big slices of pie at Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors. It was fun, but I think I still cursed winter a few times that day. It may have been a half-hearted attempt to get outside.



Minnesota Fishing Opener 2018 is just a matter of weeks away. I am beginning to hear people in the grocery store talking about how they doubt the lakes will open up by then. And that, my folks, is probably true, unfortunately. I almost went ice fishing this weekend, but decided to wait until next week. That will be mid-April. It just may be the latest date I have been out ice fishing.

Spring ice fishing is normally everyone’s favorite because you can sit outside without a shelter and bask in the sun. Not this year! If I was out today, I’d be dressed for below zero weather. Stay tuned. I have not packed my ice fishing gear away just yet. I might have it in me to do one more trip.

This morning I woke to the sound of the wind rattling at my window. My first thought was, “It sounds like a winter storm.” Sure enough, for like the millionth time this winter I trudged out to my jeep and had to clear the snow off. I had already received an early morning text warning me to drive carefully because the roads were bad.

My frustration level rose as I put the jeep into 4WD and white knuckled it on the highway to work. I am pretty sure there have been several years when I have been kayaking around this time. No wonder I have been shopping on Amazon a lot lately. There’s nothing else to do. My third swimsuit has arrived this week in the mail, and there are a few sundresses awaiting purchase in my cart. It’s all about thinking summer thoughts.

There was a moment yesterday when I briefly wondered what would happen if we still had snow in June or July. I am dead serious! Oh my goodness, what if it did actually happen? Have you ever thought about that?

I imagined myself bundled up in my Ice Armor pants and jacket; boots and gloves and crammed into my little kayak like a sardine in mid-June. Surely I could find open water somewhere. Perhaps Silver Lake? I wondered if my life vest would fit over my heavy jacket. Would I actually attempt it? Probably.

Everyone says you just need to dress for the weather when you go outside. Instead of swimming in the lake, I could ski across it. Instead of a bonfire on a hot summer night, I would be bundled up in front of it, with hot chocolate in hand. The 4th of July would call for a picnic inside by the fireplace and watching the fireworks from inside the car with the heat on high. There’s a possibility it could happen – right? Just think, at least there would be no mosquitoes! Maybe by August the warmer temps will arrive just in time to enjoy fall for a little while.

So, I obviously let my imagination run a little too wild. That was just a joke. It kind of made me feel a little better about the weather outside, because surely that is not going to happen. I began to stop focusing on winter, and instead directed my thoughts toward summer. I decided it would be a great time to make my summer bucket list.

Last year I was able to accomplish several items on the list, but not all. And that is ok, because it is important to just dream. Especially when it is April and the weather stinks, to say the least. Seriously, do you want to build a snowman? No! I’d rather make a summer bucket list.

It is important for your sanity when you live in Northern Minnesota to look to the future and warmer weather. What is a summer bucket list? I’m positive the term “bucket list” must go back before the 2007 hit movie, The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. If you have not seen it, you need to. The movie is about two terminally ill men who escape the hospital and head off on a road trip to cross off items on their wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.”

My list this summer is a little different than last year. Last summer I had some pretty lofty goals. This summer my big goal is to take a trip to Canada to go musky fishing. I am so excited to catch my first musky. However, some of the things on my summer bucket list this year are pretty simple. I am not feeling super extravagant when it comes to summer this year. For the most part I hope to enjoy the simple summer things that I love about Minnesota with the people I love. So what is on my list? Here are a few things:

• Kayak on some new rivers and lakes
• Stand-up paddleboard
• Float out on the lake on one of those

floats that look like a giant piece of
pizza or something
• Sit on the dock and watch the sunset
• Go to the shack
• Build bonfires
• Listen to the loons
• Cook over an open fire
• Stargaze
• Catch fireflies
• Learn as much as I can about fishing
that I don’t already know
• Fish from the dock or shore (one of my
favorite things to do)
• Pick blueberries
• Plant an herb garden (I accomplished
this last year!)
• Hammock camp
• Take a road trip
• Go bike riding
• Go hiking
• Go antiquing
• Take the time to read books
• Write more
• Expand my photography skills
• Plan my trip to Mexico next winter (ha

Dear Summer, I miss you

By Katlyn Orthman

Summer, my missed friend I’m waiting for winter to end I miss your rays As you smile bright I miss the warm days As I lay beneath your light I miss the laugher you filled me with I miss the leaves that flood the trees I miss the breeze that I snuggled in And the happiness you granted me I miss the trips to the lake And the days spent with my friends I miss the way the sun would shake And made the day seem like it would never end I miss the gentle winds at night And how I comfortably sat beneath the stars I miss the summers moonlight As I lay on the hood of the car I miss the water wars I would fight And the bonfires we sat around I miss the summer landscape sight And the heat of the ground So dear summer please come quick My soul is in need of your warmth Your warm smiles so thick I will openly absorb

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