Monday, May 30, 2011

Complaining about summer before it arrives (technically)

After a day in the country, I am exhausted.  Well, technically it was not really a whole day if you want to be specific.  We didn't hit the road until about 10 thanks to the female sector of the family and our insatiable need for coffee.  Let's just say that by most measures, the majority of my daylight hours were consumed with a family trip out to dear old Brooten.  Again, technically we did not go into Brooten proper.  We were out at Big Grove Lutheran, the old family farm and then to the Red Onion drive-in in Belgrade.  Hm.

Anyway.  When we left Edina this morning the weather was not too promising.  Before we even got onto the freeway we had gone from light drizzle to hail.  However, once we got going, the precipitation let up and over the course of the next two hours, the car's temperature gauge moved from 63 to 80 degrees.  To be clear, I would have been perfectly satisfied with a final temperature of 70-75.

Two hours in the car really isn't that bad in most situations.  Two hours in the car with three dogs is a different experience.  Thankfully we all made it in one piece with no puppy vomiting.

Our first stop was the church.  After visiting the graves of our loved ones and placing a large tub of daisies by my brother's headstone, we pushed our way through the wind to enjoy some traditional Lutheran church basement luncheon food.  We encountered many relatives and spoke to nearly all of them.

After the church, we went out to the farmstead to check out the potential water damage.  I won't go into detail, but it was a bit depressing.  Normally when my parents go out to the farm, they expect to get work done.  Normally my parents arrange to have me stay back home with all the dogs when they do this.  As I was with for this outing, I became the de facto dog minder.

First of all, minding the dogs is not a problem.  Sure, they have to be leashed the entire time we are out there.  Sure, I have to be careful not to let them eat or roll in anything suspicious or manure-like.  But really, they don't require entertainment and conversation, so it's not that bad.

Keeping this in mind, I must add that although it was quite windy and about 80-85 degrees, there was a great deal of humidity in the air as well.  This rendered the duty of standing with three retractable leashes attached to three constantly moving canines a bit less pleasant.  People, it was HOT.  There was nowhere to go to cool down and my parents were in the house with the keys to the only possible source of air conditioning:  the car.

After what felt like hours but was only probably 20 minutes, my parents emerged and we readied our exit.  We had made contact with my industrious 13 year-old cousin Ben who was driving the tractor back and forth to his father in the field.  Oh, and the trailer attached to the tractor was loaded with manure.  Oh, and he was loading this trailer himself with the skidloader.  While constantly minding his new lab puppy, Rudy.  Did I mention that the kid is industrious?  Way tougher than me for sure.

Once we got back into air conditioning, no one was quite willing to leave it.  We ate our Red Onion food in the car and got on our way home.  Now we are back and I am packing up to take my pup back up home with me for the night.

I should also mention that our neighbor called my mother this morning to tell her that the coyote was in our front yard.  I think that the time for action may be upon us.  Who does one call for this?  The police?  Animal control?  Time for Google, methinks.

I shall now endeavor to drive home and hope that Memorial Day weekend traffic going OUT of the metro is not bad.  I am pretty sure that I did not leave the air conditioning on at my house, so I am also hoping that I do not arrive home to humid and jungle-like conditions.  Ah, summer in Minnesota!

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