Global cooling update

I feel kind of lousy tonight, and it’s not just because it snowed today.

I get to feeling under the weather once or twice a year. Usually a good night’s sleep has me feeling better again by the next morning. I’m rarely sick enough to take a day off work. Also I self-medicated with Chinese food tonight. I haven’t gone out to eat much for a while, due to budgetary constraints, but my body said to me, “You need Chinese food.” So after work I went to a buffet which isn’t very good, to be honest, but has the virtues of being near my home and employing an attractive hostess. When I don’t feel well, I do what my body tells me. If it doesn’t actually help, it’s at least a defensible excuse for self-indulgence.

The snow came down thick and fast this afternoon. It only did so for about fifteen minutes, and then the sky cleared again. But it was enough. Notice had been served. Our annual Siberian exile has begun.

The only man I ever knew who hated winter more than me was my dad. All his life, as he ran a Minnesota farm, he dreamed of moving to a warmer clime. Sometime in the late 1950s (I think) he began working for that dream by signing up with a Florida land development company that had a booth at the state fair. He paid ten dollars a month for a lot in the Sunshine State. People joked with him about swamp land. He smiled and joshed back, but it wasn’t really funny to him.

Through the years he paid off one lot, then another, then a third. Then he sold one lot and used the proceeds to build a house on another. The idea was that he’d rent the house out and use the money to make payments, until he was ready to retire down there.

And it came to pass, on a winter day in 1980 (I think) he paused while shoveling snow in the farmyard, tucked his frozen fingers under his armpits, and said to himself, “I own a house in Florida. Why the heck am I doing this?”

So he put his farm up for sale. This was at the peak of the agricultural real estate boom. I believe he got the highest price per acre that any farmer had ever gotten in our community (and it wasn’t that great a farm). It may have been the highest price anybody ever got, since the boom didn’t last much longer. Dad moved to Florida with a nice nest egg to finance his early retirement.

I don’t think he ever saw Minnesota in the winter again. If one of his sons had died up here during the winter, I think he’d have thought long and hard about whether to fly up for the funeral or just send a card.

10 thoughts on “Global cooling update”

  1. Lars, dude, we need to talk.

    If you’re eating crappy Chinese food partly because the hostess is cute, then you need to start kicking the marriage thing into gear.

    No excuses. Find yourself a woman. A good woman is the best remedy known to mankind for enduring a cold winter. Cures all curmudgeonly tendencies, too.

  2. Uh, I appreciate the concern. However, the words “Avoidant Personality Disorder” are operative here. Women do not like AvPD guys, on the rare occasions when we can work up the nerve to ask them out…

    Know any cheap matchmakers? I don’t mean They already disqualified me.

  3. Lars,

    If Jesus can raise the dead, I think He can deal with your AvPD.

    I don’t know anything about your condition other than what you’ve relayed on the blog. But it seems to me that you have a lot to offer someone and you’re definitely appreciative of women.

    You write about engaging other people all the time, so you can’t be THAT avoidant. People like you, too. I think all the elements are in place, you just need to think less like one of Keillor’s Norwegian Bachelor Farmers and use the gifts God’s given you to step out and meet some nice women.

    I’ve got to believe there’s some Lutheran organization up in your neck of the woods that has a decent amount of female singles in it. Or a mixed-sex writers’ group. Or some other group that would love to have an intriguing person like yourself as part of their group.

    I know so many single women down my way and not one single Christian guy to pair them up with. If what I’m seeing in my neck of the woods is any indication, the odds are definitely in your favor, no matter what your track record has been.

    Don’t give up on yourself.

  4. AMEN, Bro. God has good and perfect gifts from above for our smart, intelligent, articulate, well-read, well-versed, developed sense of humor, Christian brother. Did I mention kind? He is a catch, but like C.S. Lewis, I think the Lord will have to sneak up on Lars and surprise him with joy when he least expects it.

    “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

  5. I have to agree with all the statements made about wives, but I must disagree with their application. I believe Lars, the man, is unsuitable for public consumption. In short, he’s scary. Only Lars, the disembodied blogger, can be let out of doors. His mind and spirit can shine across paper or the internet for God’s glory and our edification, but in person? No. No, it is not meant to be.

    Throughout the Minneapolis metropolitan, mothers pull their children off the streets. Men steady themselves against large buildings, and the really big men watch their feet. Take it from me. I know. Lars is a great guy, but . . .

    (That was all in jest. I hope it was funny.) I do think Lars should submit a manuscript to an editor at a writers conference. I would be willing to contribute to the conference fee, if need be.

  6. I tend to avoid everything, and I’m married.

    I have avoid housework, avoid laundry, avoid women’s groups, avoid weird people, avoid normal people and avoid controversy syndrome.

    To many people’s dismay, I do not avoid blogs.

    Someone married me.

    (although, now that i think of it, i didn’t become ‘avoidant’ until after i married…)

    Do you ever go to ‘high school’ reinactments? Some people call these reunions. I am going to avoid my thirty year high school reinactment. My husband will go. I told him that the only person from high school I ever care to see again is him.

  7. God is the best matchmaker there is. I’m willing to leave it up to him, provided Lars is open to the possibility.

    Now that writing conference thing… I’d be willing to chip in, and promote it on my blogs. And there’s a web site called Fundable ( that lets you set up a pool for just such a purpose. (Just so you know, they charge 7% of the total; the advantage is it allows people to use a credit card or PayPal account.)

    So, as far as I can tell, we have to accomplish the following:

    1. Convince Lars to go along with this.

    2. Figure out the conference and then determine the fees (and travel amount?).

    3. Set up the mechanism to collect the funds.

    4. Help Lars pack.

    What say you?

  8. I’d think we’d need that only if the conference was expensive. How much do they cost? Would we want to look at ones with CBA editors or ABA editors?

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