Happy Saint Patrick’s… Waitaminute


Despite my promise, I found myself aboard a flight to Minnesota in early March. I was returning to visit Sarah, my family, and all those friends who had crawled into their winter caves to tough out the endless barren wastes of the northern tundra.


The snow and cold had come too swiftly for plowing, and then lain nearly twenty feet deep since December. I watched blankness slowly be replaced by the tops of trees and houses, points and tufts poking through thirty foot drifts to squint at the grey sky. As we approached our runway, I spotted polar bears trotting across the solid ice of the Mississippi in lazy pursuit of playful penguins. The runway was merely lines spray painted on a flat area between snowdrifts. We touched down and fishtailed a little before the chains bit into the snow and we straightened out. The pilot wasn’t sure where the terminal was since it was too deeply buried, but the flight attendants threw out a rope ladder into a hole in the snow demarcated by flares. The hole led to a tunnel which brought us to an ice cavern, where we loaded onto sledges pulled by pure white snow oxen.

“Heeyah!” the teamster called, and not an hour passed before we had pulled around to the front of the terminal. Sarah, Stan, and Noah were waiting there, and after many hugs, they loaded me into Sarah’s car. My frozen ear broke off, but it has since been reattached, and that, indeed, is a story for another time.

Okay, some people seem to like photographs, so here we go.

My mother

Sarah and me

Sarah, the Keathlys, and me

Dani, her wife Zach, Sarah, and me

Elise, Ian, Sarah, and me (with beard touching)

One more with my mom and John and Noah and Sarah and me

I am a total ham, and these photographs were taken all within approximately ten minutes on the last day.

6 Responses to “Happy Saint Patrick’s… Waitaminute ”

  1. You forgot about the Yeti!

  2. We took the sleigh runners off just in time for more snow and freezing rain! Isn’t that always the case!?! We did promise the postman that we won’t remove the guide rope on the street until the end of April. Don’t want to use him like we did the last two.

  3. My, my, you do exaggerate. The drifts were 20 feet, tops.

  4. Wait, didn’t you take part in the time-honored Minnesota ritual of catching a baby seal and eating its still-beating heart to ward off the snow demons? Jeez, way to forget your roots, California boy.

  5. Oh, Chandler, you can’t trick me: I haven’t forgotten that seals only live in Antarctica!

  6. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but you hugged me so hard, my head popped off my body. John had one heck of a time reattaching it after you left. I don’t think he did it correctly, because every now and then it spins 360 degrees and sometimes gets stuck facing backwards, and then John has to get out the biggest wrench we own to turn it facing forward again.

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