Saturday, September 17, 2005

Laying in Provisions

Every Friday morning on Minnesota Public Radio they have a weather segment with a climatologist from the University of Minnesota. Part of it is an answer to a listener question. The question was what is the earliest date in the Twin Cities that there has been snow? The earliest trace amounts of snow, also known around here as flurries, fell on September 15, 1916. The earliest measurable snowfall happened on September 24, 1985. Therefore, even though it is just before 9 am and the temperature is 57 and we are expecting a high of about 76 today, it could snow at any time. It is necessary then, to lay in provisions. Because even though I've lived here for 11 years now and we've not had a blizzard in all that time, I've heard stories. I know it can happen. I must be prepared. Thankfully, Half-Price Books was having a 20% off sale. Did you think I meant stocking up on food and blankets? I already have a warm winter comforter and enough blankets to make me sweat at 20 below. As for food, as long as there is hot chocolate and coffee, bread and peanut butter I'm set. I also know that I have a lot of bookshelves filled with a lot of books, but one can never be too prepared. If I'm stuck in my house for two or three days that's a lot of reading time! And so, added to my stockpile of provisions are Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare, The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway, Interpretation and Overinterpretation by Umberto Eco, and Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford. I've not read Kadare before but I've been wanting to so I hope this is a good book to start with. I have a sort of grudge against Hemingway's machismo and have made it a point in my life to avoid reading him. But I saw part of a show the other night on PBS about Hemingway and he seemed like such a sad man that I felt a little sorry for him. I thought I'd give him a second chance. The Eco book was not something I was looking for, it just waved at me from the shelf so I obligingly took it home. As for the book on Millay, I like her poetry, have heard she had an interesting life, have spied this book a few times and passed it up, and this time finally gave in. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!