LAKE MACBRIDE— We had just made it home from dinner at a relative’s home when the wind picked up. We timed the visit so as to return before yesterday’s storm. When we got in, the windows rattled while a neighbor’s wind chimes clanged in the stiff breeze. Snow blew all night, covering our tire tracks leading to the garage. “Blizzard conditions, strong winds and life-threatening wind chill values (were) all possible in Iowa on Sunday,” according to the National Weather Service. This morning, the wind has died down, leaving temperatures below zero and the driveway to shovel.
Two new paying jobs are in the works. I am officially a newspaper correspondent. The publisher gave me a couple of story assignments on a trial basis. There is a school board meeting in the county seat tomorrow, and a city council meeting the following week. I’m to write a brief article about the events for publication in our local papers. Saturday morning I spent an hour training with one of the editors, talking about process and expectations. I’m looking forward to the challenges of a new form of writing. As she said Saturday, the pay is pocket change.
The other new job is as a shift supervisor at a warehouse club in Coralville. I will be part of a three-person management team for a company that does in-store product demonstrations. It has been a very social job, comprised of constant interaction with retail shoppers. I enjoyed that aspect of the work during my first week’s training. With the new work, about 85 percent of the year’s expenses are funded, which means the hunt for more paying work will continue.
Final news of the weekend is the seed packets arrived on Saturday. By my grandmother’s oral tradition, the time to plant “Belgian lettuce” is March 2, so there is plenty of time to write a plan for the garden. Last year, the ground was still frozen on March 2, and with the crazy weather we have been having during recent years, I won’t predict. As soon as the ground is workable, I’ll plant the remainder of last year’s lettuce seeds in a tribute to Grandmother.
I bought celery seeds, and am looking forward to the experiment in growing this vegetable. There are also a lot of carrot seeds, seven varieties of tomatoes, six varieties of peppers, and much more. I have worked a garden of some kind every year since our wedding. This year’s garden is expected to be another layer of refinement in a process that has developed steadily over more than 30 years. I’m looking forward to setting up the table near the south-facing window to start seeds indoors again. Simply put, there is hope on Monday, after the storm.