The Super Bowl occupation is over. All the stages and tents and portable toilets are finally packed up and hauled away and life can get back to normal. I am not a football fan and I had no interest in any of the stuff that went along with the spectacle. It was nothing but a giant annoyance. As I was trying to go home at the end of my work day, people were streaming into downtown. I told a friend I felt like a grumpy salmon, swimming upstream through the crowds. The trains were late, the buses were late and the weather was typical Minnesota arctic, the kind where everyone is bundled up and the only thing showing is your eyes. Days like this you want your buses and trains to be on time, but every day I got home late and not a few of them came with cold-numbed feet and hands.

But spring is on the way! In my mind at any rate. Bookman and I made paper pots this weekend and I located all the seed starting equipment. Next weekend we will set it all up and get the pepper and tomato seeds planted.

Crowding onto the only snow-free ground

The Dashwoods would really like it to be spring too. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to offer them hope. When Bookman and I were out cleaning the coop and run today we left the run door open so they could at least get a little direct sunshine. They are so desperate for a change in weather that they crowded on to the only bare patch of ground anywhere, right in front of the run door. They pecked and scratched at the frozen ground and chattered and looked at us like they were waiting for something. Maybe they thought we could somehow magic away all the snow? Or perhaps they just wanted to know where the treats were? It definitely wasn’t hard to convince them to get back in the run when we were all done with our chores.

I’ve been working out on my bike indoors all winter, hooked up to a trainer and Zwift. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I miss riding outdoors. I miss it so much I keep dreaming about it. Last night I dreamt I was riding some really great gravel roads with some monster climbs along the St Croix River and I rode all the way to the ocean! There was a lovely small marina with sailboats moored to a dock, some people in a little fishing boat, others just standing around, basking in the sun and watching the ocean waves. There was also a cute little cafe that of course had great coffee and vegan treats.

When I woke up I was both disappointed and laughing. Disappointed because I wasn’t actually riding my bike outside. Laughing because the St Croix River does not reach the ocean directly — it flows into the Mississippi — and the nearest ocean is thousands of miles away, a lot farther than I can go on a fun day ride! Reality might be one thing, but I can dream!

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