A Year of Morning Thanks
After buttoning up his coat, the snow cracking beneath our feet as we left the restaurant, my son-in-law, born and reared in Southern Cal, admitted last night, that he'd been thinking a ton about home. We got two inches of snow the day before, snow no one wanted, and even though it sweetly covered the "farch" look all around us--all that old snow like dead sheep, poet Jim Heynen says--no one thought new fallen snow worth a poem. It wasn't pretty. In November, maybe. In March, no way. I've got to change the pic and the note on this website--"Winter is upon us"--because there is, at least to my notion, a spot of sweetness in the line.
It's March, and winter isn't so much upon us as it still here and can't find the blasted door, dang it. The whole time I shovelled snow I was mad. I dare bet there are sidewalks all over town that haven't been touched--people aren't lazy; we're all just ticked. More snow this time of year--more arctic cold--is a real spiritual trial. I'm not kidding.
"Just think," my son-in-law says, "back home I'd be surfing."
Meanwhile the speedometer cable in the Tracker is making this awful cranking noise it always makes when it's bitterly cold, and I'm thinking the three of us ought to just go west right now. We'd all be better off.
But it's my granddaughter's birthday, and it's a gala and our spirits soon change. We're over at their house, when her little brother pulls a prune face and snarls out something that came from the soul of his envy--yes, the seven deadlies are alive and kicking even in four-year-olds. It's her birthday, after all, and she's the one opening all the High School Musical presents, not that he wanted them. He just wasn't getting his due, he figured.
His mother spooned out some of his sister's birthday cake for him, he groused, and she said, "You get what you get and don't throw a fit."
I thought the line was cute. My daughter says it's a basic rule of thumb at his pre-school, where, with a room full of four-year-olds, I can only imagine the grousing that goes on: "she's got more Cheerios than I do," and so forth, which I'd call childish if I didn't know better. My daughter says it's what gets said a ton at home too.
So, on the way home from the birthday party, my wife and I say it over and over: "you get what you get and don't throw a fit. You get what you get and don't throw a fit."
Good night, what fine Midwestern wisdom. Would that the world would listen. Maybe this country wouldn't be moving into an economic tailspin right now. Maybe there would have been no loan crisis. Maybe people wouldn't go a'whoring after Gucci handbags, the latest electronic wizardry, or silver BMWs. (Sometimes, it's just not all that hard to be righteous.)
"You get what you get and don't throw a fit." That's Lake Woebegone wisdom. It's hilarious. And it's so fitting after an early March snowstorm. "You get what you get and don't throw a fit."
I don't care. It's dang cold, and I'm off to Texas this weekend, thank the Lord.