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In to the Wind

March 27, 2013
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

With a house full of guests, a new baby in the family, and way too many things to do, you will have to re-read one of my previous columns. This is from 3 years ago. What was apt then, may well be again today!

It is time to come clean with you dear reader. I have been indiscreet, and now is the time to admit those indiscretions.

I've learned you don't have to take the "tiger" by the tail in order to come clean. I'm not out of the "woods" yet either; in fact, it may be a while.

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While I do have a handful of doting fans that might be put off by my admissions, I don't have any multi-million dollar endorsements at risk. The best way to get beyond something is just to admit it, hold your head high, and get on with life.

One of my previous columns was entitled 'I will not cry uncle." Yes dear reader that was patently BS. I am exposing myself here in black and white in the pages of this fine newspaper. If my image is dashed in your eyes, be assured I will do my best to win your confidence back once again.

With all of my posturing, I have led you to believe I am this strong survivor who happens to live at the end of this sadistically long lane. I've led you to believe all humanly possible plans have been laid and your weekly columnist is ready for what may come; once again, BS.

It would be helpful to lay some groundwork here and let you know the extent of my sins.

During 2004, we made the decision to move from a tropical paradise, South Florida, back to Iowa. A native son returns. So in June of 2005, all the papers were signed, and the first of several loads of "things" made their way from the swamp to Tama County. We probably should have weeded out some of those things and saved on the expense of transport. I have not worn my tropical shirts since moving back. There are other things too.

The very first winter back was amazingly harsh. Ice, snow, cold, more snow, more ice, more snow; you get the idea. I was told, and my feeble memory allowed me the illusion, that this was an atypical winter. One in a hundred, it won't happen again.

Finally spring sprung that first year. Finding morel mushrooms in the timber, watching wildflowers dance in the breeze, and seeing nature come back to life were enough to soften the harshness which was the past winter. At first it was easy to summarily dismiss the winter of 2005 -2006 as an anomaly. It can't happen again.

We made preparations the following fall for another winter. We weren't even waiting for the other shoe to drop. After all, the previous winter was anomalous, right?

So the winter of 2006 2007 was even worse than the previous. What were three foot drifts the previous winter were four foot and higher. Snow, cold, ice, wind, drifts, and everything else nature can dish out in an atypical Iowa winter happened. Another anomaly we reasoned. We hunkered down and made the best of it. A well worn Scrabble board and other diversions I will not mention here helped us through the long dark season.

Another spring, a cleansing, and another summer and fall diminished the horrific images of the winter past. Once again, we made preparations for another winter. This one would be more typical we reasoned. Not as much snow, ice and wind. We all hoped for above average temperatures.

Boy, were we wrong! The winter of 2007 -2008 was just as harsh, just as trying as the previous two winters. Drifts, more drifts, snow, more snow, record breaking low temperatures. Nature hit us with it all. We endured.

Another pleasant spring, lower than normal summer temperatures, and typical Tama County summer finery caused horrific memories of the previous winter to wane. Fall came; we prepared, but didn't have to wait too long.

The winter of 2008 2009 started out much like the previous three; snow, ice, wind, and even a thirty below zero temperature thrown in for good measure. Then another wonderful spring, and a summer where only a day or two were above ninety degrees, blurred the horrific memories of the winter past.

This fall, once again we made preparations as we had in the past. Since we had four anomalous winters in a row, there is no way the fifth in a row could be bad, we reasoned.

Boy were we wrong! This winter came in with a vengeance, during late fall. The snow, the cold, the wind have persisted. Huge drifts appear, are defeated, and reappear. I'm thinking we have a trend here.

Early this winter, sages from all over the world converged on Copenhagen to discuss global warming and set the stage for making industrialized nations pay for carbon credits as compensation for the sin of causing carbon release that is warming the earth.

Balderdash! This winter, even Europe is suffering the effects of a frightful winter. There has been snow in places snow is not usual. Well below average temperatures in the entire northern hemisphere are being recorded. From Moscow, to London, to New York and the American heartland, nature is telling us who is in charge.

It's not the global warming alarmists with their innovative taxing mechanisms that is affecting the weather, or are they?

I think not. If anything, God is looking those schemers right in the eye and calling BS. "Man does not control nature, I do," he seems to be saying.

So, my indiscretion is that I harbored a belief that nature could not dish out a repeat performance for five winters running. I was wrong, the climate change wizards are wrong, and even the most conservative weather prognosticators are shrugging their shoulders. Nature can, nature will; so plan on it! I am.

Until next time-

You can read past columns by visiting and clicking on the "Local Columns" button.

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2005 - 2013 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.



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