Midnight in Minneapolis… Am I dreaming?

Last night I watched Midnight in Paris.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s kind of like a grown-ups equivalent to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  It doesn’t have anything to do with candy or chocolate, but it has a lot to do with fantasy and imagination.  I had the same experience watching this now, as an adult, as I did the first time I saw Willy Wonka.  It got my imagination running, and got me thinking, “Wow!  How cool would that be!?!”  What if you got in a car or walked through a door and it took you to another time or place, just like that?  I love movies  like that!  I love it when I feel like a kid again, letting my imagination run wild and not letting reality bring it to a halt.  Movies like that tend to make me have crazy dreams too.  It’s like unlocking the dam to the creatives juices and just letting it all go rushing forward, untamed.

This morning, like every other morning, I meandered my way into the kitchen, took a mug from the cupboard and poured myself a cup of coffee.  As I hugged the mug I checked the calendar: March 13th, 2012,  Tuesday.  I checked the thermometer: 39 degrees.  I checked the clock: 6:28 a.m.  I checked the forecast: 66 degrees and mostly sunny.  As the fog began to lift from my head, I started putting it all together.  Was I still dreaming?  Am I really awake or am I just dreaming that I’m awake? Laughing to myself I thought, “Man, that movie sure did a number on me!”.  I picked up my phone, flipped to the weather forecast again and slowly set my phone down on the counter.   I checked the thermometer again.  Yep, 39 degrees.  I checked the calendar again…  Still March.  This is weird.  Now, I know I’m not going crazy, or at least I don’t think so, but I haven’t even started my seeds yet and we’re having May or June-like temps.  And by that I don’t just mean daytime temps.  It’s not even sinking near freezing at night.  You know when you dream and some things are the way they are in “real life” and some things come out of nowhere but seem to make perfect sense in the dream?  It’s like that.  I’m still in my same house, when I look out the window the neighborhood looks the same, but when I step outside it’s like Minnefornia.  You know, looks like Minnesota, feels like California.  (Yes, I made that up.)

You see, it’s like this.  Late last fall I pulled my large pots of herbs and strawberries into the garage to overwinter them.  The garage isn’t insulated, or at least not to today’s standards, so I knew I was taking a risk if we got a really cold winter, but the thought of grabbing fresh herbs in January was just too tempting, so there they sat, hogging up most of the garage all winter. When it rained the other day I pulled my pots out of the garage so they could get water.  Because it the rain was coming down pretty hard, I didn’t stop to look at the plants for more than a second or two.  This afternoon, as the temps rose to a remarkable 67 degrees, I thought I would check them out.  Much to my surprise, I have healthy sage, thyme and rosemary, there are tons of new shoots on the oregano, new leaves on the strawberry plants and even a small bunch of parsley! I know I shouldn’t be all that surprised given the mild winter we’ve had, but it had been a while since I’d popped into the garage to check on them so I had no idea the outcome would be that good.

I have to admit though, as much as I am enjoying the warm weather and excited about getting an early start on the garden (which would make up for last spring), I still feel like it’s all a dream.  I feel like we’re living in a movie right now and someone forgot to tell the director that we’re on location in Minnesota, not a set in California.  I’m fearing the day she realizes and calls in the Snow Miser to bring everything back to normal.  The other thing I worry about is drought.  Since we didn’t get much snow this year (and another reason why I fear winter isn’t over yet) we’re really short on water and that’s usually not a good way to start the season .

Given all of my concerns about the weather, as crazy as it sounds, I’m actually thinking about throwing a few cool season crop seeds into the ground just to see what happens.  I realize if I do this I’m taking a pretty big risk, but what if it works?!?  I’d be gaining nearly 8 weeks of growing time.  That’s unheard of!  Or is it Midnight in Minneapolis and I just stepped through the backdoor in my dreams to a world where we have a much longer growing season?  One where we have spring in March…


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