Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow Blind in the Theater of Seasons

Here on the tundra if you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes and it will change.  Unfortunately, the change may be from cold to colder to why the hell would anyone live in this God forsaken country.

I was in a late evening dinner in extreme southwestern Minnesota yesterday. I left for home at about 12:30 AM. It was snowing, but nothing difficult. The further east and north that I went the worse the snow became. I was on State highways but they had not yet been plowed and few in any other vehicles had been through. I had to drive with my low beams because the glare off the falling snow was too much to see where I was going. The snow was drifting and more than a foot deep in some places. I occasionally heard the rumble strips chattering under my tires but I couldn't determine if it was the left or right wheel or if was the center or shoulder rumble.

The wind was blowing very hard from the south and later the east so my side of the road had considerable drifting. I often found the center line on the right side of the truck when I came to a clear area. It was a two handed steering wheel clencher drive all the way home.

The final 8 miles were on a small county road that revealed no signs of other traffic and drifts 1-2 feet deep or more. I just missed a mail box that suddenly appeared out of the blowing snow. This is a road with minimal shoulders so I was close to hitting the ditch. I finally made it to my driveway. I bulled my way through the 3 foot deep drift right near the top and slowly descended the 70 foot drop to the lake.

It was one hell of a trip. I was elated to be home and exhausted from the white knuckle trip. It was just another day here in the Theater of Seasons on the tundra.
Mr. Flannery

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Picking at -32* Here on the Tundra

We had a couple of things to pick up on Minnesota's iron range yesterday, so we went picking.  It was mainly an escape from the cold induced cabin fever.  It was good to get out.  But, as we were traveling north of Grand Rapids, the outside temp was showing at -32* and we were questioning the idea of picking.  We stopped to pick up our stuff and the guy there had decided to sell us some 1952 Christmas displays, a large two sided Evinrude Outboard Motor sign and 4 vintage outboards that he had previously been uninterested in selling.  So our picking was going to be a success, even if we didn't find anything else.

We stopped at an old garage that we've picked 3-4 times earlier, after 45 minutes there it was clear that we've plucked that place clean of items of interest to us.  We then went across the street to meet Ron.  Ron lives in a large 1930's triplex that has been converted into a single family home.  Ron is in his early 80's and now lives alone in the family home and 4 generations of their leavings.

Ron has money and his ancestor's had money too.  There is a lot of stuff, much of it very nice, but Ron feels no need or urgency in moving anything on.  He was an engineer and graphics designer and is a very well read self taught historian.  Ron decided that I would be an interesting person to talk with.  He tested me on engineering concepts, he regaled me on ship design and naval architecture and he taught me the story of the opening of the great open pit mines that ironed America's great industrial expansion.  Chris and Morgan essentially had free reign of the house while Ron and I gassed.  Morgan and Chris found 3-4 boxes full of stuff that Ron was willing to sell, I looked at a great painting Ron had done 65 years ago and his collection of guns that he would never part with. It was an interesting time, but as far as picking goes, for me it was a bust.

It was good to get out and look around.  It was good to get some items that we had not anticipated, it was good to talk to a very interesting man, but next time I want to look in the closets and drawers while someone else entertains the seller.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Of Flying Chairs and Other Chilling Events

Second Hand Rose in Buffalo Minnesota will be open this January for the first time in many years.   Usually we get to take January off, recognizing that the holidays and other events make getting ready for a sale in early January is very difficult.  This year we can add the difficulties of getting things done here on the frigid tundra to the other issues.
I finished getting my space ready on December 31st.  And I did leave a bunch of stuff from our last sales in place, just marked down to encourage sales.  It looks pretty good, but, as usual, I wish that it looked better.
 In the middle of my space I tried to set up a bar height table with 7 chairs.  They really filled the real estate.

 Behind the two chairs is a 4 section screen featuring women peaking out from behind golden colored umbrellas.

 This is a 1920's 3 section folding screen with an Italian garden scene.

 I have two of these red and white locker units.  One in the space and a second frozen in a snow bank in front of the shop.

 A store display for Jockey brand stockings.

 Five pieces from an European canister set.

Antique wall clock, small clock case and clock guts.

The table with 7 chairs used to have eight chairs.  I found out that chairs don't fly well at 60 mph.  It took the trip out of the truck bed to the highway when I was transporting the load from St. Cloud to Buffalo last Tuesday.  Damn!  I'd like to say that this was a surprise but unfortunately this was not my first instance of "flying chairs".

Mr. Flannery