Stressed editor tackles questions like spring, where are ye?
I’ve got to fly with this column because despite feeling like I spent an eternity in the office this weekend, I’m a mere 125 minutes from deadline as I begin writing this column.If this was all I had left, I’d be fine, but I’m going to have to sprint to the finish.Unfortunately, I do not run — nor did I ever run — as fast as my two boys.But there are questions — none critical but queries nonetheless — that must be answered. OK, there’s also this space that needs to be filled, but let’s get to the questions.Spring, where are ye?A couple of weeks ago I was texting back and forth with New Hampton boys golf coach Bill Glenn, and he was mumbling — if a text can mumble — about the state of spring in Iowa.Glenn has by far his best tean in his seven years at the helm of the Chickasaws, but the weather this spring has truly been awful.“The weather is starting to affect me,” he said. “I’m serious, too. I mean, it’s cold, rainy and gray all the time.”As he went through his team’s schedule during the first month of the season, he came up with two decent weather days.“Heck the day we went to Decorah, it was 67 but the wind was blowing 32 miles per hour. I’m sick of this.”He’s not the only one. I’m guessing most of us would hop into Glenn’s “boat” when it comes to spring, or the lack of it, this year.Well, Bill and the rest of you, good news is on the way. The forecast for the end of this week looks positively delightful.Can you bale hay in town?It’s a definite possibility, at least at the Fenske house.All that rain has left my yard a mess, but neighbors, I swear I will use my lunch hour on Wednesday to mow.But the length of that grass, I will tell you, means that lunch hour is going to be extended.How many pictures are too many when it comes to Prom?Back when I was a youngster, at least at my house, we did take prom pictures.My grandparents lived in Sweden, and pictures were vitally important to my mom because she would send them to Grandpa and Grandma Kjellson.It used to drive me nuts when mom would pull out the camera (yes, yes, I know coming from me that has to sound positively odd), and I whine and moan.“Mom, seriously,” I remember saying. “You want me to take a picture with the dog?”But mom was a photo lightweight compared to what we as parents have become today.I came back to the office Saturday afternoon after snapping almost 300 pictures of Josh, Noah and the groups they were part of for New Hampton’s prom.And as I went through them and saved almost 50 of them, I was struck with horror, for I had become my mother after all.What makes Coffeehouse ... well Coffeehouse?It is, after all, just another concert, right?Wrong.I think part of the charm of Coffeehouse for me is the fact that it does take place the day after prom, which means it is easily the best-dressed concert of the year.But for me, it is the emotion that comes with the end of the concert.I know that “In This Very Room” has generated controversy in the past, but as I sat in the bleachers Sunday afternoon and watched several seniors fight a losing battle with their emotions, it hit me that it isn’t necessarily the song but it’s the emotions that make Coffeehouse what it is.When I see those students fighting back tears, it reminds me that, for them, music is just as important as sports is to their classmates.And it should be for the rest of us, too.Finally, are you riding RAGBRAI?It’s been a question I’ve been asked more than once since we learned that Chickasaw County will play a prominent part of the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa this year.This may be hard to believe, but I rode three RAGBRAIs back in the 1990s.I rode once during my active alcoholism part of my life and two after I sobered up.I enjoyed all three, although I have to be honest and say that I remember the last two much more than the first one.Riding a bike for 500 or so miles for a week gave me a unique look at Iowa, and meeting people from around the globe was truly a wonderful experience.But I am not what I once was, which I learned one day last week.I had been tinkering with the idea that a cool way to cover July 27 would be to ride from Charles City to Cresco for a bird’s-eye view of the ride.Then I rode my bike – all .52 miles of it — from my house to work last week.And the tinkering was done.