I do believe my friend Gary has at least some Southern blood coursing through his veins – as evidenced by his great ability at storytelling.  He has a wonderful way of stretching it out, and then bringing it to a wonderful conclusion.  At least, I think this is the end of his story.  Let us know what you think – would you rather live in the North or in the South, and tell us why!

Gary5

What I Like About Living in the North, Part IV
In my last post, I talked about the seasons, starting off in Winter and then moving backwards into Autumn. So now I continue my retrograde to Summer. Now folks in the South enjoy Summer-like temperatures for some six months. While the heat of High Summer must be almost unendurable for them, I’m sure that they pride themselves on their hardiness in enduring it just as we Northerners do the same with our bitter cold temps. Neamoins, they have a growing season that is twice ours and they make full use of it. I am actually ashamed of myself when I read about all the gardening The Farmwife does during her extended growing season. I get sick of my garden after only three months. How she can continuously tend her garden from late March into October is beyond the ken of this French Canuck! Regardless of when Summer actually begins, it’s the first harvests of the garden that I love, as do gardeners of all latitudes. Here at La Ferme Sabloneuse its first cucumbers, tomatoes and maybe some early lettuce. Or just as tasty, “new potatoes”, small red Norlands baked, then sliced open and covered sinfully in butter, salt, pepper, sour cream and chives. It as if your body is craving the home-grown nutrients from your own land. Washed down with cold milk, it’s Summer at its best. Now up here many men like ice fishing, but for me, Summer is when I think about casting a line for my supper, whether it’s fresh trout or panfish caught that very afternoon. My Pa always said that it wasn’t worth fishing until after the mosquitos and mayflies have hatched out, because it was only after the fish began eating bugs that their flesh tasted good. Believe what you will, but Pa, especially during his retirement, spent countless hours on some piece of shoreline or other working his fly rod and then bringing his catch home for Ma to fry up. A speckled trout or two, rolled in flour and fried in butter is supper and dessert all at once. So now I’ve covered Summer. Are you expecting Spring? Well, so am I. To tell you the truth, there’s no such thing as Spring in NE Wisconsin. Some years we go from deep Winter into a few weeks of back-and-forth weather and then into full Summer. In other years, there’s no transition whatsoever; there’s snow in the deep woods into May and then it’s 85 degrees and the Spring peepers are finally out, some four weeks late. The magnificent expanse of the seasons is what I like about living in the North. We go from 15 below to 50 degrees above zero in two days up here. Once, in August, 1983, I was trimming Christmas trees in Wausaukee, WI. in 90 degrees heat and I thought: “How can one place be so hot and so cold in one year?” Every year up here I think the same thing.

-Gary