Saturday, June 23, 2012

Minnesota and mosquitoes

Back from Minnesota. Minneapolis Orchid Society Saturday afternoon (buying our new vanda seedlings, never mentioning cold winters! Lining up to get Orchid Territory! God bless them!) then roaming the Minnesota countryside till Wednesday.

And in spite of Thanksgiving-size plates and a "Butter Burgers and Frozen Custard" sign there ARE thin people in Minnesota and grumpy people too and even bad drivers.

Most striking of all, (maybe American school children learn this) the lively young river that our road and the railway line kept company with, muddy from heavy rains, was the Mississippi complete with mosquitoes and Minnesotans grumbling about them and the humidity. And everywhere was South Florida-flat, the prairie under cloudscapes right out of Weather Channel tornado warnings. Clouds hanging low, in scallops of light and dark grey from one end of the screen to the other.

We popped over the border to see if Wisconsin was any different, (ha ha.) Sign outside a feed store: "The best place to pick up chicks." And on a Minnesotan feed store: "J.C.Penney: Pick up and returns."

Garden centers everywhere: "We love our flowers." Sophisticated color combinations in hanging baskets and tubs- not just geraniums and lobelias (i.e red and blue. )

Had dinner in a packed Ojibwe casino Sunday evening (only place for wine and beer!) Just like South Florida again: like our wily Seminoles and Miccosukee hauling in hard cash, trading mere dreams of wealth, not even actual beads and mirrors, from the innocent natives. Where is the great American novel about that?

"Grain Exchange" and "Lumber Exchange" carved in stone on serious walls, and endless freight trains chugging across roads -iron ore! Mostly Scandinavian names in the grassy graveyards beside the roads. And on one gate: "No artificial flowers." Motes Orchids says Amen! Definitely a general Save-your-cans- and- bottles- feel, but church parking lots full on Sunday. Must these people be Republicans?

Note:On the other hand Minnesotan Atheists have adopted a stretch of highway outside Royalston on the way to St. Cloud.