Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Perhaps because of the near-Arctic cold, Monday's drive to work was marked by very bad driving and several unusual sights: a bank of ice fog on the Cedar Avenue bridge over the Minnesota River, a big hydraulic excavator sitting in the smack middle of a frozen cornfield, dozens of snowmobile tracks interlaced over a snowy hillside. As I drove down a long, flat straightaway on Minnesota Highway 23 outside Northfield, I watched a garbage truck slow, stop, and then reverse into a farmhouse driveway. As I sped past, I saw, further down the road, a pickup roar down a longer driveway, sending up a towering roostertail of snow and ice. I started considering evasive action in case it sped right out into my path, but the truck screeched to a halt just as it reached the highway. Leaving his door open, the driver leapt out, ran to the bed, one-armed his man-sized garbage bin up into the air, and rushed the bin into place on the shoulder of the road - just as his garbage truck got back on the road in my rear-view mirror. You know you live in the country when you need a truck to bring your garbage to the curb.