Life in the Pedestrian Lane: What day is this?

Well, March came through like a champ. Snow storms, a new Iditarod winner, even an icicle and slush pits.

If nothing else, we can always depend on March to remind us that winter is our natural state, no matter what the calendar says. And here it is April 1. April Fools’ Day, but wait! It is also Easter. That makes selecting a topic for this column a little more difficult than it should be.

I’m not sure how my compatriots approach the business of writing their columns. I’d expect they, like I, go about it in many different ways. Some columns come out of the computer fully formed and only need to be polished to shine beautifully in the next line-up. Some are ladled out a paragraph at a time, in sessions that may take hours or days to complete. Others are expelled hastily during the third week of the month-long hiatus, the final word typed just before the email address to send it to the editor. However the task is accomplished, I’m also pretty sure they take notes along the way: on their phone, napkins at the restaurant, the back of their hand, maybe even a notebook kept in pocket or purse for just such moments. (Ha!)

And interpreting those notes is the hardest part of the job! I changed purses the other day, and among the miscellaneous junk, I found these jotted on various scraps of anything writable:

Academy Awards … never again. I think I meant that I don’t watch the Academy awards any more. The last time was when Stephen Spielberg didn’t win for “The Color Purple.” The reason given was because he directed fluff (read science fantasy) and “Purple” must have been a fluke. Of course he has gone on to direct “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” among other serious blockbusters and has since won acclaim (if that is what the Oscar is) so that excuse was just more of Hollywood’s supposed superiority … translate snobbery.

Besides, in recent years, they seem to think I’d like to be indoctrinated to their politics rather than entertained. Won’t happen. If anything could push me right of center, it would be the arrogant disrespect this group exhibits toward the opinions of the very audience they depend on to make them who they are. And I guess I’m not alone, as this year was the lowest viewership ever for the Awards. Plus no one had seen any of the movies nominated. But it doesn’t matter if anyone watches or not because for days afterward we hear about who said something brilliant (or not), what every female wore, and maybe along the way, which movies won awards, deserved or not.

I found this on the back of a cash register receipt for something I paid $3.72 cash for (who the heck pays cash for anything anymore?): No Midwest — news: I must have been listening to the news in the car. I puzzled on this one for a minute, but happened to be watching the TV news as I was moving stuff between purses and it occurred to me that apparently nothing happens between the Appalachians and the Sierra Nevadas.

We’ve all heard of the “fly-over” states. Those are the ones you look down on if you fly between coasts. Did you ever notice that you hear about New York and San Francisco, and other coastal areas, but seldom, if ever, hear anything about Des Moines or Albuquerque? Texas every once in awhile makes some noise, but that is because a major politician is from there. If he goes home, the press follows.

This winter they counted every snowflake that fell on the Eastern seaboard but never mentioned the feet of snow that buried Montana and kept those who live there digging out so the kids could get to school. No snow days in Montana. You’d think the wide open spaces between Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley were devoid of people. Of course, truth be known, the Mid-westerners like it that way, if only the avoidance wasn’t laced with so much ignorance. If the government didn’t plague those of us in the “you live where?” zones who cares if they forget we exist.

On the back of a Split-the-Pot ticket (I didn’t win) was Eagles, sunshine, river: Easy! I was at the Kenai Senior Center on one of those “like a lamb” March days watching two young eagles cavorting over the mouth of the river. They dived and soared again and again, like two kids playing tag. It reminded me that even with a foot of snow on the ground (or more) and icicles dripping from the eaves March heralds spring, sometimes later than sooner, but it does come.

So April Fool! We can hide our Easter eggs in a snow berm or a pothole! And Blessed Easter. By this time next month, we’ll have new leaves and bare ground and isn’t that what Easter promises: new life? Enjoy your day, however you see it!

Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email at

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