Column: These days of (almost) perfection

Peggy Bakken

By Peggy Bakken
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Perfection is illusive. However, the middle of May is about as perfect as can be imagined.

The trees are exploding in a hundred shades of green. The crab apple trees are full of bright pink and white blossoms. My neighbors’ lilac bushes are full of light purple buds – I’ll be “borrowing” a few of those blooms in a week or so. Many flower beds are filled with tulips and paperwhites. (Mine boasts one lone daffodil — something to work on for next year.)

Temperatures hover in the 60s and 70s. The air is dry and the breezes are fresh.


The second weekend in May is the perfect time to celebrate Minnesotan nirvana. Thousands of you will be heading to the lake this weekend for Saturday’s fishing opening day. Many of you will be close to home on some of our tremendous metro lakes — Lake Minnetonka, Weaver Lake and Medicine Lake, to name a few. More thousands will be heading up north to renowned lakes like Mille Lacs, Rainy Lake or Lake Vermillion … and so many others.

I can imagine all of the restaurants with outdoor dining filled to the brim this weekend. Nothing like sitting on a deck in Excelsior or Wayzata, or along Gull Lake in Brainerd, watching the boats coming in and out and enjoying a great meal.

Next we quickly make the transition to Sunday, to honor all of the mothers in our lives. A lot of those moms are out on the boat, too, enjoying the sweet combination of fishing and being with family. For others it means a fabulous brunch or a picnic in the back yard.

Whatever you do Sunday, don’t forget the “other mothers” in your lives – grandmothers, aunts and sisters who have helped to fill that role in your life.

I am not a fisher person, even though I’d be delighted to help eat your catch if you wish to share. I have always said I’d be glad to go fishing if I could go from about noon to 1 p.m. and always have a bathroom nearby.

I will be among the thousands of Minnesotans basking in this perfect time of year, getting my fingernails dirty. I’ll be digging up weeds, planting tomatoes and peppers, and rearranging my perennials. I expect to be a strong contributor to the garden and nursery store economy this month.
Why, out of all the splendor that is Minnesota in May, did I say “almost?”

For one, as I was stopped in rush hour on I-494 in Plymouth the other day, I was thinking of the epitome of traffic jams that happens on the Friday of fishing opener. All of the commuters are mixed in with the RVs and trucks pulling boats as traffic comes to a stop from the metro up through Rogers and St. Michael, and then all the way up 169 to Mille Lacs and parts north. I am glad I will not be on the road Friday.

The second justification for the “almost” is that I swatted a mosquito the other day while relaxing on the patio at home. Many years we are spared the bug invasion until later in June. Could we hope there is only one mosquito around us this weekend?

And the other “almost” is that the State Legislature is still in session. I don’t like to hear the constant bickering this close to the end of the session. Just about every one of us wants to see them do their work and adjourn on time with all of the business completed.

Perhaps we should require our lawmakers to meet outdoors for the last two weeks of the session, perhaps at the Japanese Gardens in Bloomington or Noerenberg Gardens in Wayzata. Maybe the beauty of the scene and the fragrance of the blossoms would put them in a good enough mood to compromise as needed and make decisions that will be good for all of us.

Enough from me. I’m heading outside to soak in another quintessential spring afternoon. Cheers to you all, for successful fishing, celebrations with mom and to perfect days.