There's a patch of dry ground in Minnesota.
It's thirty-six feet long, and a little wider than two gondolas on trailers.
It has no snow on it because on top of that ground are John Kerschbaum's beautiful Venetian boats.
On top of those boats there are tarps - expertly tied and anchored by the gondolier who loves them.
And on top of those tarps, which are on top of the gondolas,
which are on top of trailers, on the ground...is the winter's first installment
of Minnesota snow.
John sent these photos, telling me:
I took my last gondola out of the water last Monday.
This week a snow storm hit.
I got them covered just in time.
living the dream!
Snow, on tarps, on gondolas, on ground...in John's yard.
He went on to tell me:
Saturday before I pulled the gondola out of the water,
it was 35 degrees and windy. This couple had a great time.
As you can see, John's couple has a great attitude.
They're not gonna let a little on-coming-winter ruin their fun.
Looking at the above photo, I'm reminded of a great old Swedish quote that John likes to use:
There's no such thing as bad weather,
only inappropriate clothing.
I have relatives who would heartily agree.
I understand that the day before pulling the gondola for the season,
it was a lot warmer with the sun shining. Here's a snap from the back.
Of course all good things must come to an end (for the year, at least).
End-of-season hauling is a ritual of sorts.
John has great friends who are happy to lend a hand.
Here we see Donna getting a ride to the boat ramp.
Donna is a dear friend on mine. I call her my chosen sister.
Every spring and fall or when ever a gondola needs to be taken
in or out of the water Donna is there to help!
This time we did a car drop so Donna could enjoy being rowed 2 miles to the ramp.
Winds and currents are common on the St. Croix River.
It's not unusual for a gondola to be rowed by two gondoliers,
as was the case on this day.
My friend Rick rowing in the front.
Taking a selfy while waiting for the truck.
A good time was had by all.
John has a very interesting way of supporting that oar.
And as you can see, those Minnesotans know all about
choosing "appropriate clothing".
Keep livin' the dream, John.
We'll see you here in California for Valentine's Day.
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