Exposing, Exposition, Exposure

I stopped watching TV in 1990, when I started a business based out of my home. Time was money, and that’s the way I had to look at distractions. Television didn’t seem worth it.

I eventually caught up on some of these 1990s shows, and they became favorites, but none quite like Northern Exposure.

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My wife watched it; I remember that. I knew it was filmed in this area (most production in Redmond, where Microsoft lives, with some up in the Cascades in a town called Roslyn, where I’ve made a pilgrimage) and something of the plot lines, which Julie would relay from time to time.

And it was later, in some pretty dark days, that I found it and made it mine. For whatever reason (I have theories), Northern Exposure became a spiritual carrot-and-stick, a conventional way to draw me into a story and then a concept or three to bang over my sodden head. I sometimes found it strangely profound. I cried a couple of times, or at least teared up. I watched it alone, in the afternoon, when some local station played it once a day.

I don’t really have an explanation, although I’ll note that my affection for the show is shared by my son-in-law. He would have been 10 when the show first aired; I can’t honestly say if the appeal was original or came later for him, as it did for me. Doesn’t really matter, although the two of us did make that pilgrimage to Roslyn together, six years ago.

You might have thought that Northern Exposure would have been a natural to watch during our recent Ice Age. Didn’t really occur to me, although the other day, glimpsing the beginning of the end, I thought about “Spring Break,” the episode of the show in which the ice finally breaks and is generally accepted as the beginning of spring.

The whole episode deals with the weird behavior of the residents as they get closer to the ice breaking. Some of them are super-horny, for one thing. Others get wildly creative. One man becomes desperately aggressive, needing to fight someone but really not wanting to cause trouble. It’s a fun episode.

And at the end, as per tradition, as the newcomer to town (Dr. Joel Fleischer) learns the cold way, the men of Cicily do a little liquid embalming (they take a few swigs) and then strip down to skin and run through the streets. It’s an event.

I get it. Spring is springing, life is coming back, etc. I made a joke the other day on Facebook, although I’m not running in the nude in this lifetime. Certainly not again, not after that last time (another story). But I do get it.

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It’s currently 35 degrees and we have light rain, apparently (I’m not looking outside at the moment, taking that from my desktop widget). It snowed most of the day yesterday, I swear, but it was winding down and I have no idea how much more we got. Doesn’t matter. The melt has begun, at least temporarily (the forecast looks a little questionable for this stuff being over completely). It won’t warm up enough to cause us serious problems, at least I hope (like the garage flooding, meaning the basement flooding).

All in all, we did OK, better than some. We never lost power, and many did. Since my wife’s place of employment was closed, there were no worries about making it to work. She’s had 5 extra days off this month, plus some missed church hours (and a free Sunday morning). She seems happier and more relaxed, and she’s been eating like a horse she says (she doesn’t want to step on the scale, although I know what she speaks of; it’s great for her to be at home with food in the fridge, but I’ve been doing the same thing, probably out of boredom). She might make it through another school year.

Aside from locking us inside for John’s birthday on Saturday, which wasn’t that big of a deal as it turned out, I can’t complain. It was just bizarre, the whole idea of snowing falling and falling and never stopping. Even if I saw it coming.

Me, a week ago. I claim first.

Me, a week ago. I claim first.

So we’ve had 10 days of lots of snow on the ground, not going anywhere, and there’s not gonna be a big thaw soon. By next week, maybe we’ll be back to normal, but by then we’re getting close to meteorological spring up here, with storm threats diminishing. It was supposed to be a mild winter. And it was, except for that one part.

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Here’s the scary part: I didn’t do anything. I mean, I cooked a little. I cleaned up some, around the house, but no big projects, no rearranging of closets. I slept a lot, in fact, as I did when I was sick (and that’s still hanging around, so mild I hardly notice it but there’s a bit of a tickle and cough thing still happening). I watched a couple of things but never had that marathon of snowmagadden films I curated for myself.

I don’t know what this means. It’s hard to be cooped up. I did what I needed to do, but nothing more. I read a lot about current events. I didn’t enlighten myself about anything.

Except that I need people, and I need to leave the house. It wasn’t necessary for 20 inches of snow to fall for me to gain this particular insight, but I’ll take the reminder. My behavior during all of this reminded me of a depressed person, and while I don’t feel that way it’s a warning, definitely. I’m hoping for enough of a thaw today to feel comfortable walking, at least around the block, maybe a decent walk.

There are other things. I’m just looking for the silver lining here, a what-have-you-learned experience. Maybe a poke to move just a little more, even in winter. No nude runs for me, though. Because, as I said, been there and done that. Whole ‘nother story. Involves a fence.

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Chuck SigarsComment