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It’s time for the high school boys’ basketball tournaments in Minnesota and we in Minnesota know exactly what else that means. It’s time for a snowstorm. Nature delivered. I can’t say how much of the stuff we got because it’s melting faster than it can be measured. It’s pure slop. The sidewalk I shoveled this morning is clear of the snow I couldn’t get off. The cars are nice and clean, the dirt having been removed with the wet snow. Great weather for a snowball fight, as long as you’re wearing insulated puddle boots and waterproof gloves.

I did the grocery shopping this morning. Ran into four people I knew, which isn’t unusual. Because Easter is tomorrow, all of us last-minute shoppers had crowded the seasonal aisle in Wal-Mart, trying to pick through what was left of the candy. Can you believe that I didn’t find a single bag of jellybeans in the whole place? Disgraceful! So, along with bunny-peeps, malted eggs, and colorful candy eggs with a creamy filling, we’re having Swedish Fish. We’ll call them Easter Fish – and, hey, how appropriate is that? Isn’t one of the symbols for Jesus a fish? The Fisher of Men. Hubby prefers Swed . . . I mean, Easter Fish over jellybeans anyway and Daughter is cool with the plan.

Other than shoveling and grocery shopping, I’ve done some laundry. Not being a total glutton for punishment, I’ve also spent some time reading today. I’m wolfing down Jodi Picoult‘s book, “Nineteen Minutes,” which is about a fictional school shooting. Picoult really knows how to drag you into a book and keep you there, madly turning pages, swallowing it whole, practically without chewing first. In this way she reminds me of Michael Crichton. My writer friend, Soloist, recommended Picoult to me, saying that Picoult is meticulous about her research. The only piece of information I’ve read in her book that I said “Really?” over was when one of her characters is watching TV and remembers that the scrolling ticker tape news that appears at the bottom of CNN didn’t exist until 9/11. (It’s on page 100 of the hardcover version.) Really? I’m actually not questioning Picoult’s research on this. I believe her, but it’s hard to believe that the ticker tape hasn’t been around forever and that 9/11 was the impetus. Wow.

There was a minor shock of recognition for me in “Nineteen Minutes,” too. After the school shooter’s house has been searched by the police, there is a list of stuff that was removed from his room. Item 5 lists the following: “Books. The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger; On War, Clausewitz; graphic novels by Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman.” (page 111) I wonder if Neil knows . . . .