Off to the Salt Mines

I was up dark and early this morning. Got out of bed at 4:40, which seems ungodly but is really only half an hour earlier than I get up most days anyway. I had to be at the office by 7 a.m. for a phone interview with somebody in Hartford, in the far east. I should specify: not Japan, but rather, the Minnesota/Iowa border in eastern South Dakota.

She wanted to do the interview first thing in the morning, and because they’re on Central time, that meant hauling my ass to work an hour earlier than usual. So I bounced out of bed, hit the treadmill, showered, grabbed coffee and a quick bite to eat, kissed my wife, and it was off to the salt mines!

By the way, I never understood the meaning behind that phrase until recently. I’d always been under the impression that salt wasn’t mined, that it simply evaporated and was scooped off the ground.

In fact, several years ago, we took a trip to Park City, Utah, which took us through the Bonneville Salt Flats. At one point I pulled the car over, scraped some salt off the ground, and filled a Ziploc bag with it. Tara thought I was nuts.

“What are you going to do with that?” she asked.
“Season food with it, of course!” I replied.
“You could just buy some at the store, you know.”
“Sure, babe, but this is free!”
“Congratulations, dear. You just saved six cents.”

I didn’t let ol’ Negative Nancy…err, Tara…harsh my mellow. I had fully intended to use the salt when cooking, but that bag sat in the kitchen cupboard unused for a couple of years before I finally tossed it. While it was perfectly edible and probably harmless—I tried some and, what do you know, it tasted just like regular salt?—I never once felt the urge to forgo the salt shaker for the “fresh” stuff. The reality is, salt scooped from the ground contains bits of sand and dirt that, while adding a colorful contrast to the pure white flakes, aren’t exactly appetizing.

ANYWAY. It turns out salt really is mined. I know this because I took a morning stroll through a salt mine in Romania last week, and the whole process was fascinating. Technically I was in the basement on the treadmill and not actually in the 12th-largest country in Europe—the land of Transylvania and Dracula—but my iFit trainer was. Kind of a weird workout, when you think about it. You can’t exactly sprint through a salt mine. Still, I learned a thing or two and got my 10,000 steps in that day, so: win/win.

Because I started work early, I got to leave at 4:00 instead of 5:00. Which explains why I am drinking wine and writing a blog post from the comfort of my recliner when I would normally still be stuck behind my desk. A lot of people turn into clock-watchers during that last hour, but I find it’s one of my most productive hours of the day.

Probably because I go into a bit of a panic realizing all the shit I didn’t get done earlier and commence to hustlin’.

So, while today was a bit of an unusual day, yesterday was, too. Our Sunday night snowstorm dumped 5″, and it snowed on and off all day Monday and Tuesday. It was a frigid 29º when I got home from work yesterday, so I decided to build us a fire in the basement. I’d assumed we were done with those for the season, but this was a good excuse to make a dent in the shit ton of wood we’ve got left over. Now, we have a shit-ton-minus-six-or-seven.

In any case, we hung out down there all evening, watching Curb Your Enthusiasm in front of a blazing hearth.

To paraphrase LD, it was a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good evening.

23 thoughts on “Off to the Salt Mines

  1. Do people generally get sick more often with all the crazy up and down weather? And how do you know what to wear to work? I guess checking the weather forecast is something you’ve got to do often up in them there parts.


    1. I don’t think so. I’ve had just one cold in the nearly-three-years that we’ve been here. Then again, I have a weather station and am fanatical about the forecast, so I pretty much always know what’s coming.

      In any given week, you can expect to wear shorts and a t-shirt, boots and a winter coat, or a combination of all those.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I was the opposite. I LOVED Seinfeld, but never bothered watching Curb until a few years ago. BInged it back then and I’m doing that for a second time now because Tara hasn’t seen it before. It’s just as hilarious the second time around!


  2. Along with your salt mine lingo, my husband enjoys pretending to work construction and refers to his soft-sided lunch bag as his ‘lunch pail.’ White collar humor?

    I can’t with this weather. We got the same 5 inches two nights ago and I had to go out yesterday morning with a broom to try to save our smaller trees and bushes that were bent to the ground. Woke up this morning to more of the same and I’m just going to ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm. As much as I like snow, I don’t want to encounter any in Ohio when we’re out there in two weeks. Tell the weather gods not to mess with our road trip, will you?


  3. I actually toured the salt mines in real life–in Salzburg, Austria. Not for the claustrophobic. You don’t realize how much mountain is pressing down until you see the “old” tunnels from the Middle Ages that have been compressed into passages the size of dog doors.

    Probably better to do it on a treadmill, only you don’t get to use the slide that goes into the mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a way to stay healthy. Treadmilling through Romania strikes me as a wonderfully eccentric thing to do. I’m now thinking about Hotel Transylvania, of course. We had snow yesterday morning and I was not amused. I’m tired of the weather not doing what I want the weather to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve treadmilled all over the world, ha. The Romanian salt mine is definitely one of the more unique stops!

      If you ever figure out how to control the weather, write a book. You’ll be able to retire on the royalties.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny how our reaction to snow changes as we get older. When we wake up to a white-out, the kids are up like jack-in-the-boxes – running from room to room to find warm socks, sweaters, and coats. The grown ups invariable look out, and say “ah crap”…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Honestly, I never thought about where the salt came from, so thanks for enlightening me this morning.
    Funny about your grabbing some ‘free salt’; I can picture your wife shaking her head but allowing you your silliness.
    Snow. Wow. It does look pretty though. (from here, much like your Jog through the Salt Mine)
    I hope you have a pretty, pretty, pretty good day. Damn, I love that Larry David!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I binged Curb years ago, but my wife wasn’t into it at the time. She decided to give it a go, so we’ve been watching the whole series from the start. We’re up to season 7 now, and it’s safe to say she is loving it just as much as I do!

      Liked by 1 person

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