Sunday, January 31, 2021


 46° 42' 57.5" N, 92° 32' 20.9" W
Summer, northern Minnesota

It was hot and muggy (how could it not be muggy in the land of 11,842 lakes?) and the knitter sat on her porch trying not to freak out as mosquitoes flew into her face.  In the summer she could only handle knitting hats - they were small enough that they didn’t drape her in warmth. Even so, her hands still got a little moist, and then the yarn wouldn’t pull through her fingers properly. The knitter sighed and adjusted her hold, wrapping the yarn around one less finger to fix the tension.  Her hats had to be perfect.

She slapped another mosquito, and looked down at the bag full of hats at her feet. She could see the pre-printed shipping sticker for Supplies for Scientists.  They distributed hats and other gear to scientists doing field work in cold climates. She almost had enough hats ready to send a box off, which she did every summer, and even had special labels to sew into these hats. She wanted the scientists to know how much she appreciated them.  In her opinion, they were saving the world, and it was a damned shame they didn’t have the money to outfit their efforts properly.

46° 42' 57.5" S, 87° 27' 39.1" E

Winter, southern Indian Ocean

The oceanographer expertly kept her balance on the deck of the science vessel Antipodes as she guided the tiny remote-control submarine back to the surface. She had been taking samples of water at different depths to better understand how zooplankton and phytoplankton interacted.  Food webs were complicated, and if the ocean environment was thrown too far off by rising temperatures and acidification, then the rest of the world would suffer.  

The submarine - she couldn’t help thinking it was rather cute, though its looks belied its sophistication - broke the surface.  She guided it back to the Antipodes until it was over the crane basket just under the surface of the water.  Her intern worked the deck crane controls to bring the the sub onto the deck.

A big wave hit and salty spray pelted them. They both stumbled slightly before regaining their sea legs. The oceanographer shivered and pulled her favorite wool hat down further over her forehead and ears, and helped her intern collect the samples and stow them for further study, and to bolt the sub down so it couldn’t be washed overboard. They couldn’t afford to replace it again, and already depended too much on donations as it was.


  1. Nicely done - the connections between the two aren't overstated, but clear. Two folks on opposite sides of the world, connected by hand-made hats....

  2. A degree of separation, even if they don't know the name of the others. We are all connected! The Lion King song "We Are One" is going thru my head.


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