A Minnesota winter wonderland

Winter in Minnesota really got to me last year.

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But something in me has shifted this year, and I’ve moved from trying to make the best of it to acceptance.

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No, not just acceptance — actually embracing my life here.

I thought about that in the wee hours last night, when I awoke to the blizzard’s howls. “Six to 10 inches this evening,” the weather report had predicted, “and another four to six tonight.”

The snow had already begun yesterday afternoon, turning the landscaping outside my office building into something out of a Disney dream.

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A quick look at my back yard this morning confirmed my suspicions: We’d been spanked. I was grateful and relieved that I’d arranged to work from home.

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And so it was, that at about 11 a.m. I went outside to clear my driveway. “!$%@!!!!” said my neighbor Nick, smiling as he shoveled a path to his garage. “&^@!!” replied my neighbor Bob, emerging from his own driveway. We laughed and cussed and made small talk.

At the end of the alley we heard the familiar sound of tires spinning uselessly. Someone had unwisely tried to climb the berm that the snowplow had left behind on its first pass, and had gotten hung up. More neighbors gathered and quickly pushed the hapless motorist back into the street.

This is what I really love about a big snowstorm: United by collective inconvenience and misery, everyone becomes so friendly and helpful.

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I decided to take a quick walk and survey the rest of the block. That’s when I met another neighbor and his beagle, Chester. I loved their matching coats — and Chester’s fuzzy little boots.

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The snow drifts on the far end of the alley were ridiculous, and rendered passage impossible.

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But, as difficult as it made any kind of travel, I loved how the snow had decorated and dressed up even the most mundane objects.

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By noon the skies began to clear, turning the landscape into a blinding field of white.

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I decided to go home and get on with my work. But first, one more photo out the back window.

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Spring can’t be too far off.

20 comments

    • Gracias, preciosa. Es muy raro que se quede pegada así la nieve después de que sale el sol, y como ves ¡es deslumbrante! Como dijiste en tu otro lindo mensaje: El blanco y la bella luz ayudan mucho al ánimo. ¡Qué placer encontrarte aquí! xx

  1. The shot of the path between the trees is wonderful.

    This has been the snowiest, coldest winter of my 20 in Indianapoils. It reminds me of the South Bend winters of my childhood. I am closer to acceptance now than ever before, but I struggle to imagine ever embracing this kind of weather. Give me weather that allows shorts and polo shirts, please.

    • Thank you, Jim! The campus at work is quite lovely, if I say so myself.

      And you describe the winter here perfectly, as well: We may just break the record for the coldest winter *in recorded history* — and it’s something like the fifth or sixth snowiest, too. So believe me when I say that I’m absolutely astonished by my relatively sunny outlook. A friend jokingly suggested the other day that I’d perhaps suffered frostbite of the brain. Whatever it is, I’ll take it over the depression that’s usually setting in by now!

      Anyway, hang in there … “polos and shorts” season is just around the corner!

  2. Oh nooo, how long does that stay? The light and sound with snow is beautiful, but all the clothing and boots… 🙂

    • You will be shocked to know that we got our first snowstorm in Minnesota on October 20 of last year, and it will likely stay like this into early to mid-April. So yes, by then I will be very tired indeed of the thermal underwear and the boots and the mittens and the scarves … and especially of driving on the ice and getting stuck in the snow. One day at a time, though. 🙂

      ¡Enorme abrazo!

  3. Hurray, this is glorious – vintage HBlog! Here’s me moaning about the lack of a proper winter while you are coming to terms with the exact opposite. It’s great to hear you sounding more upbeat about the cold and the snow. (I have been on standby to send you emergency daffodil pictures for the past few weeks!) I LOVE the way you’ve noticed details like the chain-link fence and the dracula fangs of ice on a green wall.

    We were just saying today that, for all the inconvenience of winter layers, we have missed them this year in Scotland, where it has been too mild to bother with them. So I’ll just say thank you for looking after our share of the winter for us – and we won’t mind a bit if you want to share a little of that snow with us next year! 🙂

    • I think it’s a human constant that, no matter the weather, we funny humans are going to whine about it. But oh, if only I could ship some snow to Scotland (she says wistfully as she watches another snowstorm roll in). Well, it’s wonderful to see that you are at least making the best of your unseasonably early spring at Castle Beastie. Cheers to you from the tundra, dear DB!

    • Although the snow has truly become an *epic* inconvenience this year, I think you’d greatly enjoy the sonic landscape, Des. Last Friday was beautifully quiet, save the occasional snowblower or spinning tire. Since then we’ve had the crunchiness of sub-zero snow, contrasted by the occasional sound of tires skidding on ice. And now it’s snowing again. Yay!

    • Very well put — it can indeed be like a different world altogether here, from one season to the next. It’s one of the reasons I love Minnesota; it’s never boring here. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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