Minnesota Lunatics   3 comments

Ice to see you again

Originally uploaded by Lady Birchwood

My husband took this photograph from our back porch this past weekend. His hobby of photography can be pursued in either hot or cold weather and anything in between.

Yes, this has been a winter that feels like it has gone on forever. Energy levels have been low, and I have felt the need to hibernate. It’s hard to stay warm. Spirits have flagged, and increased consumption of spirits remains high.

Kim Ode, one of the columnists for our cities’ largest newspaper, The Twin Cities Star Tribune, wrote this piece in today’s paper, and I’d like to share it with you:

It’s not as if winter catches us unawares, or that we don’t well know it will be long and brutish. But this particular winter hurts.

Trudging across a windswept parking lot leaves our cheeks feeling as solid as grocery store tomatoes. Waiting for the bus gives us the piratical sensation that we’ve sprouted peg legs. December was the coldest since the turn of the century, which is how a person begins to talk when envying the piping hot baked potatoes Ma Ingalls gave the cousins to hold during the long sleigh ride home.

January may end having never surpassed freezing.

What’s worse is that we know there have been colder winters. We know that people who live where lakes never stop lapping at their shores do not, in fact, regard us with a certain grudging respect, but as lunatics.

To paraphrase our usual summer lament: It’s not the cold, it’s the humility.

A winter’s duration also chips away at our ability to cope, which might be a factor in this season’s especially challenging chill. Last winter overstayed its welcome, lollygagging until baseball’s season opener to dump 5 inches of wet snow on us. Then it seemed we’d hardly earned our careless, carefree tan lines before temperatures began heading back down in August.

In other words, it’s not only that we’re so cold now, but that we weren’t warmer long enough. This imbalance chafes at our psyches. We know that people who live where shovels are used only for sand castles do not, in fact, regard us as intrepid, but as lunatics.

We’ll have the last laugh, of course, mukluking into spring with the firm conviction that our essential character is as hardy and resilient as ever. Soon we will strip to shirtsleeves before the pussy willows puss, and skim Frisbees over decaying snowbanks.

We will.”


Posted January 27, 2009 by StPaulieGrrl in Daily Life, Hobbies & Leisure, Minnesota

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3 responses to “Minnesota Lunatics

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  1. For some reason, this made me cry. Maybe it was the sunshine at the end of the winter (light at the end of the tunnel)?

    I’m a big goof. Haha… 🙂

  2. Hey Bon… in my way of thinking, a lunatic is not one who stays in the land of cold because he needs to eat, a lunatic is the person who having arranged a winter retreat in warmer climes, returns to the cold out of nostalgia or a misconception that it wasn’t that bad.

  3. I love the cold and the snow. I guess I’m a lunatic, too. Oh well. It got down to about -20 last night that I also found icy stalactites everywhere this morning. Very cold today, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to your neck of the woods.

    Keep warm, my friend!

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