Well… winter finally reared its ugly head today.
WINTER IS HERE! With the arrival of below freezing temps, wind gusts up to 30 mph and snow flurries blowing wildly through the air, we Minnesotans can finally begin to celebrate the return of our trademark season.
Do I sound crazy?
I realize not everyone is feels the way I do, and I understand. In recent years, the impending doom of winter has been increasingly depressing for me. The thought of shoveling, dangerous driving, slipping and sliding all over the place. Wearing 3+ layers of clothing. THE DREADMILL. UGH. It’s dark most of the time and it’s COLD.
On the other hand, I have outright declared summer to be my ultimate favorite (it still is). I love walking barefoot through fresh cut grass or lakefront beaches. Fireflies. Fireworks. Raspberries growing in my backyard. The list goes on and on for me.
Unfortunately, as a northerner, the depths of winter devour at least 120 days of our year. AT LEAST. Usually more.
But I love MN. I love the Twin Cities. It’s home.
And it’s fair to say one of the reasons MN summers are so amazing is because our winters are so brutally intense.
So somethings gotta give. And I’ve decided its me.
Last year, Dan came home wearing a cap on his head that simply says “NORTH” and told me about this local grass roots movement of Minnesotans who have resolved to emancipate us from the Midwest. What is the Midwest anyway? Do we really align with the stereotypes? I mean geographically the term Midwest makes no sense – middle west of what? It’s like there’s the east coast – yep, that makes sense. The south – yep, I get it. The west coast – obviously. Then everything else in between is just lumped together thoughtlessly and dubbed the Midwest. What’s up with that?
To sum it up – for me, there is enough that is distinct about our region to warrant this AND my “OCD” thinks its “right” that we be appropriately labeled in all geography books ever published again going forward – The North.
(yes… this is basically meaningless and silly).
All of this led me down a path of considering anything that could possibly be good about MN winters. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard. There are tons of things I already LOVE about winter. Roaring fireplaces. Hot chocolate. Cozy socks and SWEATPANTS (omg – SWEATPANTS!!!). Ice skating in Rice Park. Christmas!
Then I realized there were all sorts of cool (pun intended) things I had just chosen to steer clear of. I didn’t want to go outside.
Changing my attitude was the first major step in the right direction. Instead of dwelling on the impending doom, I just started to declare I LOVE WINTER (much the same way I’ve convinced myself I love running hills). “THIS WILL BE THE BEST WINTER EVER” I’ve yelled… and all of a sudden, I am truly looking forward to it. I’m actually a little disappointed we don’t have a few inches of snow by now.
Flannel sheets are now on the bed. We have several more throw blankets stocked in the living room. Candles are lit on a nightly basis and our real wood fireplace will be used a bit more freely, despite it’s lacking efficiency. We have hot water ready at all times for cocoa, tea, cider – whatever. Friends will be welcomed, and they will be warm.
It’s koeslig. Although we are not Norweigan, or any sort of Scandinavian for that matter, we are from the north and we love it.
I will also not deny the great outdoors. I will run outside through the winter. I did it today despite the blustery weather, and I felt GREAT afterward. But I will also find other ways to enjoy the cold. Dan and I have decided to participate as much as possible in St. Paul Winter Carnival activities – I have every intention of finding the medallion this year, by the way. #gobigorgohome.
The next four months are gonna be great, laden with blessings and goodness.