November 16, 2005
Winter arrived last night. You say it's not due until December 21? Well, take my word for it, it's here. The snow, the sleet, the wind, the boots, the windshield scraping, the parka ... the whole nine yards.
Even though I've lived here over 15 years, I have never looked forward to winter. Maybe you have to grow up here, learn to ski and skate when you're just old enough to walk, learn to stand at a cold bus stop because that's all you know. But I know better, and I don't like it.
I still remember hearing Eric Friesen (then of MPR, now of the CBC) once saying that the only way to survive in Minnesota is to "embrace the winter." I just can't wrap my head around it. I had an interesting conversation with a colleague last week - she grew up in these parts and lives for winter. Her favorite kind of day is snowy and very cold. I described my favorite kind of day: 75 degrees, balmy, windows open, sunroof down on the car, wearing shorts, not having to change clothes for indoors / outdoors transitions - feeling at equilibrium with the temperature outside. Maybe I'm really adapted for San Diego. My ancestry is mixed northern European - and not awfully far north - they have a lot of 75 degree days there.
Anyway, winter is not my happy time of the year. The days are too short, the layers of clothes are too many, and I'm always having to figure out how to stay warm enough. (Consequently I eat too much and put on weight, and then feel bad about that.... but that's another story.)
The one good thing about winter is that the classical music scene in the Twin Cities is at its peak. We had a great rehearsal last night for the Advent Procession we (Gregorian Singers) are doing on Saturday, November 26. You are warmly invited: St. Paul's Church on the Hill, 1524 Summit Ave (just east of Snelling); 4:00 pm. Open to the public, free of charge (a freewill offering will be taken.) That's one of the good things about Minnesota winter.
Thus endeth my rant against winter. Now that I've got it off my chest, I can get back to work.
hal, as a fellow non-native midwesterner (i still think of myself as a new englander tho' i have not lived there in 14+ years!), i completely feel your pain re: winter. i have tried to embrace it as much as possible but there are things about the cold that make it hard to embrace. take, for instance, the cold, dry air. when you move to minnesota, someone should immediately take you aside and tell you that you MUST buy a humidifier for the bedroom. i went 2 winters without one and never understood why my skin was so dry and my sinuses so congested. then, i discovered smart folk use a humidifier. it has made my life so much better. plus, i learned recently that a humidifier tricks the body into thinking it is warmer b/c moisture feels warmer. one a more positive note, one way that i "embrace" winter is through the art shanty projects (see www.artshantyprojects.org). it is a great distraction on those short days/cold nights.
Posted by: rich at November 17, 2005 9:43 AM