Monday, January 24, 2011

Worn Welcome

Winter in Minnesota. I love it mostly. I idealized it while living in Tennessee during my youth. Oh, how I longed to live some place where the snow would visit often and linger more than a few days. I moved here 9 years ago and my wish came true.

That wish has never rung truer than this year. Boy howdy, we have snow to spare. We've had 6 feet of it so far this snow season. It's gotten to a point -- perhaps The Point. If you've read some of my previous posts you'll know I'm a snow shoveling zealot. These days, however, if the snow amounts to less than an inch I don't bother. Let the wind blow it away.

There's been plenty of wind, too, and cold. It's been cold and windy and snowy. Welcome to Minnesota.

Still, there have been bright moments. I enjoy the times when I am out in the snow and can enjoy it without the rush of a schedule. I've snowshoed a bit this winter. It's very enjoyable and extremely warming since it's damned hard work in fresh, deep powder. I've had a few amazing biking experiences. Okay, more than a few to be fair. On one such occasion last Thursday riding my Pugsley at Theo Wirth with co-workers (read: we were not in the office but still getting paid) I felt warmer than anything I'd muster commuting at 10 degrees.

I had a nagging reminder of something at lunch that day. The mention of an unforgettable fact. One of my colleagues, a fellow Tennessee ex-pat, asked me: "So, do you feel like you just love winter, like a native Minnesotan?" I wanted to say I've met plenty of Minnesota-born folks who begrudge winter, but I got his point. And while I was warm from the indoor heat, delicious pizza and camaraderie, I lowered my head and replied, "No. I'm over it this winter."

I'm not a "winter-loving native Minnesotan." The truth is I'll never be a native of anywhere unless I move to West Virginia to live out the rest of my days (but I haven't lived there in over 30 years). Perhaps his question touched more than one nerve.

But who am I to drag you down even farther? After all, from sea to shining sea, we've all felt the icy slap of Old Man Winter this year. Well, I'm not so sure Old Man Winter ain't behaving like nothing more than a baby boomer whose retirement account tanked with the recession. He's pissed and he's taking it out on the rest of us 'cause he had to sell the RV, move into a shitty studio apartment and start drinking Popov vodka martinis.

No, friends, I am here to share the enlightened wisdom of a 5-year old. My daughter Sylvia has crafted, in true Letterman fashion, her second (yes, this is number 2 written just tonight -- since the first one went missing) list of reasons to dislike winter. I submit for your consideration her list in ascending order:

(Oh, by the way, I should mention I'm preserving the spelling for your enjoyment. Laugh and think like a kid for a minute. It will do you more good than all those corny email forwards your relatives send you. C'mon, you know you get them too ...)

reesins we do not like outside
1. it is to colde
2. it is to windy
3. you can't do math
4. you can't cut and glew
5. you can't do progeckt's
6. you can't make papr chanes
7. you can't draw pichrs
8. you can't play elid fodetag
9. you cant run
10. your feet get stuck
11. you haf to put on snow close

I have no idea what a couple of those things mean ... well, specifically, number 8. Sylvia's asleep so I can't ask her. The etymologist in me, however, can't help but revel in the similarity of some kid words to old English (but not in the O.E. 800 way).

Getting back to the coarser topic of the weather: The Earth is gonna tilt again soon and we'll all get to go about fuckin' it up with our internal combustion fascination. With top down and music loud, we'll use great speed and reckless abandon to prove ourselves. Oh man, those will be the daze. Warm and horny without a care in the world.

Maybe winter's not so bad.

Be well, people.

1 comment:

Snakebite said...

I like number three: 3. you can't do math

Fruita's coming up in a few short months (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).