One of the biggest shockers this week for me was the upcoming weather forecast: supposed snow showers in the area this weekend. Temperatures could drop as low as 28°F.
It’s only Oct. 11, how could we be getting snow this early?!
I’ve heard horror stories about Minnesota winters for the last four years. Even though I’ve only been living in the state for about four months, I had close friends from Minnesota for years who’ve only complained about the coldest season.
“You have to get snow tires,” they said. “You’re going to need a bigger snow-emergency kit in case you get stuck on the road,” they said.
And of course I know about the many snow-day cancellations last year of surrounding school districts, some of which had about eight. Which is a lot; that’s way more snow days than I ever had growing up. Last year’s winter was harsh for Minnesotans.
I grew up just outside of Chicago and went to college in Milwaukee, where everything is cooler by the lake. I think I know what a cold, snowy winter feels like. But, based on everything I’ve heard from locals and climate change, something tells me this winter is going to be a bit different.
I interviewed Larry Logeman, the owner of Executive Express, for the business story about the merger with Groome Transportation. We talked a little bit about my background and even he said all I have to do is get through this winter to feel like a true Minnesotan.
While I could write about climate change and how it is scary and affecting our world as we know it, I think there can be some positives to look forward to this winter.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate the cold just as much as the next person, especially when the weather gets to be those sub-zero temperatures and it physically hurts to breathe the frigid air. After many months of a cold winter, shoveling snow gets tiresome, sloshing through slush every day gets depressing and everyone’s ready for warmer days again. The snow is no longer as pretty and magical as it once was. Tans from the summer months are long faded.
But maybe there’s more to winter. Besides the obvious reasons, such as the fact that bugs are absent, you can have cozy fireplace fires, you can wear soft, snuggly sweaters and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season. Let’s also not forget we’ll be spending lots more time indoors. This will give the opportunity to get back into hobbies such as knitting, drawing or painting, reading, writing, exercising, cooking, brewing, playing video games, chess or a musical instrument.
You can clean out your house and donate old items to charity. You can catch up on all your favorite TV shows or movies you never got around to watching. And drink a mug of hot cocoa... You can’t quite do that during the warmer months.
A whole bunch of winter sports become available again. Skiing, snowboarding, hockey, ice skating and sledding are just a few. Even if I may not be participating myself in all these winter sports, I know I also enjoy being able to watch the NHL.
I think the winter makes us all a little tougher, too. When I hear the southern states freak out over an inch of snow and not know how to handle it, I laugh because I can say I’ve been through way worse. We learn to help each other out in times of extreme weather conditions and to be accepting of others who hit roadblocks or are snowed in.
Plus, there’s no humidity! Maybe it’s just me and most curly-haired folks, but I’ll be looking forward to not having frizzy hair all the time.
Come January, my opinion might be completely different, and I might wonder how the heck I could’ve written this column. Or even moved to Minnesota in the first place. But for now, I’m going to welcome winter as best I can, even if it’s starting mid-October.
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“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.