Minnesotans love to
complain about weather
Monday, February 24, 2014 3:40 AM
If there has ever been a winter to complain about the weather, it has been this one. We've experienced frigid weather and received inches upon inches of snow. While we have not had that huge snow drop at once, whatever we have received has not melted and continues to accumulate.
We, as Minnesotans are well trained in weather conversation. We know adjectives such as frigid, blusterous and bitter in regards to temperatures and wind chills. We know that our snow is measured in feet and light, powdery snow is much easier to shovel than the heavy and slushy variety. Last week we even heard possibilities of "thunder snow."
As Midwesterners, we are likely to experience all extremes at least at some time during the winter.
As I write this column, we are awaiting the arrival of a blizzard that not only promises huge amounts of snow, but also high winds to create blowing and drifting snow. If we didn't have jobs to do and places to be it is the kind of storm where one would like to hunker down and sit by a fire (or a heat vent) to enjoy a good book or a movie.
Forecasters have warned us about the impending doom of this storm for several days, so it took away some of the joy we may have felt during the two really nice days we had in the middle of the week.
On Tuesday, I was at a local store buying some supplies when I told the cashier that I was really enjoying the nice day. It felt good to splash through a few puddles and run out to the car with just a sweater rather than encased in my winter coat, scarf and gloves. The customer behind me, hearing our conversation, kindly warned, "Just wait until Thursday."
I knew the forecast and yet I was still enjoying the beautiful day. Maybe I was in denial, but I was choosing to focus on the warmer temperatures and the sunshine rather than the snow and cold we knew would be returning.
It made me think about how this is a typical Minnesota reaction and one I have been guilty of myself. While I was the optimistic one on Tuesday, I am ashamed to admit I can spread weather doom and gloom as well as the next person.
As Minnesotans we know weather can be fickle. We base this knowledge on years and years of experiences - some winters can be mild, others harsh. We can get lots of snow during our cold season or have a dry year with little inconvenience. That has conditioned us to have a "just wait" attitude.
Another comment I received on Wednesday, in another similar conversation, was a bit better, but still delivered with some warning. Again I was commenting on the beautiful day and my friend replied, "Enjoy it while you can," accurately predicting that our nice days don't stick around long in Minnesota.
My niece, Katelyn, is responsible for the next comment that made me think about how we talk about the weather in our fine state. Her exact words, posted on Facebook, were, "You know it's been a harsh winter when you go outside and think to yourself that it's a gorgeous day, only to find out its only 6 degrees."
I had to laugh when I saw her post because I had just had a similar thought when I had gone out to my car and realized I didn't feel cold seeping in through my many layers.
Today, as we await the storm, there is a lot of talk about its slight delay. Many are questioning the decision to call school off based only on the forecast when roads were fine earlier. I know the storm is still coming and as I finish up my column, I see the snow has arrived with big flakes coming down at a quick pace. I am anxious to get my work done so I can go home and relax.
I think it might just be a good night to hunker down in my rocking chair with a good book, a glass of wine and a cat or two for company. As Minnesotans, we have become pretty good at that too.