My best estimate at the date of this photo was the winter of 1982-83. My family lived in a little town, forty-five minutes from Minneapolis, where it seemed to snow 300 days a year. That out-of-place redhead on the left is yours truly, even the dog was a blond.
Many times when I am asked how I can stand the winters here in Minnesota. I think about when I was a little kid, living in that house out in the sticks. My parents decided between themselves when I was seven months old and too young for a family vote that we would move to this little town from Minneapolis and that they would conscientiously NOT buy us toys. Never had a Barbie, never got to partake in Teddy Ruxpin’s story telling abilities. Yes, we did have toys, but they were minimal and we were expected to go outside and get in the dirt, snow, and trees for our entertainment. Also, we had no cable. What we did have was a lovely wood panel television set that sat on the floor of our basement and allowed me to watch different Strokes and The Cosby Show as well as various black and white movies that I would view along side my dad when it was actually unsafe to play outside in the cold.
But if it was not too cold, we were out there. We grew up outside. I imagine many people feel this way, that they feel they were in the fresh air far more than the successors of their generation.
When outsiders and visitors ask how I can handle getting into my car in the morning when it is twenty below zero outside I’m not sure what to tell them, it is just what I know. Then again I cannot fathom living with temperatures above one hundred for three months as those in the southwest go through every summer. It is just what they know.
I don’t want to go to bed in a house that is warmer than seventy degrees and I would prefer taking a walk in 30 degree weather over 85 every day with no exceptions. I still in the winter wake up and before coffee peer outside my bedroom window hoping to see a fresh coat of white. And though those twenty below days can be painful on my fingertips while I pray that my car will start, I would not trade them for a warmer day ever. Not ever, not for all the OK Soda in the world.
I love winter. Please come now, dear frost and chill.