Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That First Winter

Wow. Can it get any colder? This morning's low temp was negative 16. That's negative 16, people!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Just kidding about the crying part. Really, all you can do is grin and bear it when it gets this cold. We just try to keep our sense of humor about it.

I do silly things like send text messages to Kaitlyn (in Missouri, lucky girl) and let her know how cold it is here at home. I'm sure she wishes she was here. :)

Everyone probably remembers the song, "Over the River and Through the Woods." I'm pretty sure it was probably written by a Minnesotan. The wind does blow and it stings the toes and bites the nose!

All of this cold weather has made me remember our first winter in Minnesota. That was the winter of 2000-2001. We had arrived here from Texas at the end of September. Not knowing what the winters here were really like, we were kind of nervous.

We had no idea how cold it might get or how much snow might fall. What if our cars won't start? What if the weather gets so bad that we can't go to the store for food? Those thoughts seem so silly now.

We felt a little conspicuous that winter. We almost felt paranoid that the neighbors were probably watching "Those Texans" to see how we handled the winter.

Alan was traveling a lot at that point in time. He left instructions for me, for how to run the snowblower. I literally lived in fear that winter, wondering if I'd be able to run the snowblower correctly if I had to. I'd get knots in my stomach when a winter storm was on the way. Oh dear Lord, please don't let it snow enough that I have to get the snowblower out.

The first time I had to use the snowblower, I had a little trouble. I looked at my checklist and thought I'd done everything correctly. I was so frustrated because I couldn't get it started. The next thing I knew, a neighbor showed up at our house and helped me. He quickly found the problem. I'd forgotten to turn the key on! At least now I can look back on it and laugh.

On another occasion, that same neighbor gave our van's battery a jump-start. Our battery had died, refusing to survive it's first MN winter.

We had winter coats, gloves, hats, etc. when we moved here. That Texas stuff just didn't cut it here in MN. We had to buy warmer gear!

That first winter here certainly broke us in well. It was very cold! We thought we'd lose body parts due to frostbite. Just kidding, but it was really cold! I believe the snow total that winter was 72".
The Minnesotans who've lived here all of their lives say things like, "Oh we don't even have REAL winters anymore." I just want to say, "Hello! This really feels like winter to me!"

This is our 9th winter here in Minnesota. We still don't love the winters here, but we've learned how to deal with it. The best way to get through it is to stay inside and blog!


Aaron said...

We moved here in January of 1994 from Kentucky. Despite having also lived in Colorado, we were definitely not prepared for it. That was one of the really cold winters...the kind that we haven't had many of since, thank goodness. The windchill, though, at some points was -75 degrees! I don't remember what the actual temperature was, but it's ridiculous to think that increasing the "feels like" temperature a hundred degrees would still not put it above freezing.

Lauryn said...

Thanks for bringing back those memories I'd worked so hard to block out. :P Haha just kidding!

But yes, I remember how brutal that first winter was. If I'd heard one more person say, "Oh this is nothing compared to the Halloween Blizzard of '91!" I probably would have gone crazy!

kaitlyn lundberg said...

I remember coming to minnesota with only like 7 long sleeved shirts. needless to say, a lot of shopping went down that year...