I considered Monday to be my first taste of a Minnesota winter this season, having had to drive ice-covered roads and encounter white-out conditions as semis passed our four-wheel-drive truck on the way back to Worthington. Mom was in the passenger seat cringing and Dad was the back seat driver, as is usually the case.
Weâ€™d made a quick trip to Sioux Falls, S.D., just as rain began to fall on Worthington Monday morning to see the new arrival â€” my great-nephew, and my parentsâ€™ first great-grandson. No threat of a snowstorm could keep us away.
But when threat became reality outside the hospital room window, I began to panic just a bit â€” so much that I completely forgot to have my picture taken with little Brody.
I hate driving during our Minnesota winters.
I suppose I could just shorten that to â€œI hate winter.â€
Images of last yearâ€™s high snow drifts in my front lawn are still vivid memories, and they certainly arenâ€™t happy ones. To hear forecasters predict this winter will be just like last winter makes me want to pack my bags and tell everyone Iâ€™ll be back around April 15.
I was working late on Tuesday night, filling in while we get through the next couple of weeks without two key reporters, when I told our copy editor how much I disliked winter.
In his typical calm tone, Joe said, â€œAw, itâ€™s not so bad.â€
Yet, when I asked him to name one good thing about winter, he couldnâ€™t give me an answer.
I broke the silence a couple of minutes later with, â€œI suppose if a guy (hint, hint nephew Andrew) would invite me ice fishing, Iâ€™d like that about winter!â€
Then, I thought back to long, long ago â€” there must have been a time in my life when I liked winter.
I suppose if I was 10 years old again, Iâ€™d like to hear that school was cancelled. And, being 10, Iâ€™d probably go dig the plastic sled out of the old wash house and head to the empty cattle pasture for a fun-filled day.
If I was 15 years old again, I probably wouldnâ€™t mind taking the four-wheeler for a spin through the snow drifts.
And then I remembered back to when I was those ages â€” how chore time meant breaking ice from 5-gallon water buckets and carrying 5-gallon feed pails through knee-high snow drifts between the feed shed and the barn.
Yeah, Iâ€™m pretty sure I didnâ€™t like winter even as a kid.
Joe and I did agree on one thing â€” we should at least have a little snow for a white Christmas, as long as it melts before my January birthday. My last two birthdays have been flanked by blizzards.