Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts after the season’s first snowfall December 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 1:58 PM
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The snowy woods adjoining my backyard in Faribault late Sunday morning following about a five-inch snowfall.

WELCOME TO MY BACKYARD after the first significant snowfall in Faribault this season.

It is a world of mostly black-and-white, like vintage photos in an album.

Branches laden with the first significant snowfall.

I’m trying to be poetic here because, as disloyal Minnesotan as this sounds, I don’t particularly like snow. I dread the resulting icy sidewalks and parking lots.

I realize I possess the attitude of  “an old person” here. No offense meant to any of you who are older than me. But, at age 55 and with an artificial hip implanted in my right side three years ago, snow and ice threaten me. I fear falling, so I inch across ice with trepidation.

Just to clarify, my hip replacement did not result from a fall. I suffered from osteoarthritis and reached the point where surgery was the only option to deal with near immobility and chronic pain.

So here we are, in the season of snow and ice in Minnesota. If I don’t exactly embrace it, now at least you understand why. I suspect it is the reason many Minnesotans flee to Arizona and Florida during the winter months—not only to escape the cold, but to escape the danger.

Yet, even I can see the beauty in a fresh snowfall that layers branches and seed heads and the entire world around me in a surreal sort of peacefulness on a Sunday morning.

That, for me, redeems winter.

The blessing of winter lies in its beauty, seen here in a snippet of time-worn fencing in my backyard.

An unobtrusive patch of color in a mostly black-and-white world Sunday morning: Snow capping a hydrangea.

HOW DO YOU feel about snow and winter in general? The truth, please.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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6 Responses to “Thoughts after the season’s first snowfall”

  1. ceciliag Says:

    How wonderful, we have no snow here yet, a bit early for us i hope!! And as to the fear of falling, we get a lot of ice, the temp goes up.. it rains, then it drops and it freezes and so on and so on until the whole yard is a sheet of ice for months. last year i told John I wanted a rope from the verandah to the barn so i can hold on to something as i shuffle across, it is treacherous..I know how you feel.. c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      A rope sounds like a dandy solution to that icy yard. Here in Minnesota, back in the pioneer days (long before me, I might clarify), settlers would string a rope from the cabin to the barn to avoid becoming lost and disoriented during a blizzard.

  2. I look forward to the seasonal changes so without some snow and ice, things wouldn’t feel natural. We certainly seem to be living in a changed climate and in recent years, the winters in the UK have at times, been quite harsh. However, I’m well aware of the pain the snow and ice can cause, no offence or pun intended there.

    Kind Regards

    Tony Powell

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I like the change of seasons, too, just not winter as much as I once did.

      BTW, I appreciate your humor. Thanks for stopping by from the UK.

  3. virgil Says:

    I’m with you Audrey worrying about falling but also about enjoying the beauty of winter. I also look forward to recording the ice-on dates for some area lakes. Wells Lake froze over a week ago. Cedar and Cannon Lakes froze over last night. The average for Cedar Lake over 37 years is Nov. 27. The earliest was Nov. 4, 1991 with the Halloween snowstorm. The latest was Dec. 20 in both 1998 and 2001. Data is sent to MPCA along with 1,000 other recorders. It is also sent to University at Buffalo where they have been recording data for many years.


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