Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Strong winds and snow sock southern Minnesota December 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:11 PM

My husband, Randy, blows snow off our driveway Wednesday morning. From the pie-shaped slice of snow, you can see how much of the white stuff fell in Faribault, Minnesota, during the past 24 hours or so.

Randy blows the feather-light snow.

“WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING cancellations and postponements,” the announcer for a Rochester radio station says. He then launches into a lengthy list that includes the Central Valley Co-op annual meeting, the Waseca Senior Center fashion show, the Medford choir concerts, grades two and three, and bingo at the Legion in New Richland.

Nearly every event scheduled for Tuesday evening in southeastern Minnesota has been impacted by the winter storm that brings “blowing snow, reduced visibility and difficult driving conditions.” The DJ repeats those words over and over again through-out the afternoon.

Now it’s Wednesday morning. Ten inches of snow and high winds make it clear that winter has arrived here in Faribault. My husband, who typically leaves for work at around 7 a.m., is blowing snow from our driveway and sidewalk and from a neighbor’s place. And it’s already nearly 10 a.m.

Our oldest daughter has called from the Twin Cities. Her battery light came on just as she got onto the interstate, headed from south Minneapolis to St. Paul this morning. Rather than turn around, she shut off the radio and heater and continued on. Now my automotive machinist husband will need to attempt an over-the-phone diagnosis, all the while praying she will make it home in tonight’s rush hour traffic.

Upstairs, my 15-year-old still sleeps, oblivious to all the stresses that come with a winter storm in Minnesota. I expect he’ll arise around noon.

In nearby Janesville, the ethanol plant, Guardian Energy, isn’t receiving corn today. In Northfield, the Orthopedic and Fracture Clinic won’t open until noon. So the postponements and cancellations continue.

This, folks, is winter in Minnesota.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling