Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Take this weather, California March 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:10 AM
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Daffodils, the first flowers of spring in Minnesota, are springing up during this unseasonably warm March weather.

OH, HOW I TRIED, resisted, told myself not to write on this topic. But I have finally given in to an indisputable Minnesotan urge to discuss the weather.

I will not, cannot, apologize for this geographical predisposition. Weather is always a topic of conversation in Minnesota. Too hot. Too humid. Too cold. Too dry. Too wet. Just like Goldilocks, we are never quite satisfied until…we get weather like this…

…recent string of sunshine-filled mid-March days with temperatures soaring into the 60s and 70s. Typically the weather this time of year is cold, snowy and gloomy, the landscape bleak and depressing.

I suppose we would all feel more grateful if this had been a long cold winter with mountains of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Remember last winter? This season my husband has used our snowblower only once. And this week, as I survey my neighborhood, I spot not a speck of snow, not even under trees or in the north side shade of buildings.

Rather, I see joggers and mothers pushing babies in strollers and a gym class of students running past my house.

I spy tulips and daffodils poking their folded leaves several inches through the soil. I’ve tossed the decaying mulch leaves of autumn from crocuses teasing me with peeks of purple. And Tuesday evening, on a whim, I picked up a packet of spinach seeds. Tell me, is it too soon to sow spinach?

If this weather holds, I expect my crocuses will soon be in bloom, like these I photographed last spring.

I’ve thrown open the windows, allowing the fresh air to sweep indoors, pushing out the closed-up stale air of winter.

Laundry goes out on the line nearly every day now, although I must qualify that even when temps are in the 30s, I hang freshly-washed clothes outside, if the sun is shining. Nature’s dryer will dry clothes in the strong afternoon sunshine of a frigid winter day.

My son has asked me to replace the flannel sheets on his bed with light-weight cotton ones. I’m keeping the cozy flannel on my bed. He is 18; I am 37 ½ years wiser.

My eldest daughter flew out to southwestern California this morning, right into a winter storm predicted to bring significant rain and cold to the West Coast this weekend. So much for warm and sunny California.

How about warm and sunny Minnesota? Eighty degrees predicted today here in Faribault.

A pussy willow snipped on Wednesday from a neighbor's yard.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling