Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

No smelling the lilies today February 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 2:48 PM
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TODAY MY HUSBAND AND I had these wonderful plans for a one-day respite from winter.

We intended to drive to St. Paul, tour the Como Park Conservatory and then have lunch with our eldest daughter and son-in-law at their Lowertown apartment.

But that all changed after we decided to heed the Minnesota State Patrol’s advice to avoid unnecessary travel this weekend.

In the aftermath of Thursday/Friday’s blizzard, roads remain treacherous. Rain followed by snow caused a layer of ice to form under the now snow-packed roadways. Yesterday’s traffic situation in the Twin Cities metro was awful with thousands of spin-outs, nearly 700 crashes, almost 1,000 stalls and over 50 jackknifed/stuck semis, according to numerous news reports. The situation in areas of outstate Minnesota has been equally as challenging.

Conditions have been termed the worst in 25 years.

Minnesota Highway 60 just outside of Faribault Saturday morning shows a mostly snow-packed highway with a few patches of pavement showing.

Minnesota Highway 60 just east of Faribault Saturday morning shows a mostly snow-packed and icy highway with a few patches of pavement showing.

In the cold that followed the storm, salt and chemicals are not melting the snow and ice. Roads will improve only with time and we’re told that could be days. A short drive east of Faribault along Minnesota Highway 60 this morning showed us just how bad roads are.

We did not want to be part of the metro mess, thus the decision to postpone the St. Paul outing until another weekend.

And, as our eldest daughter reminded us, we did not want to be the second Helbling to go in the ditch this week.

Monday morning our second daughter’s vehicle hit an icy patch on a rural Wisconsin roadway, spun around twice into the oncoming lane and landed in the opposite ditch facing the opposite direction from which she’d been traveling.

Thankfully, she was not injured nor her Chevy damaged. There was no oncoming traffic. Her car did not roll (as she suspected it would) and it landed in the opposite ditch away from telephone phones.

She did, however, have to crawl out the window as snow was banked against the door.

Yes, this has been quite the winter here in the Midwest.

Preparing to shovel snow from the garage roof. Trees in my neighborhood are still laden with ice and snow.

Preparing to shovel snow from the garage roof. Trees in my neighborhood are still laden with ice and snow.

So, today instead of meandering among fragrant lilies, beautiful pansies and more in the balmy warmth of the Como Conservatory and then lunching with our daughter and her husband, we’ve been dealing with snow. My spouse has been shoveling snow from the house and garage roofs and from ours and the neighbor’s driveways.

Ravine Street in Faribault this morning.

Ravine Street in Faribault this morning.

We may head downtown again later. But we’re not leaving town.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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