Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

And he thought Minnesota was snowy February 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:01 AM
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REPEATEDLY, I’VE REQUESTED snow images from my son who attends Tufts University in Medford, MA. That’s about five miles from Boston.

He repeatedly has failed to send me photos. So I rely on numerous online sources to show me scenes of all that snow piling up in this major East Coast metro area.

I converted this image to black-and-white and upped the brightness. This was shot on the Minnesota Highway 19 curve just north of Vesta, my southwestern Minnesota hometown.

A winter storm in southwestern Minnesota reduced visibility along State Highway 19 north of Vesta in March 2012. Photo used here for illustration purposes only since I don’t have any images from Boston and always like to include art in my blog posts. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Even by Minnesota standards, six feet (72.6 inches to be exact) of snow in 30 days in Boston is staggering. That broke a 30-day record of 58.8 inches set in 1978.

Can you imagine the narrowed streets, mountains of snow to see around and move, the shutting down of mass transit? On Monday in Medford, a grocery store employee was struck by a snow removal truck while crossing the store parking lot after work. He later died. The Governor of Massachusetts has declared a State of Emergency. More snow is predicted on Thursday.

The son told me on Monday, his fourth day off from classes in two weeks due to winter storms, that he’d rather be in class. (Or maybe his native Minnesota.) Classes were canceled again on Tuesday, bringing the snow day total to five. I’m wondering whether colleges make up missed days considering the tuition paid.

Since my son isn’t the communicative-informing-mom type, I’ve relied on Tufts social media. Moms like me who are more than 1,000 miles away need reassurance. Tuesday morning I got a mass email from Tufts updating me on the situation there. I appreciated that.

Despite the overwhelming amount of snow, my son has managed to make the 20-minute walk from his apartment to campus and back numerous times during these winter storms. He’s rather regretting, I think, his decision to live off campus this year.

But, he’s young and he’s a native Minnesotan. He built a snow fort on campus last weekend. He’ll survive.

DO YOU HAVE FAMILY or friends in Massachusetts? If so, what are you hearing from them?

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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19 Responses to “And he thought Minnesota was snowy”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    Your photo reminds me of my drive home yesterday. 72.6 inches is so much snow. I’d call that a bad month.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    One of my loyal readers, Jake, is from Boston and he is over it all. Really over it. I can’t even imagine trying to get anything accomplished with all of that snow. The good thing about snow versus water (flooding) is that you can move snow. Finding a place to move it to is another story, right? Glad Caleb is soldiering on during less than perfect circumstances.

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    Winter storms are bad but not so bad if you live in a city. If you are out in the country, it is best to keep a couple of good books and firewood handy.

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    I do remember, when I returned to college in ’99, I quickly learned how immensely things have changed. I only had 1 snow day but that didn’t interfere with teacher/student communications……..the source became the internet and assignments, etc, continued in my home setting. I really like this change!!!!!!
    Such exchange of info/photos (or lack thereof) would be expected from our oldest son. Our youngest uses txt messaging constantly while involved in his West Coast long-haul trucking jaunts. Each off-spring is so different! But the not-knowing is bothersome!
    Hugs, from a very white, ice-encrusted S.E. MN……………………………….

  5. I don’t have family in that area but each time I hear about it on the news I cringe. I remember winters like that here in the Midwest. We are long overdue for a harsh winter like that. I have not so fond memories of living without power for a week because of one of those storms. I think I smell a blog post coming on. If I can find some pictures.

  6. I have been watching the news and the amount of snow there is just STAGGERING – I cannot even imagine what it would take just to get out of the house every day there lately – WOW!!! The Winter of 2004-2005 was pretty brutal here with way too much snow and it was wet and heavy too – caused car ports to collapse and roofs to cave in and then the ground was just mushy for months after it all melted – YUCKO!

    Wishing the people of MA the best with these winter storms and staying warm and safe 🙂

  7. Jackie Says:

    Good to hear that Caleb is making his way through the snow. He’s a true Minnesotan that’s for sure!

  8. hotlyspiced Says:

    That’s a long way to be from your son. And most sons are hopeless at keeping in contact with their mothers. I think if Sydney ever had an outbreak of snow like that, the whole city would shut down. We would be at a loss as to what to do – no clue xx


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