Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Valentine’s Day in brutally cold southern Minnesota February 14, 2021

Valentine’s Day weekend weather warnings for southern Minnesota.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from southern Minnesota, where my thoughts today focus more on the brutally cold weather than on this day of love. The weather monitor atop the fridge early this morning showed minus 18 degrees outside our Faribault home. That’s air temp. Factor in windchill, and it feels even colder.

The windchill warning on my phone yesterday.

Minnesota remains in a windchill warning with windchills of 35-50 degrees below zero. That’s biting cold. Dangerous cold. Exposed skin can freeze in a matter of minutes cold. Nothing to mess with cold.

Friends mailed this handcrafted valentine from northwestern Minnesota, where the temps and windchills are even colder than here in Faribault. I love this valentine. So thoughtful. So lovely.

If you’ve never experienced cold like this, trust me when I say I can feel the cold filtering from outdoors through the walls and windows after endless days of this frigid weather. Ice films the upstairs windows. If I pull away the rag rug positioned at the bottom of the front door to block air leaks, I’ll find a line of frost. The furnace is working overtime. Water from the kitchen faucet gushes ice cold. I’ve partially opened the cupboard door so heat can flow toward the vulnerable water pipes. No one wants pipes freezing, furnaces stopping or vehicles breaking down.

A valentine’s heart crafted decades ago by my kindergarten son from fabric and paint and, oh, so dear to me.

We postponed a weekend trip to visit our son, daughter and son-in-law in Madison, Wisconsin, because of the weather. We didn’t want to risk our van breaking down during that four-hour drive. Not that it would, but things happen.

Art from the grandchildren, given to us last weekend as an early Valentine’s Day gift. Their art adorns our fridge.

Saturday in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness east of Ely, the temp plummeted to 50 degrees below zero, according to a story on Minnesota Public Radio. If that weather station reading is confirmed, it will break a new record low for February 13 in Minnesota. The record for that date was minus 46 degrees set in 1916 in Detroit Lakes.

A weather alert banners the front page of Saturday’s Faribault Daily News.

Today’s high temp here in southern Minnesota is expected to reach only minus eight degrees. Tomorrow? Minus three.

Vintage valentines from my mom’s collection and displayed on a dining room shelf in my home.

I have no intention of going outside. Instead, I’ll write, read, enjoy a delicious valentine’s meal of tuna steak and veggies, and a glass of wine, with Randy. And I’ll think of those I love—the family I miss, friends who are dear—and summer days of green grass and flowers and the wind blowing warm breezes.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

10 Responses to “Valentine’s Day in brutally cold southern Minnesota”

  1. JanBeek Says:

    We’re bitterly cold here in MT with sub zero temperatures, too, but not as cold as yours. I loved seeing your mom’s vintage cards. I have a box of them from my mom’s school days in the 20’s. Precious, aren’t they?

  2. Norma Says:

    So sorry to hear that you are having such brutal weather. I have experienced 32 degrees, but nothing lower. Got an email from my grandsons’ wife in Midland, Tx., and they are experiencing 0 degrees. They are originally from Bakersfield, but he got transferred there for his job. Several years ago he was working at the North Pole, so he had some experience with cold. Take care, and God Bless you in this weather.

  3. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    Such a cold cold time for us and even colder at our cabin. I cant imaging being up north right now, brrr. I love sitting by the fireplace with a blanket on my lap. The cold makes me stay put…for the most part, I can actually “Hear” the cold when the tires of the pacing cars drive by our home. Stay warm my friend. I hope you enjoyed your Valentines Day 🙂

  4. Sending warm thoughts! ❤


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