Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

After the snowstorm in Faribault December 11, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:40 PM
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Randy guides the snowblower down our driveway Saturday morning. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

OUR FIRST MAJOR winter storm of the season dropped about 10 inches of snow in Faribault Friday into the early morning hours of Saturday. But other areas got more. Much more. Double in Woodbury and parts of the metro. Like Lakeville and Eagan.

Each shovel serves a different purpose. The rusty one on the left is used to scrape close to the surface. The scoop shovel works great for tossing snow. And the wide plastic shovel, right, pushes snow. (Minnesota Prairie Roost copyrighted photo December 2021)

Saturday morning I grabbed a cup of coffee, ate a bowl of cereal and then headed outside to help Randy with snow removal. I focus on the places he can’t reach with the snowblower. Like the steps. And around the garage. And then I do clean-up, scraping away residual snow.

A close-up of Randy clearing the driveway with our ancient snowblower. Across the street, our neighbor blows his sidewalk. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

As I stepped outdoors to a world of white, the sound of scraping shovels and of snowblowers broke any post-storm quiet. Everywhere I looked, neighbors were hard at work clearing sidewalks and driveways of snow.

The sidewalk past our house, cleared of snow. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

There’s something comforting in seeing an entire neighborhood working separately, yet together, on a common mission. To dig out after a snowstorm.

Snowy evergreen boughs. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

I paused, too, to appreciate the beauty of the snow. Layering my neighbor’s evergreen trees.

Seed heads. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

Topping dried seed heads in my yard. Filling the woods.

Heading into downtown Faribault after lunch Saturday. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)
Snow pushed into a pile in the parking lot of Ace Hardware. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)
City snow removal crews push the snow into the middle of the street near Erickson Furniture before complete removal later. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

Saturday unfolded into a day of blue skies and bright sunshine. Sun intense enough to melt snow from roads and other surfaces. That makes it far easier to get around. Friday evening Randy’s drive home from work along snow-packed Minnesota State Highway 3 took 45 minutes rather than the usual 22 minutes. I felt such relief when he finally pulled into the garage.

The snowy scene along Fourth Street Saturday afternoon. Note that Family Video closed several months ago. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)
Lots of snowplows were out and about. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)
Near the historic Brunswick Hotel building, approaching Buckham Memorial Library, along Central Avenue. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2021)

Last Saturday, our landscape was devoid of snow as we celebrated Winterfest here in Faribault. What a difference seven days can make.


NOTE: My heart hurts for all those affected by the deadly and devastating tornadoes in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky. That storm makes our major winter storm here in Minnesota seem only a minor inconvenience.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “After the snowstorm in Faribault”

  1. beth Says:

    wow! and weirdly, we hit 60 degrees today in michigan )

  2. Valerie Says:

    Lots of snow came down. We went cross country skiing in the Carleton Arb, after Gary plowed out the snow.

  3. We got about 7 1/2 inches in our driveway, but my son in South Minneapolis had 11 1/2. And my daughter in Columbia Heights didn’t have as much as we did but she was not as anal as her mom and brother who both took a tape measure outside to see what we got! It was so crazy how the amounts varied around the metro. I know what you mean about all the neighbors being outside clearing snow. That’s one of my favorite post-snowstorm things.

  4. I was wondering if you caught the infamous pile of snow and you did – ha! I do not miss driving in snow and ice. It is pretty and so is white sand, which I now prefer over the cold white stuff. Be Safe, Stay Warm – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. I always liked the first snowfall but after the initial one I was “over it”. Glad you guys have the tools to deal with it and get it cleared out. I must admit I really do not miss it one bit. When we do get snow here I enjoy it because I know it will be gone very quickly. And yes–the tornadoes were horrific and those people certainly need our prayers and whatever we can do to help.

    • Randy just got in from shoveling the end of the sidewalk open. The snowplow was working on clean-up today and shoved a mountain of snow onto the end of the sidewalk.

      Yes to the prayers and other help needed for those in the path of the tornadoes.

  6. Sandra Says:

    You certainly seem equipped to handle a fairly large area. Impressive to work as a team. I was always thankful we lived on an East Side main artery, but with a long driveway.
    I have a choir mate that is certain all of Woodbury’s 20″ landed in her driveway, preventing her from getting to Mahtomedi for Sat. rehearsal. We, just 5 mi. away, got a foot. Big surprise, we never get what’s forecast.
    KY is getting all the coverage, terrible as it is, other states were affected too. Goes to show, God is in charge.
    Did a week actually pass without a school shooting?!!!

    • Yes, living on an arterial street, like we do and you did, has the sole benefit of getting plowed out early. Otherwise, I very much dislike living along a busy street. Constant traffic. And wailing emergency sirens at all hours. When we moved into this house nearly 40 years ago, the street was not nearly this busy. Nor was the ambulance garage located on our end of town, making this the most direct and quickest route.

  7. I was elated with the snow fall, about 8 inches at our home but reported 10 in NW Rochester. I smiled when I read your comment, “I paused, too, to appreciate the beauty of the snow….Yes it is so beautiful indeed!

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