THE LANDSCAPE HERE IN MINNESOTA the past week has been undeniably beautiful—a winter wonderland. It’s absolutely stunning with snow layered upon trees and rooftops, creating scenes that could grace any Christmas card. I found myself many times just pausing at a window to admire the beauty of the outdoors.
But four consecutive days of snowfall also brought issues. The heavy snow snapped branches and power lines leaving many, especially in the Brainerd lakes area of central Minnesota, without power. Snow slicked roads, leading to crashes. And for all of us, no matter where we live in the state, all that snow meant snow removal.
We have a snowblower, albeit massive and ancient, and three different types of shovels. The scoop shovel is good for tossing large quantities of snow, especially the rock-like chunks at the end of the driveway. The wide plastic shovel works well for pushing. And the wide metal shovel serves as an oversized ice scraper to expose bare concrete. I often shovel since I can’t manage the snowblower.
Weather forecasters warned us to get the snow off sidewalks and driveways without delay. Why? Cold air has moved in. And it’s only going to get worse. The National Weather Service is warning of “life-threatening conditions possible Thursday and Friday with dangerously cold wind chills (into the minus 30s) and blizzard conditions from blowing snow.” So, yeah, not good. Our son is scheduled to fly in from Indiana on Thursday evening. Whether that happens remains to be seen. I don’t even want to consider the possibility of him not getting here for Christmas.
When the NWS starts tossing out words like wind chill, frostbite and hypothermia, we Minnesotans recognize the need to stock winter survival kits in our vehicles, dress in layers, don our waterproof boots, wear mittens (not gloves) and more.
When lines of ice edge door thresholds in our house, I block the bottoms of exterior doors with rag rugs to seal cold air entry points. When cold ices windows on the second level, well, there’s not much I can do.
Already I feel the chill in our old house. I’ve added an extra blanket to our bed. In the morning, I pull my clothes from a cold closet to warm for awhile before getting dressed for the day.
As I write, light snow falls. A notice on my computer screen warns of dropping temps. Highs later this week will not even reach above zero as “dangerously cold Arctic air” moves into Minnesota, just in time for Christmas.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling