Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Goodbye, Faribo Frosty, & welcome, spring April 6, 2023

Faribo Frosty’s smile has turned to a frown. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo April 2023)

FARIBO FROSTY ISN’T RUNNING away with promises to return next winter. Instead, he’s melting in place, his once broad smile replaced by a frown.

But Faribault’s ginormous snowman, crafted by the Andy Hoisington family, may be the only one saddened by the 50 and 60-degree temps forecast for southern Minnesota beginning on Friday. I’m smiling and I expect many others are, too. It’s been an incredibly snowy winter with our seasonal snowfall total in the top three for Minnesota. This has been a forever winter.

In late February, Faribo Frosty was still smiling and making so many people smile. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo February 2023)

And even though it saddens me to see rotund, 17-foot tall Faribo Frosty slimming down and eventually melting into a puddle, I expect he really will be back. The Hoisingtons have built and maintained an over-sized snowman for 18 years, their gift to the community and a reason to smile.

Snow and blowing snow defined areas of Minnesota earlier this week. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo January 2020 used for illustration only)

I am smiling wide these days as the snow pack dwindles, revealing dormant grass. Everywhere I look, lawns are visible. Yes, snow still covers shaded areas and snow piles remain. But mostly, it’s beginning to look like spring here, which if you go by the calendar, it is. Tell that to the good Minnesotans who found themselves in yet another blizzard earlier this week.

Along the foundation on the south side of my house, tulips poked through decaying leaves even as snow fell. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2019)

Here in southern Minnesota, rain, rather than snow, fell. Temps, though, stubbornly continue in the 30s with a raw wind. So winter coats are still the dress code of the day.

These tulips, a gift from blogger friend Paula (a native Minnesotan) in the Netherlands, popped color into my life in 2020. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo May 2020)

But winter is loosening its hold under pressure from the sun. Tulips and other spring perennials are popping through the soil in my yard. A few more weeks and they will blaze bold hues. And if I rooted around, I expect I would find crocuses emerging under a layer of leaf mulch.

(Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo used for illustration only)

Another sure sign of spring are spring openers for the Minnesota Twins and the St. Paul Saints. The major and minor league baseball teams rescheduled their openers this week because of weather. No one really wants to sit in a stadium and watch baseball in 30-degree temps coupled with strong winds. But by the time the ball hits the glove late this afternoon (Saints) and on Friday (Twins), conditions should be comfortable, if not balmy by early April in Minnesota standards.

Crocuses emerge from leaf mulch. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo March 2021)

So, yes, I think we’ve turned the corner. Faribo Frosty will need to accept that and graciously exit while promising to return again some day…long after the crocuses are done blooming.

© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “Goodbye, Faribo Frosty, & welcome, spring”

  1. beth Says:

    yay – every sign of spring brings with it a new sense of hope

  2. Rose Says:

    I’m so excited for Spring to get here – to see colors other than white and gray.

  3. I’d like to say I’m sad to see Faribo Frosty move on to a wetter place, but I’m not. Too much snow for such empathy. He out did himself this winter (3rd snowiest!) and deserves a break (or a melt as the case may be). Hopefully we’ll see him again next winters – many months from now. 😉

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