Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Defying winter in Minnesota January 10, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WITH SNOW MELTING from rooftops and sidewalks under a bold January sun, I lugged a laundry basket of thermal long john tops outdoors to hang on the clothesline.

The visual contrast of those shirts on the line against the backdrop of a snow-filled backyard imprinted by rabbit, squirrel and other animal tracks nearly made me laugh aloud. I was taunting Winter, daring her to keep me from a task I enjoy, although less often in the cold and snow than in other seasons.

But with a respite from sub-zero temps here in Minnesota, I grabbed the opportunity to trump Winter, to prove that, yes, if I want to hang out laundry in January, I will find a day warm enough to do so. There’s something to be said for defying Winter.

As the cold of 20-degree temps numbed my fingers, I felt a sense of satisfaction in this methodical task of hanging laundry. Clip, clip, clip. And then, after the dozen shirts dangled from the line, I stepped back inside to brew myself a mug of coffee, to thaw my hands and to delight in my momentary triumph over Winter.

TELL ME: If you live in a cold weather state, do you hang laundry outdoors in winter?

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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In Minnesota: A welcome weekend weather break from winter February 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Just outside of Faribault driving south on Interstate 35 toward Owatonna early Sunday afternoon.

Just outside of Faribault driving south on Interstate 35 toward Owatonna early Sunday afternoon.

WINTER EXITED MINNESOTA this weekend, ushering in a glimpse of spring. And it was glorious—this temporary respite from cold and snow.

 

Interstate 35, 6 driving south toward Owatonna

 

Temps rose above forty degrees. The sun shone. Cardinals shrilled. Snow melted into slushy puddles. And I walked across parking lots in a sweater rather than winter coat.

 

Interstate 35, 7 driving south toward Owatonna

 

I needed a weekend like this drenched mostly in sunshine, blue streaking through clouds, patches of blue sky pushing away clouds.

 

To the west of Interstate 35, clouds billow above snow-washed fields.

To the west of Interstate 35, clouds billow above snow-washed fields.

As my husband and I drove south toward Owatonna early Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t get enough of the sky.

 

Interstate 35, 11 driving south toward Owatonna

 

I’m holding onto those images now that the weather is about to change with a strong winter storm predicted for Tuesday. My county of Rice is under a Winter Storm Watch while counties to the south and west are under a Blizzard Watch.

 

Large swatches of blue sky prevailed to the west of the Interstate.

Large swatches of blue sky prevailed to the west of the Interstate.

I knew this weekend’s spring-like weather wouldn’t last.

Blue skies accentuate fighter jets at Owatonna Degner Regional Airport along the Interstate.

Blue skies accentuate fighter jets at Owatonna Degner Regional Airport along the Interstate.

It never does here in Minnesota in January.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling