As I make the icy trek from my Grand Avenue home to my north campus office, I often find myself dreaming of escape to a warmer climate. With graduation right around the corner, the subzero temperatures and daily snowstorms have convinced me to move my job search away from the Midwest, looking for a state warmer than freezing.
The thought of living next to mountains or having the ocean within driving distance is idyllic, but I can’t help but wonder what I would miss about winters in Minnesota. Every Minnesotan would agree that the first snowfall of the year, even if it is in October, is absolutely beautiful. I also love that nearly 20 years later, people still talk about the 1991 Halloween blizzard. Everyone who was around for that storm seems to have a story about where they were and what they were doing during the snowfall. I recently was at a retreat with first-year students, and even though they were infants at the time, they still shared stories from that storm. Personally, I’ll never forgot being dressed up as groceries for that Halloween and returning home after trick-or-treating as one soggy brown bag.
In addition to the snow, I would definitely miss hot dish. Casserole dishes filled with layers of unknown deliciousness are the stuff dreams are made of. Even better, to cover up any signs of hot dish over indulgence (which I feel is completely necessary to keep warm), for seven months of the year we get to wear big bulky sweaters. A favorite of this line of clothing is the ever-so-popular “holiday sweater” which people of all ages are wearing.
Let’s not forget about Snuggies! They have become such a fad in Minnesota that STAR students are making them the next big Tommie giveaway. For some reason, I have a hunch that my love for these blankets with arms would not be accepted or understood in any other state.
Last but not least, my favorite part of Minnesota winters is Minnesota summers. After enduring months of freezing and cold snow, no one deserves a beautiful summer more than Minnesotans. As soon as that first 60-degree day hits, walking paths and parks are filled with people coming out of hibernation to enjoy the outdoors. The heightened spirits and excitement for the new season can be found only in our dear state.
I’m guessing that in May, when I’m all thawed out, my dreams of escape will be numbed and my love for Minnesota will rekindle. After all, what’s a winter without snow and everything that comes with it? Until then, I’m counting down the days to summer. Rumor has it, the groundhog saw its shadow last week, so as the story goes, less than six short weeks are left to winter.