Yesterday in Minnesota it was forty degrees. The crusty gray snow languished into slushy gray porridge. Last night freezing rain sprayed an Oklahoma-style ice glaze over the road, sending cars spinning friction-free into each other like a bumper pool table populated by sport-utes. All day today snow will polish the ice to a mirrored luster, then the mercury will plummet, resulting in a sixty-degree temperature swing in two days. Like Icarus, Minnesota got too close to the sun, and now we must pay.
Am I complaining? Pah. It violates Minnesota state code to complain about the weather. I’m just noting, as part of my winter meditation practice, that tonight when I head out for a walk (it will be too hard on the dog’s paws to bring him along), my nostrils will cling to themselves; the mucus membrane will freeze as I breathe in. By the time I get back to the house I’ll resemble Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining, and that echoey popping and cracking in the air will be the sound of the timber frames of neighborhood houses freezing.
But I’m not complaining. There isn’t a corner of the world that doesn’t have it’s own annoying climatological taunt, whether it’s swampy humidity, brick-oven desert dry, tornadoes, floods or snow measured in meters. San Diego may come closest to an idyllic clime, which is why God recently tried to burn it to a cinder. Our brutal winter is part of why the summer in Minnesota is achingly beautiful and we can grow vegetables the size of Mini-Coopers without the help of Miracle-Gro. If we have to put up with a few scant weeks when our cars die, our water pipes become bombs and our faces blacken with frostbite, then so be it.
Okay, maybe I am complaining. It feels great. Screw the Garrison Keillor whimsy and the Jon Hassler stoicism. Complaining warms the soul, bonds one to one’s fellow complainers and creates the camraderie of the dissatisfied. Hell, if the New Hampshire primary was in June, they’d vote for a puppy or a bag of marshmallows.
So come on, folks, let’s do some e-griping! Tell us about how crappy it is to live where you live during any season. Exaggerate like mad, and I want to see a lot of posts prefaced with “You think you have it bad?” Spring’s coming soon, and we’ll lose the whining window. Let’s get out there and cathart!