So this week I fell in love. (Settle down Mum, not that kind of love)
I fell in love with Minneapolis in the snow. I normally visit in Summer but oh my god I love it here in the snow. Usually when I’m here in MN I love walking by Lake Calhoun, having lunch at the Tin Fish and generally working on taking away the pasty white glow from my Irish skin and it’s just so good. But man I have developed just as much love for the snowy times. I’m finally seeing the Minnesnowta that every one talks about.
I love the multi layered penguin wrapped shuffle and the ginger steps across icy streets. I love snow boots, snow pants and snow coats and would love to be shopping for them right now. I love the icy lips and the dash to get inside for the skin tingle of warming up.
I love hanging out with my Summer friends in the Winter. I love that we still drink beers and smoke cigarettes on the back porch even though it’s Baltic, even though we are wrapped up so much that one stray wisp of ash and we all go up in flames. I love it. And I don’t even smoke!
I love that from Highway 77 you can see Bob & Julie Little’s 53 foot oak tree which is festooned with 41,300 christmas lights. You can even drive right up, park and take a photo which of course we did. What I love even more is that we put on our twinkling snowflake headbands and as we were walking up the drive Bob came out to say hi. He told his wife he’d seen three martians walking up the driveway and he needed to investigate. It was the most magical, christmassy feeling, standing underneath that tree and thinking that a family does this at their own expense over the Christmas season just to bring joy into the lives of others. There have been proposals under that tree, millions of snapshots and smiles from kids young and old. I can’t think of anything more amazing!
I love the crisp crunch of the snow underfoot. I love that people go sledding, ice fishing or ice skating. I love that they exist properly in the snow. At home when it snows even a little, the whole country comes to a standstill, everything shuts down and everybody retreats inside with a tin of Quality Street and the fire set to face meltingly warm. Not here though. People are tough. Life is to be lived 365 days a year, so damn you snow there’s stuff to be done.
And yes, I realise I say this with all the enthusiasm of someone who has not battled through a proper winter here. My total experience of MN winter is 4 weeks in total, seven years apart.
In Northern Ireland there’s very little change in the weather. Slightly damper shades of grey, which is fine but there are no real extremes and I think this is what I am enjoying most about being here. It’s what I’ve always said about MN, I’m quite jealous because there are four distinct seasons in the year. And that’s how it should be.
However for real extremes I think maybe next year I’d like to move to Alaska.
Start & Finish A Painted House by John Grisham
Start How To Be Good by Nick Hornby