Countdown to Spring, Minnesota-style

January 23, 2009 at 11:58 am 30 comments

It’s the end of January.

About this time of year in Minnesota people start counting down to spring. Here’s how it goes:

Well it’s already the end of January. And February’s a short month. And then it’s March! March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb”, right? And then it’ll be spring!

I do this too. But what we all tend to forget in our longing for spring is that this whole promise of better March days is kind of a crapshoot in Minnesota.

We forget all too easily that it snowed in May last year. MAY!!! I remember it particularly because my birthday’s in May. And even in all my Pennsylvania winters growing up, it never snowed in my birth month.

Perhaps it’s good that our memories fail us this time of year. Perhaps the cold freezes our hippocampuses or something. If we kept a record of wrongs against the weather here, we’d have all hit the road long ago.

Perhaps we’re gluttons for punishment. Perhaps we have martyr complexes.

But perhaps there’s just something so comforting about the warmth of a necessary hot beverage. Or cozy about the fleece jammies we clothe our children in at night. Or awe-inspiring as we catch snow on our tongues, remembering the purchase-price that made all our evil deeds just like those floating flakes.

Don’t get me wrongβ€”I’m excited for spring. But I want to revel more in those moments that make what’s left of winter magical. They, like everything else, will be gone too soon.


Entry filed under: Faith, Life.

My $34 Latte: A Failed Attempt at Free Alone Time Toy Silencers

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kassie  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Snow in May? We were planning on moving up that way, but I may have to reconsider. πŸ™‚ May is when my family used to take their family (summer) vacation…

  • 2. Sunny  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    We’ve been doing that in Idaho too. Except we’ve been counting down since The first snow. Today is one day closer to spring than yesterday was. πŸ™‚

  • 3. Karla  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you for helping me to focus on the positives.! We live in PA, which is not as extreme as where you are, but we have had a bit of snow even in April during the past few years.

    I was encouraged, the other day, to hear that it will start getting dark at 7p.m. in less than 6 weeks! Can’t wait….

  • 4. kelly  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Hi! I have recently found your blog and am enjoying it immensely! Particularly the post from the sidebar about commenting/stalking. πŸ™‚
    I am an SLP, too and enjoyed that this post contained a hippocampus reference. (I think that may classify me as a big giant dork. Oh well.)

    Really thankful for your stuff on grief. We are in ministry, and it has been helpful already.

    BTW, we FINALLY are experiencing a cold spell in Orlando. Christmas here was spent in flip flops. Not exactly a winter wonderland. πŸ™‚

  • 5. Shari  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    That’s so funny! Totally my mindset in winter.. “get through snow.. get through cold.. January almost over.. Feb short and then Spring! But then I guess what it is really.. the 50 degree temps are pretty darn good compared to the subzeros and even if it is not Spring like weather to your average southern fold.. MAN does it feel good come March/April.

  • 6. Shari  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    “folk” not fold.
    Man. I hate typos.

  • 7. Otto Mann  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Here in south Florida, it seems all the seasons blend into one long summer.

  • 8. Bryan DeWire  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    This has nothing to do with this specific post, but your “About” page is excellent! Love the pictures. Orison’s hair is cracking me up (in a good way)!

  • 9. Kim  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    There are lots of short-term Texans where we live as they come for medical residency. They tell us stories about what winter is like up there as we talk outside in the 75 degree weather! They miss the snow and the cold. I’m content with photos.

    Beside, a cold front’s coming in tonight and it’ll be all of 35 degrees…for one night anyway. That’s good enough for me!

  • 10. ohchicken  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    any difference from good ol’ erie? πŸ™‚

    i’m actually kind of melancholy about it being january and mid70s here in texas. eep.

  • 11. dave  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    What amazes me is that we here in Erie are now up to 111 inches of snow so far this winter….and Minneapolis hasn’t even reached 30 (inches) yet.

    And you call that winter????? Our winter laughs at your winter!!


  • 12. Cara Herzberg  |  January 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Oh my goodness, this clears up so many questions for me. I am SURE my hippocampi are small to very small. I have real issues with spacial things, and short term memory. I know internet self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing, but I will now refer to my hippocampi impediment when I pull out of the parking lot and confidently drive in the wrong direction!

  • 13. Jen B.  |  January 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I just reminded my kids TODAY that we have a long road ’till the end of winter. I said, “If you are cold, wear more clothes!” We would have left long ago if we lived in MN for the weather.

  • 14. Valerie Hunter  |  January 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    As my kids are currently building a huge snowman outside, I think I’ll kind of miss winter when it’s gone. One of the reasons I like living in central Ohio…seems that we have just enough of each season! Spring will bring us new kinds of fun!

  • 15. Tanya  |  January 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Well, I’ll take snow in May over tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides and hurricanes any day. But, I might need to be reminded of this when I’m still wearing my parka in April.

  • 16. Katelin  |  January 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Hi! I have recently found your blog and am enjoying alot. thanks for sharing!

  • 17. MrsMK  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    great writing, great point, great post!

  • 18. Chris  |  January 23, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    March is like a tug of war. Spring wants to come, but Winter doesn’t want to let go.

    Our children’s middle school years can be like this. Maturity and independence begin to show up more and more, but childlikeness and even childishness hang around quite a bit, too–and you never know which one it will be when you all wake up in the morning.

    Dave, your 111-inches of snow this winter is bringin’ back the memories of Erie winters stored away in my hiccocampus. Do you remember the year it snowed like 36 or 38 days in a row? The first two weeks was a lot of fun, then the novelty wore off. Finally, we all said. “All right, it can stop now!”

  • 19. Ann  |  January 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Your “spring is coming” line of reasoning is exactly what I use!! And I do it knowing full well that both March and April can be absolutely miserable. I just refuse to be completely realistic about the possibilities and choose rather to believe in the probabilities!

    This year I actually made it to about December 29 before I gave my famous annual comment to hubby, “Well, the days are getting longer!” I began to realize last year that I HAD to get past Christmas at least (because of the look I got!).

    I always figure the most violent or vicious weather at least fulfills the requirements for bragging rights or something.

    I’m also thinking about my tulip bulbs and dahlias under the 10 feet of snow that is drifted in the trees. Of course, the mosquitoes and ticks are surviving as well–I’m not as impressed with that.

  • 20. Lauren  |  January 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Being a native Texan, I can in no way comprehend snow in May. πŸ™‚ It is more likely to have a summer-like day in winter (like today…80 degrees) than a winter-like day in spring. With that being said, I need some advice from a Minnesotan…

    I will be there in early February…what do I absolutely need to bring with me to wear?

    Any advice is welcome!

  • 21. Kelly @ Love Well  |  January 23, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    This is a profound post, Molly, at least for me. One of the things I’ve been praying about ever since we moved back to MN is that I would not waste a single day being frustrated by the weather. Life is too much a gift. I pray that God would give me the eyes to see His glory in the snow as much as in the sunshine. And you know what? I think He’s doing it. There’s a well of thankfulness in my soul that wasn’t there a few years ago. As a result, winter doesn’t seem so long. Boo-yah!

  • 22. Linda L.  |  January 24, 2009 at 9:30 am

    “Too cold for snowmen.” That’s what I had to tell my California friends when they visited one January. The concept of dry snow amazed them. I think they had Hollywood visions of winter dancing in their heads…

  • 23. Chelsea pang  |  January 24, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    BTW I love that you have links to you greif resources on your blog. I was searching everywhere for on-line resources on grief when I was initially dealing with our baby with Trisomy 18. And I have started my blog in part to be a resource for those looking around for help, that is why I have put your blog as a link on mine. Thanks!

  • 24. Amber Butler  |  January 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    See, I live in Houston. Winter doesn’t come. It visits. I was talking to my father in law the other day and mentioned the winter of 2005. “Oh yeah,” he said. “That was a Tuesday, right?”

  • 25. Carolina Mama  |  January 25, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    You are quite the knitter. Those sweaters are sooo cute. I wonder if I could ever learn to do something so cute. I loved your $34 latte and the story about the 15 months since Felicity. God Bless.

  • 26. Bethany  |  January 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Good thoughts, Molly! I’m hoping that the cabin/spring fever fidgeties hit later, rather than sooner, this year. That just makes it all so much easier!

  • 27. robyn  |  January 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Hey Molly! Funny about the countdown to spring. I used to do that when I lived in Boston, until I realized that spring really never came.

    Those bunk beds I purchased from Costco. We searched and searched and found the perfect ones.

  • 28. Jen B.  |  January 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Bring everything you have and wear it all at once! Seriously, layers are the only way to survive. We enter every building looking like abominable snowmen, and then shed 15 layers of clothing!

    Good luck in Feb.

  • 29. Jamie  |  January 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I think I’ll need to borrow your positive attitude sometime in August, if you don’t mind lending it to me. Texas weather is the reverse — that is, our summers are endless and our winters can barely be called winter. (At least from the perspective of a born-Midwesterner).

    Every fall, my brain tries telling me that soon it will cool down, maybe even be chilly! September… October… November… and still I’m waiting for the kind of autumn days I grew up knowing. Our coldest months of the year are January and February, and even then we get curve balls — today it was 78 degrees. Very inconvenient, as I planned soup for dinner tonight. πŸ˜‰

  • 30. Paul Van Stralen  |  February 2, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Snow on your birthday in May. That’s as bad as snow before my birthday in September (I live in Edson, Alberta, 2 hours west of Edmonton, and we’re only half way up the province!).


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