Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Surviving and Getting Over the Winter Hump In Minnesota

There's nothing like cold fingers, toes and nose to let you know you're still alive! 

Fortunately, it's not the cold hand of death, but a good ole Minnesota winter. If you can feel the icy burn on your skin, the frozen stiffness in your hands and the cold slap in your face, then you've arrived alive and sublime here in Minnesota! 

If you hang around long enough and make it through January then you've made it over the first hump of winter. 

Photo Credit: hmschl at Pixabay.com

But, hold on! February, the second hump of winter, still needs to be conquered! Once we've climbed the last winter hump, we can see spring on the horizon. It's at the summit of February that we shout "we can do this!"

January and February can kiss my chilled chafed ass cheeks.  We're about to march into March. 

Typically, March is our snowiest month in Minnesota, but warmer temps drift in and fingers and toes are beginning to thaw. 

No more mummy wrap of scarves and wool. No more frozen snot icicles. No more cold nipple camouflaging. 

It's looking pretty hopeful at the peak of February. I can start to smell the tulips and daffodils from here. 

The warmth of 40 degrees is blowing in the wind and Minnesotans are stripped down to t-shirts while walking the dog, throwing open the windows and putting burgers on the BBQ. 

At this point, we can feel the slack of our climb and another Minnesota winter is about to be chalked up and put into the record books. 

Getting over the winter humps in Minnesota is a well-earned annual accomplishment. The people that are still here to endure it year after year are the TRUE climbers. 

I'm a Minnesota native and this may be why I’ve attained hairy forearms, tree trunk thighs and post nasal drip. These are all traits of a Minnesota winter hump climber. 

I'm not worshiped or praised by anyone in these northern parts. It was the ancestors before me that had a more grueling winter climb. If they saw us now, they would laugh and spit on our modern conveniences. 

Yes, our winter hump climb is a little less treacherous than our forefathers, but we can still be proud of our survival tactics. 

Between winter festivals, ice fishing, polar plunges, cross-country skiing, ice skating, beer dabblers, museums and music concerts we're able to muster through the dark and cold winter months and survive. You can find suggestions of some fun winter activities here at Minnesota Monthly.


January Hot Air Balloon Race - White Bear Lake, MN

Also, check out "50 Reasons We Love Winter in Minnesota." 

Norway has a terrific outlook on winter and, interestingly, Minnesota is known as the unofficial Norwegian capital of the United States.  More Norwegians live in Minnesota than any other state.

Maybe this is why Minnesota can relate to "The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying A Long Winter."

So, unless you've chipped away snot icicles, you may never understand the resilience of northerners. 

Ice Fishing Hole

If you think you can hang and belay your way up and over the winter humps in Minnesota, then strap on your harness, grab your ice axe and plan to stay awhile. 

How do you embrace winter?


Put your smile on and unwrap
   A Square of Chocolate,
Laurie O


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16 comments:

  1. I've moved it to Austin Texas but I come from a long long line of Minnesotans. Somehow I did not inherit their hearty gene and here 30° feels freezing :-)
    I fear I would spend all of the winter walking around the mall of America :-)

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    1. I hear ya, Carla, once the body is acclimated to warmer temps, it's hard to fathom below zero temps. Mall of America would be a good choice to hang out in the winter!

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  2. i grew up in northern Illinois - not Minnesota by any means - but still enough cold and snow that we would lie in bed and listen for the school bus to try to get up the hill from the garage before hoping for a snow day, which were few and far between. Now I live far south on the Coast of Illinois, where people freak out at the mere thought of snow and we complain when the temp dips to 30. However, we live with the constant threat of ice and thundersnow - which is JUST as awesome as it sounds. And to combat the horrible realization that that nice 55 degree weekend was only a tease, we have a giant Mardi Gras party - complete with outside shrimp boil and this year - Giant Jenga!! Stay warm you Northerners!!

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    1. Thundersnow is pretty cool. We've had that too. Mardi Gras party with a shrimp boil sounds like a great way to bypass some winter blues!!! Enjoy getting over the winter hump :)

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  3. Ever since I fell in love with Mary Richards from The Mary Tyler Moore Show I've wanted to visit MN. My husband went to U of Wisconsin and as a journalist he traveled and loved MN. As much as the snow is pretty I'm done with winters and want to move south! After 57 years I've had enough....

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    1. Yes, I was a fan of Mary Tyler Moore Show too. They actually have a statue in downtown Minneapolis of her throwing her hat. I'm at the point where it'd be nice to go south for a couple months during the winter. For now, though, I'll have to embrace it. Thanks for your comments, Cathy!

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  4. Wow, good for you! We are going to be chilly here in NY this weekend -- hopefully that will be our hump!

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    1. The NY area really got hit hard this year! Hang in there Shari - the Groundhog said it's going to be an early spring!

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  5. LOVE this! Will be sharing in a listicle on my blog soon. I keep telling myself that enduring a 5- or 6-month winter adds longevity to life. You live in one of the greatest states in our union, in my humble opinion. (Though when my son attended the U, I was shocked to realize that spring comes to Minneapolis a couple of weeks earlier than to Milwaukee. It's the lake effect.)

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    1. Thanks Mithra! I agree the cold keeps us preserved a little longer. If you live in Milwaukee then you know just how to survive the winters too! Thank you for your comments.

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  6. Hi Laurie! I can't even IMAGINE it being so cold that your snot freezes. I did live in Colorado for about 5 years back when I was young but even that sounds mild compared to your winters. Ever since that time I've been back in warm and toasty California where today is is forecast to be 88 degrees. I'm not super crazy about the heat in the summer but I by far prefer it to such cold. I doubt I will ever visit Minnasota in the winter time! Stay warm if you can. ~Kathy

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    1. I'd hate for a MN winter to chase you away Kathy! If you gave us a visit sometime, it just might surprise you how much fun we have. Ok, I admit single digit and below zero temps really suck, but the warm hearts here make up for it.

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  7. I can relate since I am in Wisconsin. If we can just get through February I always think we have made it. March is snowy, but never so cold. I am optimistic that we are having our last blast of super frigid cold right now- I hear 40 by the end of next week!

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    1. Yep Michele, a couple more weeks and then onto spring! In fact, 36 more days. I have the countdown at the bottom of this page!

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