It is, officially, winter in Minnesota. This morning my outside thermometer squeaked out –13oF before signing off and heading for Jamaica. My lawyer is lounging on a cruise boat somewhere infinitely warmer than Minnesota. My old RV is hiding in Georgia or Florida. Even some of my test equipment, microphones, and two guitars have abandoned me for warmer places. Life is all about choices and the choice we made to buy a house in Red Wing vs. escaping Minnesota’s winter for the second time in 19 years is wearing on me a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like the house and Red Wing but I like winter less every year. Even our dog has decided she doesn’t like going outdoors anytime the temperature is below 20oF. This is a new thing for her. Two years ago, she’d ask to go outside all winter long and would stay in the backyard guarding the pear and apple trees from deer, rabbits, squirrels, and other predators for hours regardless of temperature. We’d watch her roll around to cool off in two feet of snow on a –20oF day and she didn’t seem to notice the cold at all. One winter in New Mexico and she’s done with it all. Yesterday, when the sun was out and the noon high crawled up to 10oF, I took her for a walk. She made it about two blocks away from the house and started doing her “carry me” routine; the one she developed in New Mexico when she’d stumble on to a patch of goatheads. Hopping along with one foot, then another, in the air she’d soldier on as if she thought she’d be letting me down if we turned back. We turned back and immediately she was happily plowing through the snow hauling on the leash as if I needed assistance. Once we were home, she went inside and curled up on our bed. I stayed outside a while shoveling the driveway and front porch and doing a little organizing in my new garage.
There is some kind of lesson here, I guess. Maybe “don’t skip a Minnesota winter or you’ll never be able to tolerate one again?”