Monday, March 5, 2012

An open letter to Minnesota: More snow, please

Oh Minnesota, why have you forsaken me?!
Dear Minnesota,

In my 27 years of existence, I like to think we've grown to know each other pretty well. I've camped in your parks, I've fished in your lakes, I've biked on your trails and -- begrudgingly -- rooted for your Vikings in good times and bad. While others clamor for the big cities, big mountains and ocean views, I've remained loyal to your river valleys, rolling hills and abundance of lakes.

I've stuck by you through thick and thin. I toughed out the Halloween blizzard of '91, pressing on for more candy in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume while other trick-or-treaters cowered in your snowy wake. I've also endured your hot n humid summers year after year by keeping myself cool with regular trips to the lake and icy cold beverages in the malted hops variety.

Like a spouse in a marriage, I've grown to appreciate you for both your strengths and your shortcomings. I don't ask you to be perfect; I only ask you to be yourself

It is with that in mind that I come to you with this simple request: Enough with the wimpy weather, send some snow this way.

Most would agree that you've been pretty easy on us this winter, more so than most even. There's been an occasional cold day from time to time, but those have been lost amid a steady stream of days in the "sunny and upper '30s" variety.

Even worse, the snowfall has been substandard. In Faribault, it's been downright abysmal. My sled hasn't come out of my closet all winter and the snowshoes I got for Christmas have yet to be used. Meanwhile, friends of mine in more southern locales have been posting Tweets about snowstorms and photos of snowmen on Facebook. I even saw a post about a sizable snowstorm in -- gasp! -- Texas.

This is unacceptable, Minnesota. One of the things I've always appreciated about you is your tough-love approach to winter. While other states baby their residents with mild temperatures and brown landscapes, you barrage us with sub-zero temps and white-out conditions to toughen us up. Instead of shying away from you wintertime fury, we've learned to embrace it with activities like ice fishing, skiing, curling and polar plunges.

Heck, Paul Bunyan never complained about it being too cold in the winter. He just put on a flannel, grew a beard and started chopping wood to keep warm. If he tried to do that this winter, he'd probably die of heat stroke.

Minnesota, the fact of the matter is that we've come to expect a certain level of performance from you in the winter and you simply haven't been delivering the goods this year. Texas, Oklahoma and other wimpy southern states should not be stealing headlines for their massive snowstorms. You're supposed to be the top dog for harsh winters and even got recognized for it in a Leslie Nielsen movie.

In my opinion, your title as heavyweight champion of winter weather is in jeopardy. You're also running out of time to turn this wimpiness around. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s and 50s this week and we're drifting closer and closer to those spring/summer months, when the expected norm switches to hot, humid temps, swarms of mosquitoes and the occasional rainstorm.

You made a solid effort to buck that trend last week with a snowstorm that blanketed parts of the state with close to 10 inches of white, powdery goodness. However, the effort wasn't consistent as Faribault got nothing but rain for those days. Instead of breaking out my snowshoes for a long-awaited maiden voyage, I went running in a long-sleeve shirt and shorts and skipped a rock across the near-flooded ditch by my apartment.

The ball is in your court, Minnesota. I know you have at least one more big snowstorm in you.


The frustrated guy in Faribault who wants to go snowshoeing

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