It’s winter in the Upper Midwest. And because December and January have delivered on their promises to bring snow and cold to Minnesota, many local friends and coworkers are now lamenting winter’s stranglehold on the Twin Cities.
I truly don’t mind that the mounds of snow at the end of the driveway are past my shoulder in height. And, I could care less that so far this year we’ve received an above average amount of snow from Mother Nature. Consider it her gift to those of us bold enough to live here.
Still, it’s amusing how weather conditions dominate so much of our day-to-day lives.
In the past 72 hours I’ve heard or seen a fistful of news packages about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - a condition caused, primarily, by lack of natural sunlight exposure. Like many forms of depression, a person with SAD can wind up unable to perform normal daily activities, like brushing his or her teeth. It’s a for-real disorder and I’m not making fun of it. We’ve all experienced those blah/blues moments…they just seem to peak in mid-January and February for those in the northern hemisphere.
Commute times to and from work are another sore subject. Just this Monday/Tuesday, the Twin Cities metro received between 3 and 5 inches of fresh snow. Of course it all fell during morning and afternoon rush hour periods. The result? Spin out accidents and traffic slowed to a standstill for practically 36 hours. Now a normal, non-resident might think most Minneapolites and Saint Paulville people would become used to winter driving conditions once February rolled around.
During this morning’s slippery-road-condition-commute I was witness to Escalade drivers weaving in and out of traffic like it was a July 4 weekend trip to the north woods. Plus, I wound up behind two different cars with rear windows completely covered in a layer of snow driving up 35W in the fast lane. Hellooooo snow scraper/brush thingy?!?! Let’s be a little courteous and try fixing the visibility problem before taking the car onto the freeway. Oh, if you have a rear window wiper built into your Toyota Rav4, turn it on for chrissakes!
Fortunately, in another 58-88 days the bulk of winter’s blast will be over and Minnesotans can start bitching about the humidity and high winds blowing in from Canada or North Dakota.
Come August, though, I’ll be eyeing my cross country skis and pining for fresh snow.