It’s not every day that I am willing to call myself out for what I am, a pansy. Yes, I said it, I am a pansy, a wuss, a girl full of excuses. I am not always these things but for the last week or so, I have been holed up at home with no desire to do much of anything. Am I the only one with these feelings of bear like tendencies? I think not!
I have always wondered why people in Minnesota dislike winter? Why don’t they just get outside and enjoy it? We know they like hockey, hey, I like hockey but, what else do they do? Maybe some ice fishing, maybe a little sledding, maybe some cross-country skiing, but for the most part (word on the street), people just wish for spring. It’s hard for Utahns to imagine a Minnesota winter even though this is a snowy state. Temperatures rarely dip into the single digits and the sun is generally shining. That is, unless, we are stuck under an inversion otherwise known as smog. However, for us, there is an escape that doesn’t include the Mall of America.
We can head up into the crystal clear skies of the higher elevations. Odd as it may seem, the resorts are generally warmer than the valley when the (ahem) inversion settles in. We don’t need to warm up by a fire when we can warm up skiing laps at one of several major ski areas. We snowshoe, ski, sled, hike and keep on running and biking. When the sun melts the snow off the golf courses, people head out and hit balls. I’ve seen it…in January. Most of us love winter. It means a break from the heat, good hearty food, seasonal sports and plenty of water in the dry months when we need it most! The point is, while Minnesotans are bundled up with blizzards and biting winds direct from the North Pole swirling outside, we generally enjoy temperate storms that howl in off the Pacific. Snow that accumulates in the night and sun that warms us in the days. You know what I am saying, your not hanging out at a pool in your bikini of course, but you can definitely put on a jacket and some mittens and take a comfortable stroll with your dog.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that (I think) we all might be experiencing a little taste of what it’s like to be living in Minnesota….or the North Pole! I get it. I don’t want to go out and do anything! I don’t even want to head up to the mountains and get my lazy self in gear. I tried, I took one run and then sat in my car and cried as I pried my boots off. In fact, this last storm that nuked in the valleys, 40 inches in some spots, only left half of that up on the runs. Why is that? It was too DANG cold to even snow up there!
Not only has it been (-10) bitter cold but the flu has hit Utah in a nasty way. Isaac actually missed three days of school this past week. Were we skiing? No. What a waste. Anyone who knows me, knows that I let my boys miss school for good snow. This also means they don’t miss school for anything else. They have sat through school with soaring temperatures so, they could save the sick day for a day on the hill. I guess there comes a point where you have to do what you ought to do to get better and not infect anyone else.
Am I here telling you that the skiing isn’t worth it right now? No, I really am not. I am just saying that I am a weakling, like I said, a pansy and not as tough as I thought. Instead of letting my kid suffer home alone while I made turns in the fresh feather light powder, I sat home and suffered it out with him. It was a great excuse to not really say why I wasn’t skiing…wasn’t it?
Some of you are made of steel and some of you are figuring out how to conquer the frigid temps and some of you are even enjoying it. I’ve seen your pictures on Facebook, your happy grins, your posts of gladness that no one is cutting up your lines. I know that if I would just plug in those awful looking boot heaters that are somewhere in my basement and charge up the nerdy heated gloves that some company sent me, I could probably make it at least three runs before I went in with frost bite. I probably could. But, I’ll just give it a couple more days and let you all have the fun. Get up there! The skiing is great, the mountains are empty, the air is clean and I promise you there is always some warm hot chocolate waiting when you head inside, which you will.
So, I am here, typing, working through my personal issues and when I am done…likely when the temps hit 20 degrees on Wednesday and the Minnesota coats and scarves and triple layers of woolen socks are stashed away, I’ll make my way back up. Hopefully, it will not be too late to catch an untracked stash. Solitude will wait for me and she will save a nice, pristine line. I am sure of it, it’s what she does!