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Drifted snow on the farm, c. 1970.

Drifted snow on the farm, c. 1970.

It’s cold in Minnesota this morning: -15 where I live. With the wind, it feels like -37. Schools are closed for the second time in two weeks due to extreme cold. It’s going to be just as cold next week, so schools will probably be closed again.

Perhaps it’s the group think of social media, or perhaps it’s the way the mainstream media take one story and examine it ad nauseam from multiple angles, but you would think we’ve never experienced this before. The same year the picture above was taken, it snowed enough that my sister and brother could walk up a snowdrift to the roof of the house. There were some years in which the cold packed the snow so deep and tight that I could climb up the crunchy snow to the top of Grandpa’s machine sled and slide down the other side.

My grandpa's machine shed wasn't this big, but it was in this style. Snow would accumulate in those grooves and if the snow was hard enough, I could climb up. The shed wasn't this long, but the height looks about right!

My grandpa’s machine shed wasn’t this big, but it was in this style. Snow would accumulate in those grooves and if the snow was hard enough, I could climb up. The shed wasn’t this long, but the height looks about right!

You can do two things when you live in this extreme cold. You can hibernate and rarely go outside and wish for spring and summer. Or you can go about your daily business as usual–just remember to bundle up. My attire today will consist of long johns under fleece-lined pants, a long-john type of shirt under a sweater, and the parka that I break out only when it’s -10 or colder. Hat, scarf, and mittens of course, too. I guarantee you I won’t be cold when I walk on campus.

One thing for sure: This, too, shall pass. Like the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Minnesota, just wait a few days. Even in January, we get glimpses of relative warmth. On Sunday, it was nearly 40 degrees. On Friday the temperatures are supposed to get to 33 degrees. But that comes with snow 🙂

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