We are excited to relaunch our series, “What We Love About Minnesota,” next year. In anticipation we thought we would share a couple of our past favorites, and being that the weather is turning and snow is in the forecast, this article seems like the perfect start! What are your favorite things about Minnesota?
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for it to snow? I do! I couldn’t wait for it. The first flakes usually came at night…and the first thing I would do every morning is wake up and peek out my window. If I was lucky enough to be awake when they fell, I would run to the chair in the dining room, climb up on it and peek out the window at the streetlight. The streetlight would illuminate the flakes as they made their silent journey to the ground.
The first snow meant winter was here but it also meant sledding, forts, ice-skating, hookey-bobbing, skiing, snowballs, icicle treats and that Christmas was coming. It meant fun with friends over school break and of course wet boots lined with bread bags to keep your feet warm and dry.
We had a sledding hill called Suicide Hill. It was our mountain when we were kids. Heavily wooded, ravines that were transformed into bobsled runs, and long trails. There were many days that we would spend all day there, never worrying about lunch or warmth or even dry clothes. We would take turns starting at the top and everyone else would try to wipe you out before you could make it to the bottom. I still have scars from that hill, and I bet I can still find a tree or two that has a scar from me.
I had a friend whose parents would flood a rink in their back yard. It was where I learned to skate. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Wenz! We had to work for it though…we shoveled that rink what seems like a thousand times…sometimes we would just shovel a path that we would turn into a skills course. How fast could we make it around and could we do it with out leaving our path, a skate blade into the snow meant a penalty.
A funny thing happened though…as I got older I stopped playing in the snow. And winter started to get longer and longer, and colder and colder?
About ten years ago we decided to embrace winter and do the things that used to make it so special. And now, I again look and wait impatiently for that first snow to fall. My wife and I downhill ski now, we build a luge run in our back yard, we snow-shoe, cross-country ski and hike in what is really a winter wonderland.
One of our favorite things to do is to go for a walk when it’s snowing outside, especially when you get the big flakes, but it has to be after dark. The lights shine on the snowflakes as they fall and the normal noises that you hear are muffled by the falling snow. It can be totally silent to the point where you can hear the snowflakes land on top of each other.
Those first snowflakes now are a symbol of the fun we have every year. Of new adventures and memories to be created. I challenge you to think like a kid again this winter…grab a sled, throw a snowball and make a memory.
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for it to snow?