|Waconia is Piling Snow in the Middle of the Street|
When we moved to Minnesota last spring, at first we thought we would still go to Florida this winter. But as the house building project grew and developed, Lee realized that we just couldn't take that much time away. It was sad to have to tell our landlord in Safety Harbor that we wouldn't be coming this year and we both miss it. But it was the right decision. House building has been pretty all consuming for Lee and I can't imagine if we had tried to take a couple months away. It would have turned into a two year project easily, instead the one year project we have now.
|Lots of !@#$@!#$@! Snow|
Before we moved I kept saying "Oh it gets colder in Minnesota than it does in New Hampshire, but they don't get as much snow." I should have kept my big mouth shut. Not only have we experienced the Polar Vortex and gotten to see what minus 50 wind chill feels like, we also had a record-breaking February for snow amounts, and its not done yet. We have mountains of snow everywhere, and I'm sorry but Minnesota just has no idea what good snow removal is like. If I say something about it locals look at me blankly, like, "what?" so obviously they've never experienced the kind of snow removal that New Englanders take for granted. In New Hampshire you might have a half day of poor road conditions while the plows catch up but then the roads are CLEAR and its back to business as usual. Here they plow, but not very well, and the roads can be very, very bad off and on. Its better than Missouri, but still. This is the NORTH! I thought they'd be more on top of it. Oh well!
When we moved to New Hampshire we were SO excited about experiencing winter again. We bought skis, both cross country and downhill. We bought snowshoes. I bought yaktraks and ran outside in all kinds of weather. But it was strange. Whenever I'd talk to a real yankee about the weather they almost always declared how much they hated winter, and especially snow. It took several years but gradually we got it. It may be pretty but we hate it now too, just like a native.
The trouble with snow when you get a bunch is that its a lot of work, and its a job that's never done. Shovel a path for the dogs, snowblow the driveway, take twice as long to get anywhere, run on the treadmill, over and over again. Its not a once or twice a year (or less) occurrence like in Missouri, its day after day. It gets old, quickly.
|Ice Fishing Lake Waconia|
Minnesotans do get outside, however. There is a regular village of ice fisherman on Lake Waconia. People drive their trucks and RV's out on the lake and hang out, fishing and doing whatever else fishermen do. And boy are there a lot of snow mobiles!
|Snow Mobile on Lake Waconia|
They are everywhere, zooming along on trails, along the roads, through our subdivision, over the lake. There were snow mobiles in New Hampshire for sure but the trails were permanent constructions through the woods, and the snow mobiles stuck to those and the lakes. Here a couple of months ago before there was any snow on the ground they put out signs for snow mobiles here and there, warning of obstacles (caution!), telling them to stop, telling them where to go. Until the snow got deep enough I was a little puzzled because there weren't really trails where the signs were. But once the snow fell the snow mobiles made their own trails and that's how it works. Its a lot easier here where the trees aren't quite so thick.
Although the trees in New England are beautiful they wreak havoc on their aging utilities. At least here we don't need a generator even when the winds come howling across the prairie. There aren't that many trees so they're not hitting power lines all the time. You just have to deal with the crazy wind chill those winds generate! Its always something!
The poor dogs aren't getting very many walks this winter. Either there's not a plowable place for them to walk or its just too cold. When we hit those extreme temps they were very efficient at dashing out, doing their business, and dashing back in. They knew that staying outside for very long was not a good idea.
I've been on the treadmill more this winter than I have in the previous 10 years that I've owned it, probably. I can always put on more clothes, and a face mask, with vaseline underneath fights frostbite just fine. But the footing has just been awful. My yaktraxs are not sufficient protection against patches of ice hidden under snow. I've fallen twice, and fortunately didn't hurt myself, but I'm getting more cautious about what I'm willing try running in, or on. Next year I'm going to try something else, ice screws, or something. Wait, what am I saying! Next year I'll be in Florida!