Friday, March 6, 2015

A shaggy snow story

I have adapted well to the Minnesota winter that is seen as ferocious by the world closer to the equator than us and is seen as agreeably mild to the few hardy souls and polar bears that live in colder climates. My adaptability grows each year, and less and less phases me. I look at an absolute six months devoid of green growing things, six months of death, as akin to eating the outer part of the Oreo first, saving the creamy center for last, and now I can't even tell if I don't maybe like the cookie part best. I stroll out in 40 below windchills in just a long sleeve shirt, no jacket, hat, or gloves, to experience the curious sensation of it. I casually risk crippling injuries on iced sidewalks as a matter of course. Unrelenting darkness, skin shredding dryness, having to spend 15 minutes scraping at the windows of my car just to be able to see out of it, having to spend half an hour getting dressed, having to think carefully about every encounter with being outside, are all mostly just curiosities to me where they used to be such irritations. They are just part of the joys of getting to live amid great flocks of penguins. 

I may be imagining the penguins, but whatever.

A co-worker of mine went on a vacation to Scottsdale, Arizona. Her tales of temperatures well into the eighties had me politely saying "How nice." But inside I was like Gollum, imagining in horror the burning sun beating relentlessly down upon me. "Ach! Hiss! It hurts us!" Yes, I was bitterly jealous, but merely of vacation. Vacation, leisure, whiling days away in cafes. Restaurants! Freedom! Adventure! But I was also thinking "Why Scottsdale? What about Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Saint Petersburg?"

So give it to me; cold, darkness, ice, death, and the bitter life. I can take it. I can take it all. Well, I can take all but one thing, one thing that still makes it a bit difficult for me.

I will never, ever, ever, ever, be able to abide the maddening feeling of snow falling on my nose.

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