Right now is about the time that I realize that I hate the cold, I hate the snow and I hate Minnesota winters.
As I woke up this morning to a temperature of -26 (and yes ladies and gentlemen--that is without wind chill)...I remembered feeling this way last year.
I love it when people ask me how cold it us up here----then their next question is "Why do you live there?" I swear it is a sick game they like to play....
GOOD QUESTION---Why AM I here? I left an awesome job at the University of Missouri doing ruminant research--a job I loved and would have done the rest of my life! I left mild winters and warm summers....lots of sheep to work an an amazing agility school.....it basically boils down that whole "till death do us part" thing I promised my husband over 5 years ago...no I sure as h*ll didn't come up here so I could freeze my ass off on my own...oh no.
Why ANYONE lives up here is beyond my comprehension...other than being a masochist. If it is not the cold, then the bone chilling wind, or if not that..then the 10 feet of snow we get. If you are from Minnesota and you can give me a reason other than "huntin' & fishin" then go right ahead and tell me these reasons.
I don't fish, sitting on a boat for 10 hours staring at a line--hoping something might bite is retarded in my book. I can easily go to Red Lobster and catch me a good fish already cooked. Thanks but no thanks. Sitting still was never my best ability anyway. Great for those of you that can--not my cup of tea. I know beer helps...or so I have been told.
AND then.....on top of summer fishing...you crazy people go fishing in the WINTER....You haul a hut out onto the ice.....cut a hole in and cast your line....I know there are heated fishing huts, I know there is a lot of beer--but really--it is not like you HAVE to catch food or you will die...you are OPTING to do this?!? And then that ice cracking...sounds like guns being fired...and you KNOW there is a weak spot in the ice...that is when I decided I am from Missouri--we don't walk on water.....
Same with hunting..sitting in a tree stand, waiting for something to come so you can shoot it. Again..that sitting still part of the game. Plus you have to worry about all the idiots out there that don't know what a deer even looks like, much less how to safely handle a gun. I used to hunt, on my own land, in Missouri...but not up here.
So..other than hunting and fishing.....what do we have? The MALL OF AMERICA (can you hear the trumpets blowing..do you see the bright lights flashing??)....AHHHHHH from the heavens. A gigantic mall..full of stores and a roller coaster and all that crap. Filled with more mullets that ever seen (yes they exist still...and they are everywhere up here!), and the people watching can be VERY entertaining--but a reason to live up here?? please....
The beautiful parks----yeah...we have those in Missouri too!
What else is there?.......anyone???
Lets get back to my fav....the cold.
If you have never felt 26 below zero.....let me describe it for you. But first lets get dressed to go out side.....dawn your thermal long underwear (which itches) then your pants....and sweatshirt...then ski pants, heavy coat...face mask, ski goggles, gloves, snow boots---there! You now look like the boy from the Christmas story! And if you fall down, you are probably never going to get up---sorry about that.
So after you get yourself all suited up....then you go outside....the cold hits you like a knife and you have one of two things that happens.....as you breath in air it will either freeze your nostrils shut OR it will freeze your nose hairs--turning them into tiny hypodermic needles---piercing the inside of your nose. The air then proceeds to freeze the inside of your brain and you can feel the dull pain of cold in you entire head. If your face is covered...then you get the lovely sensation of a piece of cloth, soaked in your own moisture from your breath (aka spit) rubbing all over your face..nice eh! If your face is not covered...you will end up with ice crystals in your hair, eye lashes and eye brows. And if you are not careful, since your eyes tend to water...you will freeze your damn eyes partially closed. Your lungs hurt from breathing in the cold air...and depending on what you are wearing....and if you were a guy---your testicles are probably going to try to crawl back into your body for safety (I don't have testicles---but I have seem the rams and they are NOT happy campers in this weather!!)...
People up here come up with some very interesting things to do when it is as they put it "ball ass cold" I have been told to blow bubbles and you can watch them freeze instantly and shatter when they hit the snow.....well so would my privates if I had them out there for any length of time, however I haven't tried that just yet. WHY in the HELL would I want to stand outside and blow bubbles?? Who decided this would be something fun to try? I am on my 5th winter here....and no I have not blown bubbles. I STAY INSIDE.
In addition to this lovely cold, my field is covered in almost 2 feet of snow..you can't work dogs in 2 feet of snow... and even if you could, the sheep wouldn't probably last long.
I have a pregnant dog, and we have had to use the snow blower to make paths so she and her pregger belly can go outside and potty. Same with Crackers.... A nice snowfall is fine, 2 feet--COME ON! Although it is kinda cute watching the dogs use these trails...they look like little mice in a maze :)
That snow creates very interesting pieces of artwork though! It is GREAT for creating millions of tiny snow dingle-berries (don't even KNOW how to spell that correctly--never typed that word in my life until know)--these "berries" are all over all your dogs---in their tails, feet, on their bellys etc. Although very fashionable, they must be removed prior to coming in to the house....PAIN IN THE BUTT.
I am sure I could go on for many more paragraphs.....but I finally warmed up from being out in the cold for 5 hours this morning...so I am off to do something inside for the rest of the day...
Combining all these lovely attributes and one can only wonder what people are thinking by living up here...I am still betting on the masochist theory....