Land of 10,000 sore backs

Nice weekend, all in all. The predicted snow came, and for once we got as much as was promised. I think it was about fifteen inches, and this is how my back yard looks today:


I got a call Saturday night that church would be cancelled. This did not break my heart, because (mea culpa) I go to church out of obligation, not desire. Suffering as I do from a psychological condition clinically known as “being nuts,” I don’t enjoy gathering with other people much. A guilt-free Sunday morning off does not cast down my heart.

I was in the basement Sunday morning when I noticed my neighbor’s wife through the window above, shoveling our shared driveway. This was curious, since my neighbor has a snow blower. He keeps it in my garage, and the deal is that in return for that accommodation he clears my side as well.

I could have pretended I hadn’t noticed, but I decided to pretend to be a responsible adult. I went out and grabbed my shovel. I found my neighbor out there too. He explained that the blower had a flat tire. So I pitched in and we managed to clear adequate paths. This is the kind of work where overweight, middle-aged men tend to fall over with heart attacks, but I dodged the bullet.

The snow in the picture, I can tell you with absolute moral authority, is wet and heavy. This was, in fact, the heaviest snowfall our metropolis has experienced in several years.

I think there’s a sense of satisfaction all over our fair state today, a grin behind the grumbling. With a few hiati, this winter has been pretty easy so far, and that’s bad for our self-image. Minnesotans think of themselves as the hardy folk who thrive in arctic conditions for half the year and like it—yes, like it, by golly! In our secret hearts, we think it makes us better than folks who live in easier climes. Now we’ve earned a little cred back, and we’re swaggering a bit.

I think I’ll swagger over to the thermostat and turn it up.

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