The high school Nordic ski team just skied by… on roller-skis. It’s December and it looks more like September. The plants outside our front door are greening up again. I went Christmas shopping yesterday, and passed fellow shoppers in the parking lot who were not wearing jackets. It just didn’t feel right being so warm while toting Christmas gifts.
When I was growing up in Duluth we always had snow. Lots of it. In grade school, our favorite Friday celebration was to walk home from school on top of the huge snowbanks that lined the streets. They were high, well over our heads. We had a little red ball that we put on the antenna of our car so others could see it over the snowbank, coming around corners. (Okay, so cars don’t have antennas any more either.) We made igloos out of the snow piles from shoveling the driveway. Big ones that we could sit inside. Streets were so narrow due to the plowed snow that parking became a problem, or more accurately, navigating around parked cars was a challenge. And we had legitimate Snow Days, home from school to wait out a blizzard. At least such is my memory of winter.
The snow we had on Thanksgiving was just a teaser. I keep telling myself that we didn’t always have snow for Thanksgiving. And that holiday was early this year. It’s not time to panic just yet. Never mind that last year’s dismal lack of snow lurks in recent memory. We still might have a good snow winter. Please?
If you think it was warm in Duluth,you should been in the twin cities. We had a very good start on snowmaking at Wirth and Elm Creek–that has been put on hold and all teams are eagerly awaiting either natural snow or cold temps for man made. teams could easily go into the winter break with one or no meets. It was 45F at midnight last night but turned much colder today with a hint of snow coming–Thursday is a rain -snow front based on where you are in the State.
As for the “good old days” I recall them well. Lots of skating and sliding from November through March or later. Everybody had a snow fort with great snowball “wars” flying across the street. They also sanded–no salt–with a gravel truck coming down the street full of compacted ice and snow and throwing sand out the back by two guys. Everyone drove much slower and with great caution. Spent as much time outdoors as we did indoors.
Oh yes, the neighborhood outdoor skating rinks were a favorite! The warming house was steamy inside and had a funny pop machine with bottles that you maneuvered down a track and lifted out. And of course we walked there from home.
One of the things we could rarely do with all that snow in Duluth was make snowmen. The snow was usually too cold to stick together. And it squeaked when you walked on it.
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