Sunday, March 2, 2014


The Matron is complaining.

If you live in Minnesota and are  in the "Buck-Up" crew, please don't read this post.   For the Matron?  She is a-complaining.

She's not sure that people who live somewhere safe fully appreciate that to walk outside in Minnesota is to risk death.   We have had about 50 below-zero days this winter, putting us well into the Top Ten Coldest since 1887.     She thinks we're now at number 7 but tonight's 14 below forecast bodes well for climbing to number 6.

Then there's snow.

Last week, the public schools were cancelled once again as FEET fell upon us.     It is now routine for snow  banks to be much, much taller than the Matron.   She has to stand up -- as much as possible -- in the car in order to see at certain corners.     The streets have  succumbed to the snow, narrowing so much that firetrucks and ambulances can't get through.   True.   The firetruck crisis is now a parking crisis.  Throughout the city, there is parking on only one side of the street until the SNOW MELTS.  Goddamn it.

Snow (did she mention we have a lot of it?) consumes hours and hours and hours of time upon each of  its visits.    There's the sidewalk.  The driveway.  The neighbor's steps.  The cars.   John is outside with the snow blower for an hour and the Matron trims up edges for much the same.    Snow also means driving takes four to 215 times as long as usual.    So you shovel for an hour and then spend two in a car.

Did she mention school?

This year, cold and snow have meant another record:  school cancellations.    Since December 20th, the Matron has had ZERO full work weeks with children in school.     Friends not in Minnesota?  Consider that it is March and you have not had  one full work week without the flu, sniffles, freezing cold, or snow - -your children are home 3 to 4 days a work week.   Thank you, Mother Nature.

Weather frightens the Matron.  She takes it seriously.    New Year's Eve in Minnesota was something alarming like 40 below.   The Matron KNEW some stupid kid would drink too much and die of exposure, especially considering this this sad nightmare not long before.

Tragedy just seemed to settle in this week.  A six year old dies from exposure.  and three Carlton College students die, thanks to ice.

Tomorrow, the Matron will once again drive her daughter to school because it is too dangerous to stand outside and wait for the unpredictable bus.  Tonight, the Matron is wearing two pairs of leggings, sweat pants, t-shirt, two long sleeve shirts, pull-over sweater and sweater (no, she is not kidding) and the space heater in the kitchen has only brought the temperature up to 68 degrees.

We are road weary.    We are Pa from Little House, tying a clothesline from barn to house so we won't succumb to the elements.    We are jumping cars, scraping ice, buying  propane, building fires--and freezing, still.

The message?  Winters like this one are work.  Going to the grocery store is back-breaking work. Getting out of the house sort of sucks.    The heating bill means there is no summer vacation (but winter means summer WILL be vacation).  People die.    Children can't play outside.  

Winter.  Minnesota.   Over.  Soon.  Please.  . . . the Matron is ready for one burst of 10 degrees!


Minnesota Matron said...

And if this post is a downer (which she realizes after reading) thus is the Matronly state of winter.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

No, not a downer. Just a realistic view of cabin fever. Well deserved. I recall a severe storm where school was cancelled for 7 days. We have one pair of cross country skis and boots. They fit 5 of the six people in the house. The skis were never there. It was like a relay race.

Tough upper lip Minnesota Matron. Springs coming soon. Send for some brochures for cheap Mexican Caribbean holidays weekends and start plunking pennies in a jar. Think warm.

Anonymous said...

Curious from a couple of states south of you - still chilly, but really? I did spend a winter in Minnesota once, but I fled as quickly as humanly possible. At any rate, what is the price of propane up there? I, thankfully, pre-paid mine last summer @ 1.38, but it has recently been 4.99. (You know, not 5.00.)
P.S. glad you are posting again! timberdawn

Anonymous said...

This winter IS work. I'd never complain about the heat, but this particular COLD just makes living miserable. You summed it up so well, the frustration and hopelessness of it.

Minnesota Matron said...

Actually, I don't know about propane, Timberdawn. That was creative license as we don't actually buy any . . . but I did hear something about the cost on the news, which is why this came to mind. I hear that we will be at 20 degrees within 48 hours. Oh my GOD. I am nearly shaking with relief -- just at the thought!

Rena said...

If you are complaining about the cold, then I assume it is beyond bad up there. Just dream of spring, when you can waltz out the door in shirtsleeves and sashay to your car without fear of falling. Ah - the beauty of it all!

It was one degree here today, which is cataclysmic for this area. Plus, it snowed yesterday. In March! We are completely discombobulated and I am sick, sick, sick of dressing in layers.