Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Beyond frostbite - or, how to survive a Minnesota winter

Come a little closer Bunky, and I'll tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

There are secrets to living well on the tundra.

Secrets known only the wise, the withered and the wistful.

And global warming has sheltered you, my darling twenty-something, from the truth about Minnesota winter.

Because, my little Bunkster, your childhood was snowless.  As a consequence, you've grown up expecting that a flannel shirt alone will provide - that long underwear is only for the sick, old, crazy or stupid.

It's not your fault, snoogie.

Even so, I cannot allow you to wallow in stupidity.

And so, my little punkin' - it's time you faced the truth about Minnesota.

Lean in, Bunky - as your mommy shares the top five skills necessary for surviving an Old Fashioned Minnesota Winter.

# 5 -  Accept.


 The first step is acknowledging you are powerless over snow.

Snow like this - snow that blocks the door to the deck and freezes shut the garage - snow that damages the roof and frightens the house pets -  honey; this kind of snow has an axe to grind. This kind of snow needs someone to put it in its place.

I don't want you to grow up to be the kind of man who chooses to smoke dope in the hot tub rather than shovel the drive way or rake the roof. 

I want more for you, Bunky. And so does your father.

So - get out there.  Shovel.  Shovel until you don't think you can shovel another shovel full.

And accept it, sugar.

It's  winter.  It's bigger than both of us.

#4  - Respect. 


Remember last Christmas?  There was no snow - and Grandma tried to sun bathe in the nude.  You thought it was funny - but the police had another opinion.

Promise me, Bunky.  Promise me you'll be smarter than your father's people.

Respect winter.  No matter how whimpy it may be.  

#3 - Enjoy! 


When you were a little bink, you loved to make snow forts, snow men, snow bunnies.

I promise - no one will call the Carleton College dean and report what you do here, at home,  on your Christmas vacation.

So, have at it, Bunkster!!  Build your Mommy a snowman.  Deck him out with your Daddy's fedora, madras scarf and hookah.

Don't let the snow get you down, sugar.

 #2- Exploit! 


When I was your age, the young men who wanted to take advantage of me used this weather to the hilt.

Tobogganing the Town and Country golf course after dark - tubing Buck Hill on a bright Sunday morning - snow-shoeing around Lake Josephine in the bright, awful December moonlight - - -

Oh, Bunkster, Bunkster - my darling boy.

Take one of your girls out for one of those activities - and I guarantee you won't be sorry!

Go!  Have fun in the snow!  Make this a winter to remember.

#1 Defend. 


When you grow up and leave this frozen wasteland behind, you will encounter those who - because of their limited exposure to frostbite - fail to appreciate the magic of God's country.

Bunky - wherever you go  - don't let anyone trash-talk Minnesota.

A long time ago, before you were a twinkle in your chemically dependent daddy's eye - his ancestors moved here - on purpose.

Those undereducated, desperate Swedes  chose Minnesota because the land is so like Sweden; frozen, flat, desolate and cold.

I know, I know.

But Bunky, that's who we are.

So, shoulders back - stand tall!  Wear water-wick socks under your Sorrels and keep your goose-down dry.

Be proud, my boy!

You're Swede, you're Minnesotan, you're stubborn and you're a little stupid.

But you know how to survive and thrive in a part of the country everyone else is happy to fly over.

And that's something.

Isn't it?


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