Herald-Journal
Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Nov. 12, 2001

In denial of winter: that first blast reminds me

By LYNDA JENSEN

I love the fall, but it usually ends up with this thing called winter.

As I climbed into the car this morning, I decided that my fall jacket wasn't doing the trick and that driving gloves would be nice. That's the kiss of death for fall. Winter is here, whether I'm ready or not.

I've been trying to determine how bad it will be this time. Doesn't the Farmer's Almanac say that two harsh winters don't follow each other consecutively? I think that I'm being hopeful.

On the other hand, Garrison Keillor says that Minnesotans aren't truly Minnesotans unless they complain about the weather.

When my kids ask me about why we live in Minnesota, I tell them 1) criminals would be nuts to live here ,and the crime rate is lower up north. 2) We love the change of seasons, and I don't want to hear any more about it. Thank you.

Speaking of the onset of winter, I forgot to ask anyone if they had a husband that tries to make it to Halloween with the furnace off at home.

Yes, I have a husband like that - we risk frozen water pipes and walk around in sweaters, holding out until the last possible day to kick the furnace on and enjoy the warmth.

Incidentally, I remember as a kid having the furnace at no higher than 61 degrees, ever. We always wore sweaters.

I also never, ever saw my parents put in more than $5 into the gas tank. I, on the other hand, always fill the tank up, with thanks that I can do so without much thought.

My condolences go to the other ladies who have a husband like that. Sigh. I think we should form a sweater-knitting circle. But then I would have to learn how to knit.

Ready for another Minnesotan winter?

Here is an annotated thermometer for readers. I picked it from the Internet, and cannot claim to be the original writer.

Minnesotan Thermometer

60 degrees Fahrenheit - Californians put on sweaters (if they can find one in their wardrobes).

50 degrees - Miami residents turn on the heat.

40 degrees - You can see your breath. Californians shiver uncontrollably. Minnesotans go swimming.

35 degrees - Italian cars won't start.

32 degrees - Water freezes.

30 degrees - You plan your vacation to Australia. Minnesotans put on T-shirts. Politicians begin to worry about the homeless. British cars don't start.

25 degrees - Boston water freezes. Californians weep uncontrollably. Minnesotans eat ice cream. Canadians go swimming.

20 degrees - You can hear your breath. Politicians begin to talk about the homeless. New York City water freezes. Miami residents plan a vacation further south.

15 degrees - French cars don't start. You plan a vacation in Mexico. The cat insists on sleeping in your bed with you.

10 degrees - Too cold to ski. You need jumper cables to get the car going.

5 degrees - You plan your vacation in Houston. American cars don't start.

0 degrees - Alaskans put on T shirts. It's too cold to skate.

-10 degrees - German cars don't start. Eyes freeze shut when you blink.

-15 degrees - You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo. Arkansans stick tongues on metal objects. Miami residents cease to exist.

-20 degrees - Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you. Politicians actually do something about the homeless. Minnesotans shovel snow off roof. Japanese cars don't start.

-25 degrees - Too cold to think. You need jumper cables to get the driver going.

-30 degrees - You plan a two-week hot bath. Swedish cars don't start.

-40 - Californians disappear. Minnesotans button up their top buttons. Canadians put on sweaters. Your car helps you plan your trip south.

-50 degrees - Congressional hot air freezes. Alaskans close the bathroom window.

-80 degrees - Hell freezes over. Polar bears move south.

One note about the Red Cross and $$$$

I know the Red Cross does good deeds, but it is so obvious to me that everyone who donated to the Red Cross did so with the understanding that a good portion of it would be used for the Sept. 11 victims.

Some people say that the Red Cross has been giving an average of $2,000 to the victims' families, out of the gazillions given to them. What a bunch of cheap skates.! What is the matter with them?

If we were donating to all the good deeds of the Red Cross, we could have done it any time before Sept. 11. I didn't send my money in to help them collect blood, even though this is a noble cause.

They should loosen their purse strings and help the Sept. 11 victims NOW; and maybe we will forgive them later for not doing it right in the first place.

I had a feeling that that much money would cause problems. Let's hope they're not rascals about it.


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