I'm Dreaming Of A Windy Spring

Northstar Notes

Only six weeks to go. Can we hang on?

Published on: February 11, 2014

We're a hardy bunch, those of us who reside in the North Star State.

We deal with things like brittle temps and mosquito clouds.

Well, sorta.

I have to admit that I am getting a bit tired of these sub-zero temperatures. I heard the other night on the news that as of Feb. 5, the mercury dipped to zero or colder 38 times thus far this winter in the Twin Cities. That's the most at or below zero readings since the winter of 1995-96.

The report went on to compare the winter of 2013-14 with previous records. The highest number of at or below zero temperatures in an entire winter is 68 for the winter of 1874-75.

The last time there were over 50 minimums of zero or colder was the winter of 1977-78 with 53.

At the rate we're going, we could be on track for beating that century-plus-old record.

Regardless, I'm going to start counting something else, like the number of days until the calendar says "Spring begins." I know, just because it says that on March 21, it doesn't mean we'll experience spring as we did in the good ol' days—the days of our youth.

For us Baby Boomers, when we were youngsters, spring truly started in March. Those huge piles of snow that our dad built with the tractor blade and bucket slowly melted, making gravel driveways slippery with ice. The snow-covered farm fields gradually started showing signs of brown earth. As March eased into April, strong winds swirled around the farmstead, helping to dry the saturated soil.

Oh, the wind! We'd buy kites from the village dime store and attempt to set them soaring. They'd spin and dive. We'd run into the house to complain to Mom and she would solve our problem by securing a tail at the end of the kite to give it some weight. More often than not, those spring winds were too strong to fly anything on a thin, white string.

When I close my eyes and transport myself in my memories, I can feel that breeze. I can smell the soil, the awakening vegetation.

That's truly the gift of spring, isn't it?

Hope of what is to come.

I'm counting down the days. Are you?