I belong to an online book trading club. Tonight I got one ready to send to Hawaii. I was so excited. I wrote on a little post-it note, "Wish I were there!" and I underlined "there" for emphasis. I think for a Minnesotan to imagine such a life as one might live in Hawaii is nearly impossible. It's raining now. The rain is bringing in a cold front. At the end of the week the high will be 56 degrees or something. What even would it be like to live in a place with such a moderate climate you never had to check the weather forecast because it would always be the same? We Minnesotans brag that we would get bored. We love, love, love the change of seasons, we say -- as though a few brilliantly colored leaves made up for 50 degrees below zero windchill.
I don't want to sound grumpy. I have made a choice to live here and I do it gladly. I'm sure I wouldn't like living in Hawaii . . . for long. Garrison Keillor has said something to the effect that living in Minnesota makes us a heartier, more interesting people. People who live in Florida or Hawaii don't have to work their weather the way we do. I think there's something to that. I look at it this way: A blizzard gives us a snow day to sit inside and make Rice Krispie bars. (What is my marshmallow obsession?) A hurricane gives our tropical friends a basement full of water. Wait. They don't have basements, do they? You understand my point. An arctic climate may not have the most beautiful plants and fruits, but we don't have many poisonous snakes either. Sure it's so cold that we can't make snowmen until spring, but look at our lovely pale complexions. Hmmmm. That's a bit of a reach, isn't it?