Friday, January 20, 2012

Things I Need to Remember to Tell

Do you remember a trip we took to Florida a couple of years ago in January.  It was literally freezing which was not fun for the Minnesotans looking for some sunshine and warmth.  It was fun for us, though, to laugh at the instructions the Floridians were getting on how to survive the weather.

It's gotten normal Minnesota cold this week and driving home from that baby shower last weekend I was feeling sorry for myself that I live in such a miserable climate when Garrison Keillor came on.  His opening remarks were about the cold weather and what a relief it was to us Minnesotans that it had returned.  We don't know how to behave when the temperature is above normal in January.  We wouldn't enjoy living in Hawaii (no matter what we would tell people).  God has chosen us to live in this climate because we can take it.

I loved that.

It really made me chuckle later this week listening to the exploits of my new friend Nancy who has recently moved here from sunny Southern California.  Nancy has a tremendously good attitude about it for a women who, until recently, could go surfing in the ocean any time she felt like it.  She was laughing pretty hard at herself when I saw her last night because she had taken her dirty car through the car wash yesterday when it was 30 below.  Now if you think about this with some serious thought (and I don't mean to say Nancy isn't a serious thinker, she just didn't think this all the way through), you will see the error of her ways.  After going through the car wash, she and her daughter stopped for a few minutes to get groceries and had a difficult time opening the doors of their car which were now frozen shut.

Also Nancy did not take the snow forecast into consideration because if she had, she would have realized the amount of salt which would be on the roads, making her car just as dirty today as it was yesterday when she washed it.

There are things about living in a different climate that we do not think about because some of us have never had to.  I feel in a bit of a panic now.  I feel a little responsible for Nancy.  What other lessons of life in the snow belt does she need to know that I do not think about because I have always lived here.

Pump your brakes on ice (unless you have anti-lock brakes).

Check the forecast before you blow snow in March because it might melt/and or snow more that same day.

Dress in layers.

Just because some anxious ice fishing guy has driven his pickup on the ice does not mean it's safe.  That's God's method of natural selection.

No matter what they tell you to put in the winter emergency kit in your car, you will never use any of it.  It will just be a waste of a chocolate bar come summer when you find the old thing half melted in the back.  Carry your boots, mittens and cell phone at all times.  You're good.


  1. Do NOT keep kitty litter in the car for a traction assist if you get stuck. Some people do this thinking that kitty litter is just like sand. It isn't. It is bentonite. Bentonite is a clay which, while it will absorb small amounts of water, actually becomes incredibly slick when wet. People that try to use it as traction sand are actually getting the opposite effect.

    1. I always thought kitty litter in your car was a bunch of whooey. That's right! I said whooey. Who's the smart, science-y one? You are!

  2. Growing up, we often had hand-me-down boots that were just fine, except when the soles started to crack around mid February. On slushy-wet-melting snow days we reached in the plastic recycled bags drawer for a couple of Wonder bread bags. Slipping each foot into those polka dotted plastic sleeves before stepping into our boots, kept our socks dry and our toes warm all play-day long. :)

    1. I LOVE this. My Grandma Malmberg had a braided rug in her kitchen made out of bread bags. If I were craftier (and you know I'm not) I would try and figure out how to do that.