I am going to start by saying that I love Minnesota and really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. However, there are days when the weather can leave you frustrated and dreaming of a beach.
Growing up here you learn to drive in all kinds of conditions. I don’t consider myself an overly cautious driver, but a smart one, when it comes to winter driving. I drive based on the elements. Today was just an all-around gross day. It snowed all day and it’s warm outside which lends itself to slushy, crappy roads. As I watched the snow fall throughout today I knew the drive home would not be a fun one. I had plans to work out after work and that meant driving a half hour to get there. I decided to leave a few minutes early to beat the rush.
I was taking my time, driving at a comfortable speed and paying close attention to the condition of the road when I see a black Dodge Charger doing 360* turns down the middle of the highway headed straight at me. Thinking back, it wasn’t an “oh holy sh&$” moment but more like a “you’ve got to be kidding me” kind of a thought. Like, “how the heck do I avoid this?!”
Well, I didn’t. I was able to slow down and get as far over to the shoulder as I could without driving into the ditch. It just wasn’t quite far enough. Hey, the car is still drivable and I’m not hurt. Grateful.
That isn’t what prompted me to share this post on gratitude. It’s what came after. So the other driver and I got off the highway. It happened near an intersection so we were able to pull onto a county road, assess the situation, call it in and then sit and wait for a deputy of come and write up a report. Frustrating, yes. Annoyed, yes. There I sat. I love the saying “It is what it is” and that’s where I was at in my head. About 5-10 minutes into my wait while I was on the phone with the claims adjuster I had my gratitude moment. As I sat at the intersection with my hazard lights on I was witness to a second accident just a few hundred feet down from where I got hit. Only this one was bad, really bad. I just said to the adjuster “I have to go” then hung up and called 911 for a second time. As people pulled off and ran to the vehicles I began describing the scene. Traffic in both directions came to a halt. As the emergency vehicles started to pour in I knew I would be there for a while. I was no longer the priority. I grabbed a safety vest out of the back of my car and walked up the road to one of the officers, explaining my observations and situation. Then I went back to wait. Eventually they got to me and to the driver who hit me. By that point it seemed like small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
Gratitude. I remember thinking that to myself repeatedly – it could have been so much worse for me. I got lucky. The timing was only different by a few minutes. The location was roughly the same. Today, I have an immense amount of gratitude. I drove away. The other two cars, did not.
Be thankful for what you have and who you are. If you don’t like it, change it.
The term “home” has lots of meanings these days. We have been busy the past few weekends. Last weekend we were out of town. I had Sunday to hang out in the Twin Cities before traveling back to our home in the country. Saturday night my husband and I had supper at a quaint, little Indian restaurant. We haven’t been able to have that since we moved. It was yummy! I had the chance to have breakfast at Panera Bread the next morning, visit Trader Joe’s for some goods, hang out at Starbucks and have lunch at Noodles and Co. These are all things we had in Mankato but are no longer near us. What a treat!
Home is also a local restaurant we are now regulars at and visit often. We are on a first name basis with the staff. Thy know what we drink. We are chatty and catch up when we visit. We love the food but even more than that, we love the atmosphere. It’s homey and familiar to us.
Home is our residence, they place we come home to at the end of the day. We have had old friends visit recently and stay with us. It is great to host and entertain, be able to show our friends our new world, and share the familiar stories and laughs.
Soon home will have another meaning – Home is where the heart is…and no matter where we are my husband and I are still home with each other.
Enjoy home wherever you are!
I think the weather has been a part of many recent posts but there isn’t much else to talk about in winter in MN – except the Vikings. SKOL!
This past week was brutal and we have at least four more days of this crap. Besides the cold it seems to be exceptionally windy lately. Being outside is hard. The cold hurts your face. Everything takes longer too. Longer to warm your car, longer to get places (you have to drive slower) and longer to do things (more clothes in the way and we just move slower in this weather).
This morning it was my turn to move snow. Fortunately for us we have a plow on our ATV. I have my doubts that it was above zero when I ventured out mid morning. The machine started hard, but it did start. That’s a blessing. I’m short in stature. I have to stand up to plow otherwise I can’t see ahead over the front and I usually have to lean forward too. The cold air was making my eyes water and my lashes were instant icicles. Up and down the driveway I buzzed. It went pretty quick I guess. It could have been worse.
So for the rest of the day – a pot of chili and some wood in the fireplace.
This was what I dealt with on the way to work on Thursday – snow and ice.
We are going on month 7 since our move and making good adjustment to our new normal. The past month has been exceptionally cold with long streaks in negative temperatures. Temps have been frigid with wind chills in the -30 to -50 at times. This morning was no exception.
For months we have been on the hunt for a missing box. My husband and I have had several conversations about it. We know roughly the time frame in the move it would have been packed and loaded. We know what was in the box, the closet it came from at the old house, etc. it has been no where to be seen. We have back tracked our steps, looked in every odd place possible, gone back through areas that have been previously unpacked and revisited every storage space and closet in the house.
The boxed container winter gear. These are things that have been much needed in prior weeks – winter parkas, heavy boots, etc. It has been frustrating.
Magic happened today.
We have cleaned and rearranged our garage several times since our move. Many of the things that remain in there belong in our shop which is not completed. We have opened kids, renamed boxes and reorganized. Even though we had done all those things the box still eluded us. That finally ended today.
Like magic, it appeared. We will never know how many times we moved it or moved things around it without looking inside. Now we have our cold winter gear – even though we have already survived weeks of these frigid temps; now that the weather is supposed to hit double digits tomorrow for the first time in a while. Oh well, there is always next year, or next month, or next week. After all, this is Minnesota.
As the kids get older the idea of shopping for gifts seems to go away. Two in college. Two finishing high school. Money, gift cards, gas cards. That’s where it’s at.
This past weekend was spent cleaning and doing random chores at home. We ran errands (on a very loose schedule), ate out and chilled. This low key thing is easy to adopt. Gone are the days of shopping at 4am on Black Friday and planning out every weekend trip to the mall. Things are slowly making their way into the stockings.
I have the food planned out for Christmas Eve. We will celebrate here at home. Looking forward to a calmer and quieter Christmas this year.
I love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. I struggle with winter. Granted, I live in Minnesota so that’s part of life but that doesn’t mean I like it much. It’s bearable. On the up- side we have a beautiful fireplace that cost us some blood, sweat and tears and it is now cold enough to enjoy it. We had a few days here that really belonged in January – they somehow ended up in November.
It’s hard not to love that smell – a roaring fire made of dried hardwood. That smell carries many memories for me. Lots of reflection. I grew up in a home with a wood burning fireplace. Not only does it warm the room it also warms the heart.
This will be an enjoyable feature for many years to come. Bring it on Mother Nature. We’re ready.
So a couple of weeks ago I had some appointments back in my hometown. I scheduled a bunch of things and made a day of it, down and back. It’s between 7.5-8.0 hours on the road. It felt weird. This time I wasn’t commuting and going home for the weekend, and I wasn’t moving a carload of stuff. Being down there just for the day, I was ready to get home. The north central part of the state is my home now.
I came to realize this summer that they just can’t grow sweet corn up here like they do in southern MN so I brought my cooler along on the trip. When I returned I had it filled with Anderson sweet corn and Zanz cheese chilitos. You can’t find anything close to them up here and there are some things you just have to have once in a while.
Over Labor Day my Sis and Bro-in-law visited. It gave us an excuse to take a break from our project and venture out. It was a fun night. Had some good food, drank some good beer, and listened to some good music. I definitely need to get out more!