Monday, December 10, 2007

Whatever happened to Minnesota Me?

We're looking at a potentially dreadful major ice storm in KC. I'm a bundle of contingency plans, a whirlwind of warning phone calls to adult children, a marathon of watching The Weather Channel and praying the temperature will creep up over freezing and I won't break my neck on the sidewalk.

What fun is that? Where's my sense of adventure? I used to see Oklahomans or Texans in the ditch and assume they just needed a few hours of behind-the-wheel at Molly's Winter Driving School. Now I stand in line with all the other cowards, hoarding bottled water and soup fixin's and waiting till the salt trucks go by.

Minnesota Me went ice fishing for hours on end, made snow angels until there was no snow left in the yard, skated until her nose hairs froze, and walked across the Mississippi River bridge at dawn to get to class at the University. She drank brandy and tobogganed on cafeteria trays with fast men when it was zero degrees (not recommended).

Minnesota Me drove a tiny Honda Civic with a lousy heater to a perfect attendance record at my job in the Twin Cities. Ice, snow, forty below. Didn't matter. I was brave. And hardy. And there was no attached (or separate) garage, either. I swaddled the engine block with an electric blanket, I scraped my windows twice a day. And I liked it. Okay, I never liked it.

But still. I don't like that I've gone soft, either. Taking a precious day off to avoid doing battle with Old Man Winter. What kind of Girl from the North Country does that? I make me sick.

Where's the little rosy-cheeked (some would say frostbitten) girl who trudged to the bus stop when it was still dark outside in the days when little girls weren't allowed to wear slacks to school? Hmm? Where? I'll tell you where. She's wrapped in an afghan on the couch drinking cocoa. That's where.

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