"Can you believe this weather?? 97° in May! I haven't felt this kind of heat so early in the year since.. aught 9!"
Really it amuses us to no end to regal outsiders with "Oh! Yeah, that's nothin' stories" when they complain about the cold. How no child would even dream of putting their tongue on a flag pole when their lips freeze shut just from walking outside without their scarf fully covering their face mask! Indeed, it is a mark of a true Minnesotan to have a weather related horror story, and the cold bitter winters aren't the only source of our outward ire and inward glee. We are a state of four seasons! We have the mind numbingly cold winters, the spring blizzards or floods depending on the temperature that morning when the storm began, the summer humidity and thunderstorms, when combined with the winds cause dozens of tornados. Early frosts, and late thunderstorms fell trees in the fall and there are countless snowed in by halloween or thanksgiving stories to be told.
I am constantly amazed that a) any one chooses to live here on purpose or b) that we can even survive given the unpredictability of the weather. We plant our corn year after year, we build our towns next to the rivers, and we still eat, sleep, and recreate in relative peace.
My first question was answered this weekend by the perfect... I mean PERFECT day that I had on Sunday. We all watched the weather closely prior in the week making plans and counter plans in case of a weather 'event'. It looked like rain all weekend at first, and as the week approached Friday, the forecast was getting better and better.
Saturday started out cloudy and humid, but by 3 o'clock it was gorgeous, and it stayed that way until this morning, when the clouds rolled in. Two and half days of perfect weather? What is a Minnesotan to do? What all Minnesotans must; spend every available minute outdoors.
Sunday morning I awoke to sunshine and bird singing as I headed to the kitchen to prepare a light lunch that I was fairly certain was going to be part of a picnic feast. If there is one thing I know about Howktown, is that if the Queen Mother doesn't have to work and weather is perfect, a picnic will be had.
As she walked in on me preparing egg salad, she replied "Oh good, I was just thinking of making that!" she went upstairs to change out of her church clothes and as she returned I was pulling out the strawberries to be hulled. "Oh! I was going to do that next, I guess we are thinking alike today!" Of course we are, dear mother, of course we are. I prepared a chicken salad, cheese and crackers, and assembled containers of buns, brownies, cookies, and kool-aide. My mother retrieved the wine slush drink she had made and my father attached the boat to the back of the truck. Czarina Kylie called to see if we were interested in having a picnic (see, she knows, too) and I told her the picnicking would commence in 20 minutes at the park.
Grammy and Grampy took the kids out on the "fun" boat and Kylie and I reveled in the chance to lay in the sun in the grass and talk about boys.
When we returned home, grilling of brats and sitting on the patio commenced. Not to be outdone by the picnic, the evening required a bike ride to the dairy freeze for a junior cone of chocolate peppermint twist.. the flavor of the day. We took the long way home on our bikes and followed it by sitting by the fire in Saarisburg.
I fell asleep fully understanding the draw to this state. Even in the southwestern corner amidst the pig farms and cornfields, with the constant wind, dust, and small town politics, a day like that is perfect.
The next day, I woke up and did it all again, and man am I exhausted.