There seems to be a few things that we as Minnesotans take a great deal of pride in. Things that we believe set us apart from other folks, that bond us together as a community. We Minnesotans pride ourselves on our strong work ethic. We work hard, put in long hours, and don’t complain about it. We may not be like Southerners and invite you into our home for dinner but we definitely believe in good manners. We say good morning to strangers, ask how the weather is treating ya, and throw in a “stay warm” to wrap up a conversation.

Another staple of of being proudly Minnesotan is having the ability to get through one of our brutal winters. When folks ask us how do you do it up there in Minnesota with all of that snow and cold? I usually give my stock answers like “you get used to it” or “we’re set up for it when a snow hits we have a flawless system that gets everything back on track again.” We scoff when we watch on the news that a snowstorm has hit Atlanta and has shut down the city for a week due to a few inches of snow. That could never happen here we think. We gladly push each others cars out of snow banks and the one guy on the who has a snowblower relishes his chance to clear the entire block for all his neighbors.

So why am I losing my ability to push through one of our winters? Everything about this winter has made me think, “how much longer can I do this?” Starting from the storm that hit on Christmas Eve. The hyped up weather reports caused so much angst that our family event was moved to my house (26 people) to keep people from driving out to Eden Prairie, which has to be considered an inner-ring suburb by now.

When the storm passed, we were left with a frustrating combination of ice and snow that has crippled the side streets in most areas and making walking down most sidewalks somewhat dangerous. Then the temperatures dropped and the thought of going outside gives me a brain freeze headache.

Maybe I should engage in more outdoor activities to make this bearable. But the thought of taking the kids sledding down ice hills makes me skittish. Ice skating would have been an option until my son’s class went and his teacher broke her tailbone falling on the ice. Scared me enough to put my skates away for the rest of winter. So maybe I am just getting old, but I sure hope I haven’t permanently lost my Minnesota thick skin. I revel in the fact that there is something about us folks that allows us to tolerate what others can’t. So I will be a good Minnesotan and just grin and bear it.