Winter vs. spring

One day last month, I contemplated the coldest season of the year, and my thoughts turned as icy as the sidewalk in front of me.

The City’s snow emergency rules had given me whiplash: “Because of the storm, park on the even side of the street now, the odd side tomorrow, and the even side again the next day—but wait! Because of the snowfall totals and narrowing of the streets, let’s now only park on the odd side until April 2—or until further notice. But hold on! Here comes a fresh dumping of snow, so let’s go back to the normal snow emergency rules for a few days—even, odd, even—and then we’ll resume the only-park-on-the-odd-side-until-the-spring-thaw rule, okay?”

It wasn’t the City’s fault. What else could they do? The weather had forced every last one of us into the competition of Winter vs. the Minnesotans. I grabbed my shovel, hoping for victory.

“Be sure not to park on the even side,” Husband said to one of the teenagers after another of the City’s snow emergency declarations.

But life is full and far too distracting for kids these days, so her dad’s warning fled my girl’s mind as she parked on the even side of the street the next day at school. A tow truck whisked her car away to an impound lot faster than she could say, “Dad, I need a new scraper. Mine broke.”

She texted me. My car got towed.

I sighed. Oh no... What are you going to do?

Use my feminine wiles to get it back.

My laugh startled the dog. Good luck!

Thirty minutes passed. My phone pinged.

Mom, can you transfer $150.00 from my savings into my checking?

Winter vs. the teenager. Winter won.


One night recently, I let Lala, our dog, out into the back yard to visit the facilities. She trotted down our brick walk, pointed in the direction of the garage. The motion sensor light flicked on, its brightness glancing off a miniature skating rink on her path. Of course she would see it, wouldn’t she? Dogs were smart that way. Instead, she hit it just right and slid, her four legs slipping out from under her. She toppled onto her side. Uh-oh. She wriggled to standing, did her business, and headed back toward the house. But her paws caught the same icy patch, and down went our sturdy girl—again.  

Back in the house, Lala chose the treat I offered her over my condolences. As usual, she was fur-wrapped exuberance—and unhurt—but my tolerance for winter plummeted to zero. If our four-legged loved one with a low center of gravity could lose her footing just like that, what hope was there for the rest of us?

Winter vs. the dog. Winter won.


“What were the newscasters calling this winter again?” I asked Husband two nights ago.

He scrolled through Hulu selections. “The winter of my discontent?”

“I mean, it was record-breaking, and the biggest snowfall since when?”

He landed on a show. “Who can know.”

I pulled myself out of hibernation mode to do some searching and found the National Weather Service’s claims. The Twin Cities received thirty-nine inches of snow in February 2019, breaking the previous record of twenty-six-and-a-half inches, set in 1962.

So much to melt away; so little patience for it all to go.

“It’s spring tomorrow, though,” I said, hoping to cheer myself, “so this should all be over, right?”

Husband clicked pause. “I hear there’s snow coming on April 2, but what do they know?”

I harrumphed. Maybe it wouldn’t materialize. Or maybe it would. Either way, when it was winter vs. spring, it was easy to choose a side. And I wouldn’t stop cheering until it was over.


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*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.