Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And How Deep is Your Snow?

We had another 6 inches last night - that makes a total of 30+ inches on the ground and it's only December. January and March are our snowiest months and our average snowfall over a winter is only 36 inches. Back in the winter of '96-'97 we had over 120 inches and Ole ran out of places to put it when he cleared the driveway. But at least we haven't had really cold temperatures - yet - that usually happens in January when we get sometimes two to three weeks of 20-30 degrees below zero. Some days it even warms up to all of 10 below. Oh well, I guess it doesn't do any good to complain.

When we lived in Florida we had two dogs that adopted us. They were strays that military people had left behind when they had to move. So of course we brought them back to Minnesota with us when Ole got out of the Navy. Hairy was a big dog with lots of fur and enjoyed the Minnesota winters. Hot Dog on the other hand wasn’t so crazy about them. He was a standard Daschund weighing in at about 35 pounds, and built low to the ground. The unfortunate thing about these two dogs is that we never had them neutered, so when Mother Nature called they would occasionally take off. Now Hot Dog was a dog that was always cold. He would lie on top of the heat registers that were so hot you couldn’t put your foot on them – but he’d cover them and soak up the heat.

One very bitter cold night I let them out before I went to bed and Hairy came back shortly but Hot Dog didn’t show up. I waited for a while, and then went to bed, getting up several times during the night to check to see if he had come back. He showed up the next morning, looking like he’d been “partying” all night, which I’m sure he had. Now you all know how low to the ground a Daschund is – and that year the snow was deep. So that night when I got home from work, there was Hot Dog suffering the results of frost bite on his “vital parts” that had been dragged through the snow while he was out “partying.” Everything was swollen and blistered and quite painful, I’m sure. So I called the vet who told me what ointment to apply to the “vital organs.” The vet laughed and asked me if this poor dog didn’t know enough to come in out of the cold. I told him that Hot Dog was a typical male and was just thinking with the wrong head!!

Talking about cold temperatures and doing stupid things. The first year that we were married I spent the months of January and February living by myself while Ole was going to school down in Minneapolis. He’d be home on weekends and that was all. We had an extremely cold snap during the month of January, but regardless of the temperature you get up and go to work anyway, as long as your car will start. I had plugged mine in, so it started right up, then went back in the house to finish getting ready for work. That’s when I heard on the radio that the actual temperature that morning was 52 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. I had ten miles to go to work, and must have been insane. With temperatures like that your car could stop along the way and where would that leave you – pretty crisp when they found you.

Then there was the year we drove home from California in January. We had flown out to visit Big Brother with the intention of buying a Mustang and driving it back to Minnesota. We found a l968 Mustang convertible (beautiful) and decided to take it home. Now mind you, this was a California car – never driven in cold weather, but Ole and Big Brother checked everything over before we took off to assure that it was in good running order. When we got as far north as Nebraska we ran into bad weather and very cold temperatures. The farther north we went the worse it got. The wind chill was at 100 below zero and the visibility was so bad you could barely see the front of the hood. Lovely Daughter was just a little girl then and we had her wrapped up in every blanket and jacket that we had along so that all you could see were two big brown eyes peering out. The top of the convertible didn’t fit tight so the snow was blowing in, landing on the dash and NOT melting, so you know it was cold in the car. We finally got as far as Sioux Falls and I convinced Ole we needed to stop. At that point in time he was invincible – you know how men are when they’re young. We found a motel, and then tried to figure out how we were going to get this car to start the next morning. Ole found an auto store, bought an engine heater, went to a car wash where it was warm to install it and when he came back to the motel plugged it in and took the battery out and brought it into the hotel room. The next morning he reassembled the car and it was the ONLY car in the parking lot that started. There were California plates on this car, and Ole had a good time going around the parking lot, jumping other cars and pretending he was from California. He even jumped a car with Alaska plates that wouldn’t start and got a big chuckle out of that.
So I guess for now I'll just "bask" in the warm temperatures we have right now - 25 ABOVE - and remember those frigid frosty days of long ago.
Are you ready for Christmas yet?
Love Lena


Anonymous said...

That is so funny Lena. I grew up in the frigid north but live in Dallas now. I just heard that we have a record temperature for the first day of winter--83 degrees. I wish we could combine and average our temperatures so we could all be comfortable. You are lucky to have Ole who thinks ahead of what possible consequences might be.

Holly said...

I'm beginning to think a White Christmas is highly over-rated. Snow and cold are nothing new, I've lived in ND my whole life, growing up even further north, but I've had enough for a while.