Minnesota, hail to thee!
Hail to thee, our state so dear,
Thy light shall ever be
A beacon bright and clear.
Thy son and daughters true
Will proclaim thee near and far,
They shall guard thy fame and adore thy name;
Thou shalt be their Northern Star.
Like the stream that bends to sea,
Like the pine that seeks the blue;
Minnesota, still for thee
Thy sons are strong and true.
From the woods and waters fair;
From the prairies waving far,
At thy call they throng with their shout and song;
Hailing thee their Northern Star.
In Minnesota, if the announcement were made that a giant meteor was crashing into earth tomorrow, the first words out of our mouths would nevertheless be, “What do you think of this snow, Otis?” “Well, Frank, I heard it was going to stop about three, then we’ll just have to wait for the snowplow.” “Mildred, can you give me a little more cream for this coffee? What’d you do…cook it all night?” “Yeah, had to sleep here you know, couldn’t get home on these roads.” “Hey, you hear about that meteor? Guess it’s all over for us tomorrow. Well at least the snow’ll have stopped by then so we can see the darn thing coming.”
Today, May 2: Achilles is bringing rain to Texas and snow, big snow, lots of snow to southern Minnesota. Thirteen inches in Red Wing. The point of this is…I love Minnesota. It’s a distinct place on the map…with more jokes about it than, say Iowa or South Dakota…and we are better known for our weather than anyplace else! Really. You know that’s true. International Falls, the icebox of the nation (it is unfortunate no one knows what an icebox is anymore…the saying loses its impact if you have to explain that an icebox was a pre-electric refrigerator that depended on large blocks of ice delivered by an iceman to keep food cold—just so you know this was before my time but not so long before that I don’t know about them!). Movies about ice fishing are all shot in Minnesota on Mille Lacs Lake (or should be if they’re not).
As you may have guessed I am quite lonesome for home today. Oh sure, everyone up there is complaining bitterly now as Achilles brings yet one more damn snowstorm. But secretly we are all proud of how tough we are (were in my case) and because so many of us are naturally gloomy, reserved Scandinavians the weather is practically the only thing about which we feel free to be dramatic.
On the other hand…here in New Mexico it is another sunny day…one out of 359 sunny days in the year. Yawn. Seriously, it is so very boring! Although once in awhile a dust storm enlivens things.
I think I’ll pretend I’m back home, getting ready to head out to the store now that the snow has almost stopped. Getting dressed…shorts, sweater, parka, Sorels, knee high woolen socks…grab the snow shovel and the windshield scraper. It is true. Real Minnesotans wear shorts from March until mid-December to prove we are not wimps. We are Minnesotans.