Springtime in the Midwest

Minnesota, St Paul, MinneapolisApparently, Mother Nature isn’t just crazy in California.  She’s also nutty here.  Someone forgot to tell her that it’s late April and time for warmer weather.  So, now it’s snowing.  I know that I’ve seen people lamenting the fact that there have been blizzards blowing through the Midwest for the past few months seemingly non-stop. It’s all over the Twitter and the Facebook.

Let me tell you something, California gets spring for a week.  If they are lucky.  It jumps from rain (also known as winter) pretty much right into heat (also known as summer).  There are very small transitions in the seasons.

Also, I hate the heat.  I escaped its clutches in my early 20s when I moved to San Francisco.  The lovely fog and/or marine layer give the City by the Bay some of the lowest daily, mean temperatures for a major city in the U.S. for June, July and August. I didn’t even have an air conditioner when I lived in that area.  I didn’t need it.  It got into the 90s for MAYBE 3 days each year.  Since those days were usually during the week, I spent the hottest hours at work where they had air conditioning.

But, here in Minnesota, it’s snowing.  Right now, that is still novel to me.  I love the fact that I can sit cozily on my couch and watch giant flakes drift by the big picture window.  It reminds me of being a kid when I lived on the East Coast for a short while.  I loved the snow then too.  Making snow angels, sledding, snowball fights…OK, I didn’t like snowball fights, but I did like building snowmen and snow forts.

It’s not like I had to drive in it or anything.  Plus, I doubt the roads will be shut down for three to four days…I’m looking at you Wyoming!

So, this afternoon, I watched the pouring rain magically become fluffy white flakes.  I wish I would have made some hot cinnamon flavored tea.  That would have been perfect, but instead, I just stared at the show Mother Nature was putting on for everyone.  Reminding them that she is in control and not us puny humans.

Supposedly, the weather will change again this weekend and spring will finally arrive.  It’s supposed to be near 70!  A heatwave!

Road Trip to Minnesota: Day 5 – South Dakota & Home

Drove past this on our way to a "pit stop."

Drove past this on our way to a “pit stop.”

We woke up in Rapid City.  South Dakota has always had a place in my heart.  Members of my family are from the western part of the state.  It’s been one of my goals to visit those roots.  But, we had a bigger goal in mind…getting home!  So, we set off for the 10 hour drive.  Maybe it was only 8 hours.  At this point in the trip, Paul and I were both just eager to not be in the car anymore.  Our collective sanity was beginning to wane.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed my drive through the Mount Rushmore State.  The numerous signs to Wall Drug caught my eye.  Next time, we will stop there.  The landscape was beautiful.  We missed the Black Hills because it was dark when we hit the state line the day before, but we will be back there one day to see the places my forebears lived.

I was still looking forward to the flat prairie area.  To me, it seemed more rolling hills than flat.  The Central Valley in California is flatter than the area along I-90 that I saw.  It wasn’t until we were almost out of South Dakota that the flatness appeared.  Maybe it’s further south.  Some day I might find out.

One of the wonders of technology let Paul and I stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to have dinner with a couple of his friends as a brief respite from our eastern trek.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

Then it was onward to Minnesota!  I didn’t realize how far south I-90 is in the state that is now my home.  We weren’t very far from the Iowa border.  Some day, I’ll get to that state, but neither Paul nor I are very eager to get back in an automobile for any significant length of time.

It was dark and late when we finally made it home to Saint Paul, but made it we did.   My Beetle is here with me.  It survived the frigid temperatures of Wyoming and seems to be happy in the cool quasi-winter/pre-spring climate of Minnesota. Thank goodness because I need it to help me find a job.  I’m very excited to explore my new surroundings, too.  The Twin Cities  have much to offer.