Celebrating Winter . . .

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!

Celebrating Winter … I can’t believe I just said that, but it is true this year. Winter is usually a very harsh season, especially here in the north. Winter has a lot of negative history. Just try to find a positive, happy quote about winter .. they are rare (I looked hard because I really wanted to find one for this post).

It is a very unusual winter for us Minnesotans, we are celebrating it. Everything you have heard in the past about a Minnesota winter is not true this year (yet). No mountains of snow, cloudy dark days, or 40º below temperatures. It still feels like the end of October or November here. We have warm temperatures (suppose to reach about 40º today), cool temperatures at night to keep the lakes frozen, the sun has been shining, only a dusting of snow on the ground, and the road conditions are super.

The most joyous part of this crazy unusual winter has been the ice-covered lakes. When I wrote my last post, the beautiful lake ice was a rare novelty – – something to celebrate because the chances of it lasting for a whole week was not very good (a once in 10 years treat). However, it has now been several weeks and no snow is in our weather forecast. This extended period of wonderous ice is bringing out the best of winter creative fun. Minnesotans are finding great ways to enjoy it. There is a lot of icy joy, fun, and memories being made.

How are we celebrating? We are outdoors enjoying it. Of course, ice fishing is popular here as always … only this year, the need for a fishing house is less. The fishing population can stand outside and bask in the sunshine. The skaters are still taking advantage of the great lake ice, I have friends who are skating several miles a day. Ice boating is becoming a huge new craze. The cross-country skiers and snowmobilers are not happy because of the lack of snow … but, are using their creativity to find other ways to enjoy their Minnesota winter.

I thought I would share two new videos posted on YouTube showing how Minnesotans are celebrating the Winter of 2011.
Both videos have festive music of the season and are entertaining. Most of all, they show the amazing lake skating that I am running out of words to describe.

The first video is of a family whose children skated to school in Bemidji with the help of a homemade ice sled. Bemidji is one of the larger cities in the area and is built around a large lake and the Mississippi River. Bemidji has many “city” schools where skating to school would be impossible. However, they also have a small charter school at the north end of town in the woods. The video is enchanting … going to school looks like so much fun: Skating to School in Bemidji

If you have never seen an ice boat. Check out this Ice boating video. We have a lot of people trying it for the very first time this year and this video is about one man’s first trip: Ice Boating in Minnesota 2011 Looks like a great way to experience speed and nature all at once.

I hope you will share your thoughts on Winter. Being from Minnesota, we are all secretly holding our breaths wondering when Mother Nature is going to notice she forgot to send us our harsh, cold weather .. deep down inside, unspoken (just in case she can hear us) we all know we are going to have to pay for this nice start to winter in some way.
** Do you know of a positive happy quote about winter that I overlooked?
** How are people in your area celebrating winter this year?

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ~ Edith Sitwell

~ by bearyweather on December 18, 2011.

17 Responses to “Celebrating Winter . . .”

  1. Hi Bearyweather, I just adore the picture of the little evergreen tree! Excellent! Gee, your weather is just a few degrees cooler than our present weather here on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee! How about that! Enjoy your warmish weather while it lasts. Our landscape has not changed other than the brief snow that happened on two occasions since Halloween – and that melted right away. Have a magnificent coming week!

    • It is a weird winter that is for sure. I think I heard that several States south of us have more snow then we do. Most places in Minnesota have no snow … I have about an inch or two because it is shady here.

  2. Lots of bicycles out today in Duluth. I miss the snow.

    • Bicycles at Christmas … has to be a very rare sight … that is so amazing. I don’t miss the snow … my inch or two make it pretty and that is plenty for me. I really love the warm weather … have not had to take out the boots or heavy jacket, yet.

  3. I love your photo of the little tree! Charlie Brown would be proud!

    We are having about the same weather pattern as you are so far. We do have good amounts of snow higher in the mountains though and the ski areas are all open. Sure hope we do have snow for Christmas though!

    • Charlie came to mind the second I saw it. The sun was peeking through the trees and hitting that little tree just perfectly … timing is everything. The ski areas are making snow here, too. I am having fun discovering all the imaginative ways people are finding to enjoy this strange weather .. those frozen lakes are the best … it is like a dream.

  4. I love reading about your winters. I live in an area that temperatures vary…even in the course of a day! One day we might have a touch of snow and the next day it’s gone and people are out in shorts and flip flops. While the weather does seem chaotic and disruptive at times, I do like the milder temperatures better than the cold winters of my childhood.

    • I like our mild winter, too. Flip flops and shorts? Oh my … they are extremely hard for me to picture at Christmas time. I have been reading a blogger from Australia write about 12 days of Christmas there … and a hot summer day just does not register in my head as “Christmas” … I would have a hard time “feeling” Christmas under those conditions. Christmas has so many traditions and feelings attached to it from our childhoods … that are very hard to change … well, at least for me. Snow, cold, mittens, boots, heavy jacket, warming the car up …. darkness and twinkling lights … that is what feels like Christmas time to me.

  5. The little tree photo is fantastic!

    Hardly any snow sticking to the ground here in my part of Ohio yet- but plenty of rain. If that was snow, it would be quite a pile!

    Ice boating looks like quite a thrill. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. So, that is where all of our snow has gone 😉
    Honestly, we really need it to snow … we were in a draught since late this summer … it is very dry here … brittle/fire danger dry.

    It was the first time I saw the ice boats, too … it looks like a ton of fun to me … I wish I knew someone with a boat.

  7. We’re having a very mild winter, too, although ours has been of the rainy variety. I’d much rather have snow.

    Merry Christmas to you, Bearyweather! 🙂

    • We had a 1/2 of snow on Christmas Eve, just enough to spruce things up a bit … then it promptly warmed up to 40º on monday and everything melted again … it is a weird winter weather-wise.
      Merry Christmas to you, too.

  8. Thank you for your post, bearyweather. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. My husband would like some of your frozen lake behavior to move a little further east. He is hoping to be ice fishing in January, if his knees will allow. Enjoy your week-between! May 2012 bring snow, and Joy.

    • Thanks for well wishes. I hope your husband gets his ice … after suffering though medical issues we all deserve our wishes to come true to celebrate.

      I have spent my “week between” working on my health … cataract surgery. I am technically way too young for cataracts … one of those very rare cases (which I am tired of being). Still have healing to do but I am amazed at all I have been missing … the world is so much more colorful and bright. Being able to see clearly without looking through a cloud of haze is a great way to start the new year.

      Wishing you the best (especially great health) in 2012!

      • You had to have cataract surgery on top of everything else! Well, bearyweather, I am sincerely hoping that 2012 finds you 100% healthy with no imminent procedures! Glad the world is brighter and more colorful for you. That is a holiday gift, indeed.

        • Yep, I have had a cataract for 10 years (I am way too young for them, just a rare case). The surgery was actually scheduled for September and I had to cancel it due to all the other health issues I was healing from. Getting new clear eyesight for 2012 is one of the greatest gifts ever.

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