Another cold winter? Gee, you think?

Christmas morning from my house on the hill.

Aaron J. Brown

Several news outlets are reporting the annual weather predictions offered by the Farmer’s Almanac. In short, Minnesota is poised for another cold winter, much like the last one. One recalls that while few all-time-low temperature records were broken last winter, we smashed records for consecutive days below zero degrees Fahrenheit. It was a slog, an exercise not just in physical tolerance to cold but mental and emotional tolerance as well.

Since we’re all making predictions, here are a few of my own:

October: It’s going to snow at some point and everyone in Minnesota will talk about the big Halloween storm of 1991. It’ll be like this every year until the Minnesota Twins are good again and we can talk about the 1991 World Series. Until then, perhaps forever, only sad nostalgia lies across that threshold.

Early November: We’re going to take it easy at Thanksgiving this year. Just one plate; stick mostly to light meat and vegetables.

Late November: Grraawwwwwwnnghh! I think I accidentally ate the napkin when I was gnawing on that drumstick in between chugs of gravy. My greasy heart is playing jazz! Uuuuuuugggh, stop the syncopation!

December: Commercialism. Remember the reason for the season. Then forget it again when the Target inserts come out in the Sunday paper. Economy. Shopping. Heartfelt stories on the local news featuring stock background music to indicate their future entry in local EMMY competitions. Amazon customer service lines are busy. Ennui.

January: Colder than Mars. Equatorial Mars, that is. Mars is actually consistently colder than Earth as a whole, owing to its thin atmosphere and location further away from the sun. “Global warming?” says the guy with the snowmobile jacket at the gas station. “Ha ha!” he laughs, returning to the sanctity of his truck cab, staring into the rear view mirror at a man he doesn’t recognize. “Perhaps father was right. And whatever happened to that girl from math class? What was her name? I used to remember. How could I ever have forgotten?” His breath fogs crystals on the window. The Earth spins on.

February: First the Super Bowl. The Vikings might be there this year! I mean … Matt Cassel is looking really … good.  OK, probably the Seahawks if we’re being honest with ourselves. Meantime, Valentine’s Day passes like a long, icy poop. It’s still cold, but we’ll start to feign outrage. Winter? Cold? How DARE winter be cold?

March: The saying goes, “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” but March in Northern Minnesota routinely bucks that trend by coming in like a lion and going out like an even bigger lion that had been exposed to some nuclear waste and grown ten times its size and strength. This lion will do battle with a mecha-lion developed by scientists that became sentient and killed its own creators. Ultimately, we cheer for the first lion, the non-mechanized one, but its victory will feel a hollow continuation of the status quo.

April: Spring. Ahhhhhhhh. TWO FEET OF SNOW! FALSE ALARM, CHUMP!

May: Stockholm syndrome sets in. Poor winter. Don’t be too rough on winter. You’re going to wish you had winter when it’s 90 degrees this July! [SLAP SLAP SLAP] Get with it, man! We’ve been frozen solid and can finally feel again!

June: I think we can bring out the patio furniture now. It’s finally safe to [HEAT STROKE].

I might not be one of your fancy “meteorologists,” and what I write might not appear in an old timey almanac you find in your supermarket check-out aisle, but I’ve been around just long enough to feel confident in my predictions. Still, there’s only one way to find out. The hard way.

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. This post first appeared in the Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

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