In for the long haul of winter?
The head of the lakes, along with most of the rest of the country, just experienced one of the most weather intense winters we’ve seen in a long time. It began with a record long cold spell and then came the snow.
Here we are in April, and the snow keeps coming. It’s unlikely we’ll break any record snowfall this year, either annual or monthly, but if this April is anything like last, with snowfall well past mid-month (and into May), we just might have a shot.
The lingering cold and snow gets old as spring approaches with no sign of a warm up in the near future. Cabin fever is likely to hit pandemic proportions. What to do? Why not tackle all those things you keep saying you’ll get around to someday.
Shoeboxes holding decades’ worth of family photos? Now is a good time to at least begin sorting them into categories, by year, occasions, vacations — if not actually getting them in the albums. While you’re at it, be sure to write names, dates and locations on the backs. I don’t know how long I kept meaning to do this with our old family photos while my mother was still here to give the correct information. I waited too long.
While we’re on the subject, why not spend a cozy afternoon of tea and conversation with the elders of your family — not sure what to chat about — get out those aforementioned pictures, then sit back and listen while their memories flow.
Host a movie-thon! Pick your genre of trilogy or thrillogy ad infinitum; “Lord of the Rings,” “Twilight,” “Harry Potter,” or a cult classic like the “Planet of the Apes.” Invite your friends, and make it a potluck. Or pop gallons of popcorn and offer a buffet of flavorings and spices to sprinkle on.
How long has it been since you’ve pulled the board games out of the hall closet? As kids, we used to play Monopoly marathons, going for hours and hours. Pick your favorite game and organize a tournament.
Absolutely need to get out of the house for something more than shoveling? Why not visit a local museum or two?
In my travels around the country, one thing I’ve noted is that for a region the size of the Twin Ports, we have a lot of museums by comparison.
Most of our local, historical sites and museums operate as nonprofits. That means the dollars you spend for admission are an important contribution to keeping these historical sites operational and open to the public. So you can shake your cabin fever, introduce your kids to the rich history of the region, and do a good deed all at the same time.
Ditto a visit to the library. There is so much more than just shelves of books. Check out art collections, show your kids how to access newspaper and other archives — have fun looking up the news on the day they were born.
Last but not least, when you can’t beat the weather, join it. If temperatures, roads and all other conditions are safe, bundle up and go outside with a camera. You might be surprised at how beautiful winter is when focusing it through a lens.
Oh, and just a friendly caution ... anyone I hear complaining when the temperature hits 80 degrees this July, I’m going to bean with the snowballs I’m packing into my freezer.
Judith Liebaert was raised in Superior and now lives in rural Douglas County. She blogs online as the Mad Goddess™. Send your comments or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.