We Learned to Love the Minnesota Winter

One homesteading couple made a deliberate choice to endure, and even enjoy, the Minnesota winter.

| November/December 1981

Several years ago I became disenchanted with the harried pace of city living. So—since the children were grown and my wife Neva and I had accumulated a retirement nest egg—we made a permanent move to our vacation cabin in north central Minnesota. Here, we've learned to survive in—and love—all the seasons, particularly winter.

It seems that more and more folks have—in recent years—chosen to uproot themselves from the North and migrate south, and many Yankees who do stay in the cold country spend the entire winter complaining about the weather. But Neva and I refuse to spend four or five months of each of our precious years grumbling about how miserable we are. We vowed we'd either learn to love the long, cold, snowy season (and not badmouth it), or else we too would pack our bags and leave the northland.

Well, as you've probably guessed, we've decided to stay put. Having spent the past two Minnesota winters in our new home, we believe that the cold months represent the most beautiful time of the year. Neva and I could never relocate to an area where the temperature was nearly the same all year round. We're sure we'd find the monotony all but unbearable.

First, Decide to Enjoy Yourself

Our area of north central Minnesota is known for some of the most severe winter weather in the United States. We're almost certain to see the mercury drop to the -30°F range each year. Sometimes it'll plummet to -40°F!

Such severe temperatures frighten some folks into either hibernation or migration, yet Neva and I anticipate our winters eagerly. We've found that the correct mental attitude is all that's necessary to bring out the best in the season. Once you make up your mind to take advantage of all that cold weather can offer, you'll be delighted with the first snowfall and every one thereafter.

Be Prepared

By early September we're already busily preparing for the gorgeous and serene winter months to come. Our summer equipment must be stored away, and our winter gear has to be brought out of storage, serviced, and made ready for the season ahead.

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