OK. Now I get it. This is winter.
First, it snowed for 43 hours. Then it rained. Then the temp dropped to below zero. The white stuff bonded to the sidewalk and will remain past February when we will celebrate a White Valentine’s Day.
The people are unfazed. But the governments are stressed over the cost of snow removal. Minneapolis has done this drill before. And they are prepared. If you live on a snow emergency route, you get a robo call warning you to not park on the street.
The guy on the corner is in construction. So he whipped out his Bobcat and piled the ice and snow into two dirty, ugly humps in his front yard, each about four feet high. It was self-defense. The city’s snowplows had entombed his corner with frozen by-products when they scraped the intersection from all directions.
This far upriver, the Mississippi is covered bank to bank with ice. And the ice is covered with snow. A white river.
We know a guy who is a year-round live-aboard in his houseboat on the Mississippi. He has a grand view of downtown St. Paul. Before the river freezes, he lays an underwater line around the hull that bubbles all winter long. Keeps ice from forming that otherwise would freeze his boat in place for months.
Ice fishing is big in Minnesota, but not many fools look to the Mississippi for winter fishing. To be safe, you need about 15 inches of ice and that’s difficult to maintain atop moving water. God, I miss Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.
I just spent three days trying to chip the ice from our front stoop. Ice-melt crystals were only minimal help. I think I’ll wait until dynamite goes on sale. Around Valentine’s.