Last Sunday, there were 10,000 bikinis out in the 90 degree Minnesota sunshine. One for every lake. More, if you count skimpies at the State Fair food court.
Today, Friday, the girls are pulling on sweaters. Soon, they will be bubble-wrapped in parkas, hoodies, and flecks of ice melt. Anthropologists think the Eskimo nose fetish was first practiced here. From October til April, that’s the only skin showing.
Get this. In 16 days, historical statistics show we could have our first snowfall. Nobody is talking about it except weather rookies like me.
The giveaway? Long lines at the cleaners to get the flannel shirts and lined britches steam cleaned before you know what. Another clue: hardware stores advertise paint that goes on even in 35 degree weather. Is that when the Lutherans were taught to paint?
Sure, the trees are changing colors in an attempt to signal humans to do what they can’t: RUN. RUN AWAY. Next door, the neighbor’s tree has been shedding red leaves for a week. It’s the kind of tree Charlie Brown would hang his kite in.
Confession: all of the above is play-like. I might grump about winter but I actually kind of like it. The ice rituals. The screams as cars slide through intersections. The antennae on fire plugs so firemen can find them in the snow banks. The historical markers on pot holes. The bourbon.
Any day now, the department of transportation will make Minnesota Nice mandatory. And Kohls will have a sale.