Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, our version of “winter” was some rain, a few grey skies, and some 40 degree temperatures. If you lived in the city of San Francisco, you got tons of bone chilling fog. That being said, when I decided to move to Minneapolis, I knew I knew NOTHING about real winter. And neither did my dog. So, I bought myself and my dog some snow boots (yes they make them for dogs) and warm coats and decided to jump in with both feet. Here are the 5 things I didn’t know about winter until I moved to Minnesota.
- I never understood why my Minnesota Gramp always kept a pair of gloves in the pocket of his jacket. Now I do. Gloves, scarves and hats are a winter essential. Only a Californian would think it’s ok to walk outside without a pair of gloves on when it’s not snowing (#ididthat). When it’s winter & cold outside, it’s cold outside. You NEED your hat, gloves and scarf.
- Just because the sun is shining, doesn’t mean it’s warm outside. Yep, I made that mistake too. 15 degrees outside while the sun is shining is still cold. #lessonlearned
- I now understand Midwesterners obsession with the weather. If you don’t watch the evening news to get the weather report, you could be in BIG TROUBLE. Because when we get weather, we get WEATHER. The weather dictates everything here. How we dress, when we go outside, is it a safe temperature to walk our dogs, is it safe to drive 2 hours north to see Grandma, and how many layers of clothes do I need to wear. When winter hits, all vanity and thought of looking cute goes out the door because really, you just want to stay warm and not die from frostbite.
- “Wait until January.” When I would say it was cold in December, true Minnesotans would say “Wait until January.” Apparently in Minnesota, Winter doesn’t officially start until January. And until this past week, I didn’t understand why. The current forecast for Tuesday has a high of -8 and a low of -26. Oh and that’s not including the wind chill (aka the nook of the north wind) which will make it feel colder than the actual temperature. Right now, my normally couch loving dog is going a little crazy because it’s too cold for a walk. And when I step outside to take the trash out, the cold literally takes my breath away. #itscold
- Yak Trax will save your life. What are yak trax? They are these miraculous little things that you bungee onto your shoes that allow you to walk on the ice and snow without falling flat on your face. When I fell 3x in one walk with Serena (and yes, that did include a spread eagle face plant with people watching), you search high and low for anything to help you. For roughly $30, you get these little miracles that help you stay upright when walking the dog. Glory hallelujah my 37 year old body won’t be hurting anymore.