I become one with my Michelin-Man-Sized down jacket when visiting MN in winter. Single digit and low teens temps coupled with low wind-chill factors meant covered skin and, some days, short trips outside. Looking out my window at a snow-free world, sun out, plants still thriving on the deck I ‘m reflecting on how much I appreciate a climate not frozen in winter’s grip.
A chilly week here in the Bay area, temps are in the mid to high thirties when waking and are hitting a max of high 40’s with one rogue day of 52. The air’s damp here, making it feel cooler than the temp reported. But it’s nothing like back in MN.
Near a week I had in MN to spend Christmas with family. Quality time with each of three sisters I enjoyed both solo and as a group. My nephew Lucca is now three and a blurred bundle of action obsessed with boy things like “diggers” (trucks, tractors, etc.), trains and other (foreign to me) boy things and Sam is now 6+ months and the same lovable, pleasant, quiet, squishy bundle of love.
Sam’s really close to crawling and in true baby form, puts near everything in his mouth.
My youngest sister Rachel and her hubby Tyler are expecting a little girl in April. Rachel’s flying out to spend some time with me in February, can’t wait!
With camera on auto-timer I snapped a few family pics. Lucca managed to sit still for one pic. If we could harness his energy…think of the potential! : )
L-R: Maizey on the couch, Wes and Karen, my mom Marlys (sitting), dad Harvey, Ali with Sam in her lap, Josh (the tall one who almost didn’t make it into the frame), Tyler and Rachel with little “Peanut,” and Lucca and I, who ran from the camera and did my best to keep Lucca still for the pic.
Maizey, my parent’s sweet, geriatric cat enjoyed the tree, both napping under it and chewing on it:
Oh did I eat. Tried to keep it under control. Have learned to hit the market when I visit to obtain own healthful groceries and snacks so I’m not tempted to eat out too much. Plus, being lactose-intolerant in the homes of dairy-loving folks can be a challenge. And the Christmas cookies! I am a sucker for them.
To try to balance out the food I took a few hikes. Number one was with my sister Karen in a pretty, urban nature preserve. Lack of snow kept us from XC skiing as planned. Had a great walk, though:
Hike number two was my Pop and I’s annual “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick Walk.” at Wind in the Pines Preserve in my hometown. 9 degrees that day, we dressed warmly and still went for it.
It’s a bit otherworldly being set into a snowy, dry, cold place when used to a lush and green Northern CA winter.
A tromp through the woods at my parents’ finished off the day. I like to poke around the woods when visiting. Many, many hours I spent as a kid exploring its nooks and crannies. Funny how much larger it seemed then. Sometimes I see evidence of forts we built. My folks live on 10 acres of woods. It was a great place to grow up.
Sorry for the weird blue tint to the snow. I just can’t figure out my camera in such settings.
Was a cold and quiet day. Woodpeckers at work broke the silence. Squirrels rustled about in the trees. Few elm and birch stand. Disease has been hard on them. Birch are so lovely.
The pond, once deep and foreboding, now a shallow home for cattail, is an imprint in the snow. We skated on it when very young.
Winter in MN is harsh. How did I get so puny? Glad to have warm, happy quality time with family.