By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — “Brutal cold is coming,” the weather man announced with urgency. “Temps will dip to 18 overnight,” he warned. That was just a few days ago as I watched a local TV station while visiting relatives in New York.

Coming home to a forecast of lows of minus 20-something, I winced. It has been a long time since the temperatures plunged so low for so long here, almost 20 years. But every winter there is always a blast that reminds us that for a few months Minnesota is among the very coldest places to live in the country.

A chat with an aunt in southern Florida didn’t help. “It’s quite cold here too,” she said, “it’s 57.” Fifty-seven. That conversation happened as I shuttled from gas station to gas station trying to find an air hose that wasn’t frozen. (For those of you having trouble the BP in Otsego has one that worked yesterday). I was in Otsego to pick up my 14-year-old-son at a friend’s house. The friend’s mom informed me that the six boys had spent two-and-a-half hours outside playing pond hockey. Ahh, to be 14 again. (Actually I was never that hardy at 14).

As for that saying, “40 below keeps the riff-raff out,” I am not sure that I buy that. Does anyone ever say that anymore anyway? A better comfort is to think of trying to survive 120 degree summers in Arizona with wildfires threatening your home. For a few weeks every 20 years, I would trade places to live in just about any other region in the country. The rest of the time I am happy, and proud to stay put.

Esme Murphy