I lived the past 12 or so years in the Pacific Northwest, where the worst weather pattern is heavy rain. I returned to rural Minnesota last March and it snowed through May. The fall was beautiful – truly my favorite season here. Then came the end of November 2013. I do not have a memory growing up (in the Fargo-Moorhead area) when the winter was so consistently cold, snowy and cold. Did I mention cold? I was hoping to get out of the big city and surround myself with the solitude of country living.
Solitude – check. Country living – check.
So far I have survived these winter challenges:
- garage heater going out, therefore needing to chip ice off the garage floor with an ice-pick
- no water for a week
- daily electricity outages in January
- in-house heater goes out
- ridiculous amounts of shoveling
- my poor little pug Meatball “holding it” for 12 hours at a time because it’s so cold out he chokes trying to breathe
- white knuckle driving on my 45 minute commute to work
- and this morning, I got my all-wheel drive Escape stuck in my driveway…
I have been reminded all too often lately that I am not “Minnesota Strong” like those who never left. Here are the qualities I have come to admire (mostly in other hearty Minnesota lifers):
- friendly smiles in the face of bitter winds
- eternally hopeful about Spring being just around the corner
- can-do-it attitude
- helpful to neighbors and strangers alike
- willingness to brave life-endangering weather to go to work every day - and the countless brave service men and women on the roads saving lives
- saying “What a BEAUTIFUL day!” when it’s 32 and sunny
- focusing on the blessings rather than the challenges
If you have decided to go to school online in Minnesota - I consider you a very smart student. I think there are many of the qualities I mentioned that can be transferred into the world of learning. Take a look at the list above and note some of the qualities you likely already possess – then tell yourself: I can handle the challenges of a college education because I am Minnesota Strong!
Contributed by: Amy McIntosh | Online Advisor