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I have lived my whole life, aside from the 8 months I called Oahu Home, as a resident of Minnesota.
I survived the Halloween blizzard of 1991. I’ve worn long underwear hundreds of times, and I own more hats and gloves than I know what to do with. I eat lots of hot dishes, and I have sat on Paul Bunyan’s lap.
I’ve been outside when the temps reached 45 degrees BELOW zero, windchill included.
I hate the cold.
But still, I’m a Minnesotan. Through and through.
I’ve seen the lakes freeze over every fall and that ice go out again every spring. It’s a pretty magical thing; to see the lake you boated on in the summer all of a sudden become strong enough to drive on, and then come spring, melt away into oblivion. Again.
That’s so weird to think about, even to me who’s seen it happen a million times.
Because of Matt’s time in the Marines, we met a lot of people from different places around the country. We got to live in Hawaii. The places we visited and the people we met weren’t all familiar with winters in the midwest, and especially not familiar with Minnesota winters.
I remember telling someone about the well-loved winter pasttime of Ice Fishing and they could hardly comprehend it. You walk out on the lake? You can drive on it? You fish out there, through ice?
Sounds weird, right?
I’ve been ice fishing plenty of times in my relatively short life.
It used to be fun when I was little; we would bring our fish house out onto the lake and secure a spot. The house [a teeny little cabin almost] would sit there for x-amount of weeks until we took it off in anticipation of summer. There was a heater inside, we always brought snacks, and it was more fun scooping the ice chunks out of the drilled holes than fishing very hard.
One time, I fell into one of the holes with one of my legs, up to my hip. It was scary. Another time, my dad and I were out walking on the ice and he fell in. He was able to work his way out, and apparently I said “Dad! You are all wet!” I don’t remember this. I either blocked it out because I was traumatized, or I was really little. Either way, God was there with us that day, and helped my dad get out. I couldn’t have been much help. Can you image how bad of a situation that could have been? God is good!
Now that I’m older, I’m somewhat less easily amused, and I dislike the cold more and more yearly. My family doesn’t put the permanent house out anymore; life got kind of busy when my sister and I entered middle school, and it’s stayed busy ever since.
I fished once last winter, in a pop-up house. It’s fabric on a metal frame that folds up. Kind of like a tent.
Not really warm.
I wanted to go home after 20 minutes.
While ice fishing might not be my favorite way to spend the winter [I’m more of a fire place and hot water bottle kind of girl], it’s still intriguing for me to see people’s ice houses out on the lake. The same lakes that will allow us to launch our boats and fish for crappies in only 2 short months from now.
It’s a pretty cool thing, if you think about it.
It is Home.
It will always be Home. Even if someday I live someplace else.
Enjoy the ride,