Commentary by Ward Degler
One thing about living in Minnesota or Wisconsin, you can count on it being cold in winter.
Unlike Indiana, where overnight, the temperature went from 5-below zero to 55 degrees two weeks ago.
Also, up north, you have snow. It usually starts in late November or early December. It stays and stays, usually until April rains wash the last gray vestiges of it away.
Here in the Midwest, we can be buried by inches of snow overnight, only to have it melt away by the next morning.
I’ve always felt sorry for kids who get a sled for Christmas, only to see it unused, leaning against the wall for most of the winter.
Up north, you bundle up in parkas and boots from November to May. In Indiana, you have to check the thermometer every morning to find out if you will wear mukluks (heavy boots) or flip-flops.
I do remember one winter in Minnesota that had meteorologists scratching their heads. It was late December when the temperature, which had been lazing around the 40s, rose to the 80s and stayed there for days on end.
One bank printed bookmarks that stated, “Welcome to Tropical Minnesota.” People shed their heavy coats and played football in their backyards. Tulips blossomed, and instead of snowing, it rained.
Of course, a false spring is not unusual in Indiana. Just a couple of years ago, it warmed early, and everything started blooming. Then it froze, and a lot of things died.
Up north, you can expect it to be cold and snowy all winter, but down here, you can expect it to surprise you. And it will.