The first snow fell in Minneapolis this week and I missed it in a way that I had guessed I might, but wasn't really expecting. It came on the warmest day of the week so far in Charlotte--72 and sunny--and Rob and I sat outside on a patio eating burgers for lunch.
People (mostly Minnesotans) tell me that I'm being silly, or misremembering the winter, and I know that I was only there for one year and I still found myself missing my outdoor runs and feeling ambiguously sad on dark, frozen February afternoons. Yes, by the time March 20th rolled around and spring was nowhere to be found, I sometimes wondered what we were doing there, but the magic of winter in Minnesota was always there. Maybe it was because I came from Virginia, where the prediction of even a slight dusting of snow was enough to close down all schools and offices and wipe clean the bread and dairy isles in every grocery store as people battened down the hatches and rushed home to locate their flashlights.
Life goes on in Minnesota, regardless of the weather or if you came prepared, and that spoke to me in a deep way I never realized I needed it to. So whether or not it makes sense, I miss it. I miss the city and I miss my favorite coffee shop and breakfast spot and the places in Uptown we used to go for happy hour. I miss our Saturday afternoon lunch stop with the fireplace in St. Paul, and I realize that the majority of the things I loved in Minnesota, I loved more because it was so cold outside.
I miss the fireplaces in bars and drinking hot apple cider with caramel vodka, cuddled up watching trashy TV or holiday movies on my couch or a friend's. It may have one of the harshest climates ever, but Minneapolis took me in, made me feel at home, made me feel (and be) capable and self-sufficient, and for that it'll be my favorite city all year 'round.