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Doug Wolter: Winter has me in its icy grip

We've had enough snowstorms already this winter, and we can't take much more of it

Doug Wolter
Doug Wolter
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You do strange things when you’re snowbound and you can’t go to the sports events you’re used to watching. It starts innocently enough, but then it gets weird:

---You decide to catch up on your reading and find that good book that you’ve been neglecting.

---You finish the good book and you pick up a crappy book that you don’t even enjoy so much.

---You watch all the college bowl games on TV, from beginning to end -- even the Lending Tree Bowl between Southern Miss and Rice.

---You watch old re-runs of Family Feud and try to care who wins (unsuccessfully, of course)

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---You ask your wife if she can guess how many Cheerios are in a family-size box. So you open it up and count them all.

---You yell at the cat. And you don’t even own a cat.

So far, this winter has been rotten. It was snowfall after snowfall in December. January didn’t start out so well, either. Now I wake up every day wondering what’s next.

Consider last week:

It’s Wednesday and I’m looking out my dining room window to see that snow is falling again, less than one day after tons of it obliterated my driveway. It’s too much for one man to clear, but the snow removal service didn’t show up at my house until Wednesday morning. In the meantime, my wife, who somehow made it to work Tuesday morning, had to leave her car on the street at 5:30 p.m. in order to get into the house. So I cleared a narrow path for her with my plastic shovel. Early Wednesday morning, the snow movers came, but not until the city came and towed away her vehicle.

I spend much of my time these days reading messages from the Worthington High School athletic director, Josh Dale, and he tells me about all the postponements of sports events, and when they are to be rescheduled. He added one little message to one of his recent emails:

“Hopefully this will be the last winter storm,” he said.

I admire his optimism. I wish I could be so optimistic.

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It’s harder on the players. I’m into my mid-60s now, but I still remember what it was like to be young and have your seasons revolve around athletics. When games were called off, we yelled at our cats.

Back then, we didn’t have computer games to fall back on. There were no PlayStations. We couldn’t content ourselves with scoring 85 points in a Madden game. When we had our snow days then, we’d play Monopoly games with our families until we began to hate Monopoly.

I don’t know much about weather forecasts. I tend to not want to know about bad weather coming in advance of a storm. I’d rather not think about it until I have no other choice. I’d rather pretend that the forecasters don’t know what they’re talking about, because why get agitated when it’s not necessary?

I wish I had a nickel for every time during summer baseball season I was told a 3-inch rainfall was on its way, only to find out later that it missed us completely and our game was still on. Or every time I was told to expect a 6-inch snow dump, only to find out that it was just a measly half-inch instead.

But this year we’ve gotten everything, and more, and every time. The forecasters must be getting better at predicting, and I’ll not be sending them any Christmas cards next year.

Speaking of Christmas, we almost didn’t have our big family get-together this year. We scheduled it for Christmas Eve day in North Mankato, and for two days we all worried that the highways wouldn’t be opened in time to get there.

I made the mistake of telling my kids that I’d go through hell to get to a family Christmas -- which only added to my wife’s worries that I’d lost what little bit of my sanity that I still had.

Well, we made it to North Mankato after all, and instead of our big noon meal we made it a big suppertime meal. All the presents were opened.

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At our daughter’s house, they have a cat named Pebbles. I want to go on record to say that I was sufficiently satisfied that I didn’t raise my voice at Pebbles even once.

But I’m not making any promises for the rest of this winter.

Related Topics: LOCAL SPORTS
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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