A Symbol of Survival

I admit it, I’m sick of the cold. I’m tired of the tiny red number on my cell phone mocking me with the temperature and weather advisory associated with it. I’m tired of worrying that I’ve gotten exposure from not being bundled to the max on a quick jaunt outside. I’m really tired of having to rescue poor Danny who rushes outside jubilantly and then suddenly freezes up, unable to take a step when he realizes how cold the pavement is.

What I needed was a symbol. Something to focus on that would send me the reminder that I am a hardy Minnesotan. While this has been the coldest winter I’ve known, it would not get the best of me. It will become the winter of legends and I will be the victor. But what could that symbol be?

As my car slid into yet another intersection, I saw it out of the corner of my eye. The subtle statement of the snow dweller, the gesture that we can all identify with:

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Yes, the shovel jammed triumphantly in the snow bank after the snow removal. Anyone who has shoveled a walk knows the satisfaction of jamming that shovel in a snowbank when complete. As I crept down icy streets, I started to see more and more of them, a symbol of our solidarity as we pushed through the seemingly endless weeks of wind chills and subzero temperatures. We would see the end of this, we would be the victors – we were Minnesotans, hear us roar!

Now. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you the dismay I felt when I got home to find my own snow shovel laying on the sidewalk, blown out of the snowbank I myself had jammed it into. I stood staring, it laid at my feet… but then the cold wind started creeping through my mittens, icy snow bits blew in my face and I knew what I had to do. Chin up and shoulders back, I picked that shovel up and jammed it right back into the snowbank.

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