Winter Wonderland In Wells, Minnesota

Written by Bob on January 5th, 2010

Photos By Pat and Wally Stenzel / Wells, MN

WELLS, MN – This morning I stepped outside dressed in jogging shorts and a t-shirt. I reached up and plucked a ripe, juicy Naval orange off my citrus tree that grows just outside my back door. I lifted my face to the sun’s morning rays feeling its soothing warmth gently bathing my tired skin.

The weather report calls for mid-60s to low 70s temperatures. Ah, what a beautiful Southern California day.

I went back inside and checked my email. Up popped a message from my sister, Pat Stenzel, and her husband Wally, who live in Wells, Minnesota.

Pat attached pictures showing her small southern Minnesota village buried under an avalanche of snow. Her street was piled high on each side with mounds of snow four feet high.

One picture showed plump snowflakes falling briskly to the ground, forming a smooth, white blanket over Pat and Wally’s back yard. Another scene showed maple and oak trees cloaked with a layer of white over their gnarly, barren branches. Like a thick coating of vanilla frosting smothering a chocolate cake.

A fierce snowstorm had roared in and blasted Wells. The temperature dropped to an unbearable cold – at least to us Southern Californians basking in toasty sunshine.

I just checked and the Wells’ forecast calls for more snow on Thursday. With the temperature reaching a high of -6 degrees along with a bone chilling low of a -11.

Southern folks might ask, “Why would anyone live in a state with such nasty weather?”

But winter in the heartland does have its own rewards. If you’re of hardy stock. When the snow starts falling and piling up deep, the snowmobilers take delight.

Through the long spring and summer months, these hearty outdoorsmen have been tuning up their snowmobiles. When late November arrives, they begin looking anxiously to the skies.

They pray silently to the Snow God pleading for at least a foot of snowfall, so that they can rev up their high-powered machines and race across white, pristine landscapes, and dash up and down hills and valleys and across the open farmland like young boys whose teacher has just freed them from an over heated, summer classroom to frolic outdoors in winter’s frigid playground.

But for the indoor types, a fresh snowstorm is also a wonderful time to relax, curl up on the couch with a good book, sip hot chocolate or hot apple cider, or throw another log on the fireplace.

Winter’s snowfalls are also a child’s playground. I remember as a small boy lying stretched out on my old wooden sled, my mitten hands gripping the steering handles as we raced down the steep hill behind our house.

The wind driven snow stung my cheeks, turning them to a bright, numbing red. My nose ran and my fingers froze stiff. But I didn’t care. Sledding down the hill and then trudging back up for another run was great fun for a young boy.

The sun’s rays have warmed my old bones on this wonderful Southern California day. But after looking at my sister’s pictures, I’d much rather be sledding down a steep hill, or racing across a blanket of whiteness on a speeding snowmobile, or curled up on a couch with a good book, sipping hot apple cider as the snow falls briskly outside my window.

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