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Southern Californians don’t know cold

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

manurespreader

YUCAIPA, CALIF – It’s 34 degrees this morning and Southern Californian’s – accustomed to sunshine and warmth – are bitching about the cold. Many of my fellow Yucaipans are bundled up in stocking caps and scarves, mittens and long underwear.

“Brrrr, it’s freezing!” they exclaim. Little do they know real cold – much less FREEZING temps where the thermometer plunges well below zero. I’m a farm-raised Minnesotan. I can tell you about unbearable winter weather, and so I will.

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A glorious Chamber of Commerce Kind of day

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Photos By JOHN OTTO / Cannon Falls, MN

YUCAIPA, CA – Living in southern California has its perks. Topping the list and the envy of most folks living anywhere northeast of Arizona is our sun-drenched winter months.

Today I raked some leaves, talked leisurely over the fence with my neighbor, and took a walk smartly dressed for the occasion in T-shirt and shorts, soaking up the sun’s generous rays on our little corner of the planet at a perfect 76 degrees.

When I rounded the corner, heading back home, sweat dampened my brow and my dog was panting. Weather-wise, does it get any better anywhere else? Hard to imagine.

Today was perfect for the Chamber of Commerce to extol the virtues of living in Yucaipa. I’m surprised I didn’t spot the executive director snapping photos of the San Bernardino mountains in all their 3-D glory, or of moms and dads playing with their kids at the park – dressed just like me. With the little energized tykes panting from the heat.

My brother John lives in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. He emailed me some pictures of his new truck. But it was buried under so much snow that I couldn’t tell its make or model.

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Winter Wonderland In Wells, Minnesota

Tuesday, 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.

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Lake Arrowhead in the winter? No thanks I’ll take Minnesota

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

LAKE ARROWHEAD, CA – Do I know cold? Oh, I know cold all right. After all, I grew up in Minnesota and outside of maybe North Dakota and Alaska there’s no nastier cold weather anywhere in the U.S. than in the Land of Ten Thousand (frozen) Lakes.

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A reminder Minnesota, winter is on its way

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009


On the “sunny” side, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival (January 21-31) is a great winter event to attend in Minnesota.
Photos of 2009 Saint Paul Winter Carnival By BOB OTTO / Photographer & Writer

YUCAIPA, CA – I bow my head in shame. For I have shirked my duties as a journalist. It is my obligation to investigate and inform.

And in some cases, to enlighten and remind.

So with deep humility, please accept my apology for …

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An aspiring Snowbird

Monday, July 6th, 2009

CANNON FALLS, MN – Summer vacations to my native land of Minnesota always end in a clash of colors and temperatures. My latest trip home to California was no different. From the runway at Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport, my US Airways airbus jettisoned quickly to 30,000 feet.

And as I gazed down at the gently rolling Minnesota landscape below me, the earth appeared as a geometric pattern of squares and rectangles. These patterns – signifying vast acres of farms and ranches – were covered with alfalfa, corn, soybeans and trees. Lots of trees. And all this lush vegetation, watered from a summer of plentiful rainfall, shone a dark, vibrant green.

That’s the green of my vacation. A green that vanished when I landed four hours later in Palm Springs. At this city known for its hellish summer heat, the view is uninspiring. For as far as the eye can see the landscape is covered with sickly looking shrubbery, dead grass and weeds, colored a pitifully dull yellowish-brown. It’s a most lifeless view for someone fresh from Minnesota.

Oh, Minnesota how I already miss your green and temperate beauty.

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