I’m told the middle weeks of January are historically the coldest part of the Minnesota winter. Right now the weather is definitely living up to that reputation. Although truthfully, I don’t really care about temperature. Cold is cold. Once you get below 20º F, it’s all a wash for me. Truthfully, I don’t really mind the cold and I greatly prefer winter’s layered fashions. This region’s maternal axiom is “There’s no such thing as cold weather — only insufficient clothing.” There’s a lot of truth there. The cold is manageable. But temperature tolerance aside, I’m completely sick to death of winter now.

I’m tired of aggressive drivers on winter roads — roads slick in spite of sand and salt because the temperature is below the freezing point of salt water. I’m tired of darkness when I leave the office. I’m tired of having to layer up just to empty our dogs. I’m tired of seeing salt in every nook and cranny of our vehicles, on the edges of my shoes, and dried up the back hem of my pants.

Most of all I desperately miss riding my Vespa. A bad day turns good in no time on two wheels. The wind, the visceral feel of the machine in my hands. feeling the physics in every turn and hearing the growl of all 200 cc’s — these are my release. Watching Long Way Down isn’t helping, as it’s the adventure of riding I miss most of all — even if it’s just the adventure of errands in city traffic.

My bright spot, and lingering hope, is my memory of why I love Minnesota so much. It’s the rest of the year. I’d do winter twice if it guaranteed I could have Minnesota summer. Temperate, predominantly dry Summer where the sun doesn’t even get drowsy until 9:00 p.m. Summer where I can take the long way home on my Vespa, eat supper, then still ride for hours before it gets dark. I live for that glorious summer. Spring and autumn aren’t bad either. All in all, I love living in a place with four distinct seasons.

I’m simply done with this one.  Enough of winter already.

Nathaniel Salzman