Minnesotans have their own brand of crazy. I'm not kidding.
This morning, I headed out at 5am to visit a grocery store 30 miles away. Hey, there was a monster sale going on! It's important!
The problem (as I found when I woke) was that after a steady rain, the temps dropped and the rain turned to snow. The roads were icy, and covered with several inches of snow on top of the ice. In front of the garage alone, the snow had drifted to almost knee deep! Miserable driving conditions at any time, much less 5am, when it is dark and the plows have only made the smallest of beginnings at pushing the snow off into the ditches and sanding the slick roads.
Anyway, imagine (if you will) my little car cruising along unplowed roads at 30mph in pitch darkness, trying to follow the ruts left by the cars that have gone before me. Imagine further that I was doing this with a cig in one hand, mt dew in the other, and my Mp3 player hooked up to the car stereo and blasting my favorite tunes. There I was, singing along at the top of my lungs to Nina Simone ("do I move you... is it thrillin"), George Thorogood("move it on over... rock it on over"), REM("it's the end of the world as we know it.... and I feel fiiiiiiiine"), Train ("did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there...") and others, feeling the back end of my car sliding and twisting as it tried to follow the front end over the slippery roads. The best part of the drive was when I got the call from our school district "automated alert system" that school was cancelled for the day. Oh, the juggling I tried to manage: tossing a cig in the butt bin, digging in my purse for a ringing phone, and white-knuckle driving with one hand, desperate not to take my eyes off the barely visible ruts in the road. Whew! Big Sprout didn't have to go out in this mess! I was so happy.
It didn't occur to me until I got home that going 2 miles to school is a lot safer and more important than driving 30 for grocery deals.
Now, some of you may be reading this and thinking "but Barefoot! You are only sharing with us YOUR particular brand of insanity. Surely not everyone in MN is as batty as you are!" Well, folks, I am here to tell you that I was NOT the only nut job on the roads at 5am. In fact, I had big trucks passing me on unplowed back roads. I had little sub-compacts (driven, I'm sure, by Grandmothers barely peeking over the steering wheel) in front of me going even slower than I was. I got blinded by folks coming up out of side roads with their brights on. The grocery store was fairly busy, even at 5:30 (when I finally pulled into the parking lot), and it got much busier before I was ready to leave with my cart full of goods.
And that's why I love being a Minnesotan! In weather that would have shut down most states, we get up and risk life and limb, look Death in the face and laugh a little maniacally, to satisfy the in-born need to be frugal (or go to work. Whatever.). After all, we have plans! We have responsibilities! We can't let a little (okay, 10 inches, plus drifts much deeper) get in our way!
Oh. And just as an aside: I figure I saved between 60%-70% on my groceries. Isn't that awesome?!
~And that's all I have to say about that~