Snapshots from the Polar Vortex

The dreaded Polar Vortex (what we used to call a cold snap) has once again descended on Minnesota. It heralded its return on Thursday by dumping close to a foot of snow on much of the state (including the Twin Cities), and until it slithers out of here we are looking at below zero temps every night this week.

Here in the Twin Cities, we had our first measurable snow fall the first week of December. But unlike  other parts of the country that have gotten a lot of snow, ours doesn’t melt shortly afterwards. With each successive snowfall, it just gets deeper and deeper and the snowbanks get higher and higher.

It is absolutely gorgeous here now, so yesterday, despite pleas from “authorities” to stay off the roads, I took a drive around town to get some pictures. Never wanting to miss out on a road trip, my mom demanded to be allowed to ride shotgun. Herewith, then are some snapshots of the Polar Vortex in the Twin Cities.

LLRP2Can you see the park bench? I had to stand on the back bumper of my car to see over the snow bank to catch a glimpse of the park bench. You can see the park bench, right?

LLRP4The road in Long Lake Regional Park.

stuckThis poor fellow was sent out to “blow” the sidewalk along Old Highway 8 in New Brighton;  he got stuck. The snow deposited by the plows was too deep and packed.

msriverThe Mississippi River is frozen solid this year.


In Lilydale Regional Park, we came across these intrepid painters.

LDRP3This is the scene they were painting.

stpaulwinterDowntown St. Paul. Brr.


My mom (aka “Gracie”) standing in front of the snowbank in the cul-de-sac where she lives. Anyone care to predict the date that snow bank is GONE?

Minnesota winters may not be for the faint of heart, but they certainly are beautiful!

Waiting to Teach

Hearing about a storm bearing down on Indiana last Friday, I  hit the road early in order to arrive here in time to begin teaching my 2 week course at Taylor University in Upland, IN. I didn’t want to be late! Friday and Saturday (my driving days), the sky was blue and the roads were dry.

That all changed on Sunday as a snowstorm dumped 15 inches of snow on the state ahead of the dreaded “polar vortex.” (We used to just call such a weather event an “arctic air mass,” but I guess in this day and age everything has to be re-branded. Don’t get me started!)


Anyway, by Sunday afternoon, Taylor announced that Monday classes were cancelled; the January term would start on Tuesday. So I revised my syllabus.

Then, on Monday, with below zero temps and wind chills predicted again for Tuesday, Taylor announced that Tuesday classes were cancelled: the January term would start Wednesday. I revised my syllabus again.

So here I sit in Upland, waiting to teach.

And while I (and others, of course) wait to teach, students wait to learn: