Stepping into the laundry room, I trip over a pile of boots while simultaneously soaking my sock in a puddle of ice water. Winter in Minnesota has arrived. Just ask my cold, wet foot. Or my laundry room that looks like an REI has exploded inside of it.
Boots are haphazardly thrown on the rug. Hat and mittens are strewn across the floor. Snow pants hang askew on hooks. And that’s just the kids’ stuff. Covering his 6′ 5″ frame, my husband’s snowsuit lies to air dry across both the wash and dryer. His size 15 boots have their own zip code on the rug.
Clumps of snow sprinkle like confetti across the floor, slowly melting and creating an ice maze threatening to soak my other foot. I run tip-toe to the other side of the laundry room, doing my best to dodge the mess of snow gear. Wet mittens and hats cover every vent. The dry ones spill out of their designated drawers scattering onto the floor. There’s a sour, musty smell in the room, a scent that will linger until after the spring thaw.Despite the mess and the smell and my wet sock, I secretly love this intrusion of winter into my laundry room. Snow, after all, opens a whole new world of fun.
After a snowfall, excitement rips through our house. The kids race outside to make snowmen, throw snowballs and pull sleds through the yard. Their eyes shine as they dig in the snow and create winter molehills. They tromp through yards with their neighborhood friends, randomly flopping to the ground to snack on a fistful of fresh powder. Neighborhood hills transform into tiny mountains. Squeals of delight fill the air as kids form sled trains and race to see who can go the farthest.
And the fun isn’t reserved just for the young. My husband unabashedly joins the winter whimsy, sometimes mistaken as a teenager playing in the snow. He’s the team captain of winter play, rallying the young troops to bring to life the dream of a backyard snow village. Together, they dig and carve until giant snow mounds transform into igloos, snow tunnels, and walled forts. Little heads pop in and out of the snow structures giggling with delight as they crawl through the snow and imagine life in a magical frozen town.
Looking out the laundry room window, I can’t help but smile. Despite my hatred of the cold, this love of snow is contagious. Swapping out my wet sock, I wiggle into snow pants and slide on my boots, hat, and mittens. Stepping outside, I feel a childlike joy bubble up inside me as I tromp through the snow to join my snow-loving family. The sight of rosy cheeks and the sound of laughter cutting through the cold air reminds me that this is what winter in Minnesota is all about.