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Building Our Community Around the Weather

Minnesota lands at or near the top of a lot of exceptional national rankings: green space, bike trails, healthcare — we’re used to a lot of accolades. (And we earn them!)

The latest ranking, however, is a little different. Thrillist gave Minnesota the top spot on its list called: "Every State, Ranked By How Miserable Its Winters Are."

According to the Thrillist writers, we earned our status because of the incredible array of weather patterns that all seem to converge on top of us. (See: Alberta Clipper and Panhandle Hooks, to name two of them.) The result is that we get more snow, cold, and misery than our neighbor states, without the respite of tempering lake effect or mountain blockage.

Are we mad about this ranking? Hardly. If you ask most Minnesotans, it’s a point of pride. We know what we’re getting when we move and/or stay here. We’re a hardy bunch. And if you’re going to live in a place where your nostrils freeze while reaching out your front door to grab the newspaper, it would be a letdown to see another state claim top honors.

So we’re the worst. Or the best, depending on how you look at it. And why are we so cheerful about it? Because we’ve adapted.

We don’t hibernate. We trick-or-treat in blizzards. We get all gussied up for holiday parties when it’s below zero. We know that it might be 20 degrees or 100 degrees at the Twin Cities Marathon, and we run/cheer anyway.

We put heaters on our patios. We’ve embraced "cocktails by a roaring fireplace" as an art form.

The bottom line: We keep living, no matter the weather. And there’s something delightfully community-building about terrible weather, because those who venture out are self-selecting. If you’re at one of those holiday parties (Fezziwig ball, anyone?) or next to one of those fireplaces (SPAC lobby?), you can be sure that the people around you share your hardy soul and adventurous spirit. You betcha.