Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas was a lot of fun in the North Country this year. It ended up being a very white Christmas, but not as white as it could have been.

The National Weather Circus had initially predicted...gulp...20+ inches of snow for Mom and Dad's area. The combination of this huge storm system (some were comparing the setup to the infamous '91 Halloween blizzard, for those you in the Midwest who remember), along with strong east winds causing lake effect snow off of Superior, was supposed to absolutely dump on us.

While the predictions of 20+ inches rang true in the Duluth area, my Mom and Dad's zone was spared. Dad, a snow spotter who reports official snow amounts, was getting regular updates from his buddies at the Duluth office. Apparently the computer models were predicting much colder upper air temperatures, and that turned out to be incorrect for most of the Arrowhead. It was just too warm, and even rained a little bit Friday into Saturday.

Snow falling the day after Christmas

I don't think we got more than 6 inches total, even though some areas quite close to us, but slightly higher in elevation, got between 12-15! Some of that melted early Saturday due to the rain, and we got two inches of snow after the storm warning expired! So, we spent the whole weekend bracing for the storm that never really got going where we were at. But that was OK! The snow/rain combo created quite a slushy mess, and another foot or more on top of that would have been really interesting.

I went running three times, just some easy 5 milers. The weather was not especially pleasant on any of the runs, as I was battling strong east winds, drizzle, and snow most of the time. Saturday's run was the worst, as the trails had turned to slush, and the county roads became sheets of ice, making running almost impossible. But the important thing is that I got out there and ran!

Finishing up a run as the snow was beginning!

The meals were great, as always. Highlights included the traditional Christmas Eve meal of roast pork and Norwegian polse sausage, double-smoked ham for Christmas Day, and even a day-after-Christmas roasted goose. Mom and I made our traditional batch of lefse as well. No shortage of good eats over the holidays.

Christmas Eve dinner

This year we decided not to give gifts - which of course meant than Mom and Dad went out and bought (or made) gifts for everyone! I came home with some nice clothes, books, and flannel pillowcases that Mom quilted for me. Beautiful! And it was fun watching my little nephew learn how to tear into the gifts (we suspect he will be much more proficient next year). Mom also made an awesome quilt for the little tyke!

Mom's handiwork

So it was a fantastic weekend with the family. And I returned home to more than a foot of snow in my own neighborhood. As of Tuesday night, they still haven't really plowed the sidewalks and running trails. Running has been challenging, to say the least. Could be a long winter if this keeps up!

I hope you all had a fun, safe, and memorable holiday season!

Until next time,

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