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Column: Hiding inside until spring arrives

This week we had a beautiful day, 35 degrees and sunny. You know it's been a long winter when 35 degrees seems beautiful and just seeing the sun feels invigorating. I was so invigorated that I said to one of my co-workers it seems like spring is here. His reply was, "Just wait. We still have to make it through March." I shivered in mock fear, but secretly, March is the month I dread.

The weather is a bit warmer, but it seems like we are always slammed with three or four snowstorms that leave all the roads leading out of Farmington jammed with piles of slush and stopped traffic. The entire month I check the weather before bed faithfully, and turn my alarm back to 5 a.m. if the words "flurry activity" are included in the forecast. Regardless of my diligent efforts, at least once during March I have to give my boss a call from my car while trapped in traffic, and explain I'm going to be late. It's been a while since I had one of those bosses who randomly fired people without explanation, but whenever I have to make that call, it feels like a lead brick is sitting in the bottom of my gut.

But that's enough belly aching about the weather. The truth is, we are almost out of the woods, and the thing that proves it is the sales at local retailers. Once the mittens are on clearance we're definitely on the down slope. This week I stopped at a consignment shop, and all of the sweaters were on clearance for $2. Of course, I bought a few, and I ended up needing to clean out my closet to stuff them in. It was hard to part with the wool coat I bought at the Christus Victor church garage sale in 2001, but it's time.

The winter weather is giving me plenty of time for indoor activities, like working and watching movies. Lately, I've been combining the two and spending my weekends with my laptop balanced on my knees as Netflix plays in the background. The one caveat is I need to be careful with my movie selection, and choose films that aren't too engrossing. With Netflix, that's a snap. Anyone who switched over to the streaming-only option to save $8 a month like I did has noticed there are plenty of non-engrossing movies on demand. There are so many that I can fill a whole weekend with marginally interesting films. What is a disappointment to watch on Friday night, after you've settled into the couch with a bowl of popcorn, becomes a boon to finishing work on Saturday morning.

With only five or six more weeks until spring, I don't have many indoor weekends left. I'm going to hunker down and enjoy those March snowstorms with the laptop and the remote, and I hope you have a chance to do the same. Stay warm and stay safe over the next few weeks. Spring is almost here.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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