Welcome to Mount Como

The Como Park hill and ski lift! (Photo: Sharyn Morrow)

The sign mysteriously appears when the snow starts, at the foot of the golf club driveway, announcing the start of the ski season at Como Park: “Welcome to Mount Como.” When my husband tells a friend visiting from Switzerland, a snowboard instructor, that his kids took downhill ski lessons there, the Swiss fellow looks puzzled. “But there are no hills,” he says.

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A Fanatic's Guide to Getting the Most out of the Weather in Saint Paul

Double rainbow over Saint Paul (Photo: Bryan Kennedy/Flickr Creative Commons)

For those of us who think about, study, discuss, photograph, worship, and otherwise adore the weather, Saint Paul is a miniature atmospheric playground.

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I (Heart) Swede Hollow

Swede Hollow houses

I had just arrived at my new house—the house I bought without ever seeing. In my life, at that moment, that decision made perfect sense. It was a time when things much more unthinkable than buying a house without ever seeing it in person made perfect sense too. An unthinkable world had been my reality for the last year: New Orleans AFTER. I was gone eight years and was just now returning to Minnesota, where I had grown up.

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Some Cheers for Winter

Winter Carnival. Source: Minnesota Historical Society

My sister phones. "Storm!" she says, disgusted. "They're calling this a storm. No wind, maybe an inch of snow. It's winter, for Pete's sake, we're supposed to have snow. Get a grip!" My sister is not one of your hardy outdoors types, but we're Iron Rangers, and even though between us we've spent six decades in Saint Paul, we retain the Ranger's right to scorn urban wimpiness. It's the TV weather people who have set her off. "They are trying to brainwash us into weather wimps."

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My First Winter in St. Paul

Photo: Jeff Keacher

I was born and raised in Somalia, then lived many years in Dallas. After I graduated from the University of North Texas, I moved to Saint Paul in search of a job and a wife. It was January 2004, and the temperature, with windchill had dropped to -40° F.

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The Snow King

Illustration: Andy Singer

For all of you Minnesotans who flatter yourselves by thinking you’re hardy, I suggest you snow blow for a while. That’ll take you down a notch.

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Notes on the Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt

Medallion hunters Michelle, Brad, and Katie in summer.

Just about the time our Vikings' season is over, all of the grass is covered by snow. The mornings of scraping the ice off your windshield have become repetitive. It's getting to the coldest time of the year. Thanks to the great City of Saint Paul, there's a week of celebration in the snow. Parents and their families come out of their homes. It's like a Minnesota version of a hibernation break. After months of being indoors, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and the great treasure hunt are finally here!

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