Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Minnesota Shuffle

One morning before this latest cold snap, I went out for a walk.  The sun was shining and the temperature was only a little bit below the freezing mark.  Tolerable for a Minnesota winter day.  When I got back to my building, I sat on the front steps, enjoying the sunshine.

Here we often see the "Minnesota Shuffle."  It is a way of walking in the wintertime that is sort of a cross between a shuffle and an upright duck walk.  It is practiced mostly by us old folks, who are convinced if we slip and fall on the ice, we will break a hip.  And we know that if we break a hip, the kids will be checking out the dreaded nursing homes within 24 hours.  So we walk very, very carefully on the icy sidewalks.

As I sat basking in the sunshine, I noticed an old lady headed my way, doing the Minnesota Shuffle.  As she got closer, I saw she was talking to herself.  I thought maybe she was just a garden variety crazy, but changed my mind when she got close enough for me to hear what she was saying.

"Florida," she said.  "Why didn't I move to Florida.  Arizona is warm.  Should have gone there.  Or maybe Texas..."  And on she shuffled, eyes downcast, watching the sidewalk, skirting around the patches of ice.

I can relate.


  1. My wife and I are saying that we should sell our home and become snowbirds. We're joking.....................mostly.

  2. Gorges...I understand. I would be someplace warm, but it is more important to me to be close to my family, so here I will stay. Sigh.

  3. I am so tickled when I check out your site and find a new posting! Even when they are short, they bring joy and a smile to my face. Please know that even the smallest bits of inspiration are well received! I for one, can truly relate to many of your thoughts. Now that we have all lost our friends Frank and Fern...well, you are needed! And be careful on the snow and ice.

  4. CW...Thank you so much for your kind words. Frank and Fern are in a class by very knowledgeable in so many areas. Me...I'm just a retired granny trying to muddle through as best I can. I think in these uncertain times, we need to find a bit of humor where we can. That sweet old lady, shuffling along, muttering to herself about warm climates just tickled me! And yes, I do the Minnesota Shuffle, too. :)

  5. The grass is always greener other the other side of the fence isn't it? If anyone thinks about it there are very few perfect places to live. Here in Tx. the weather changes so fast. One week you may be wearing shorts and the next wearing heavy coats, then back to the cold again. Then the summers get HOT. Even with A/C the heat is miserable. Our winters are much milder than up north, but when it' been in the 60's for a few week and then we get a cold spell down in the 20's the cold is really cold. Of course we don't get that much snow or ice.

  6. steakandeggs...In my neck of the woods, a warmer climate always looks good in January when the temperature is below freezing and the snow is falling. And I'm guessing that our northern climate might look good to you in the heat of summer. It may boil down to priorities. I will gladly put up with our miserable winters because here is where my family lives. Even though I still complain about the weather, I wouldn't trade a warm winter for living apart from those I love. :)

  7. Oh sounds like us.."Move back to MN she said, it will be fun she said, being around family again, she said"...She being my wife. While we are all happier back in MN we do miss Florida, at this time of year at lest. And I miss visiting the theme parks, "DISNEY" but what we don't miss is the idiot drivers who need to drive faster then you, those same idiots who think you need to speak spanish or at lest the language they speak.

    The MN Shuffle sounds about right many folks do that to be safe. Last week we did it while on the ice at the hockey rink for parents day at LDC Hockey. Daughter is team manager. Stay safe my friend.

  8. Rob...Yeah, I know what you mean. I was living in a warmer climate when my grandkids began to arrive. Headed back north and never looked back. MN might not have the most ideal weather, but family more than makes up for that.

    I don't often do the MN Shuffle. I've never been real good at staying on my feet on ice. So I do my walking this time of year either from one end of my apartment to the other or else up and down the halls. No ice there! :)

  9. I do the shuffle here as well. Fortunately we have only had a few days this winter where the sidewalks were icy. When we do, I haul out my big work boots with the super lug soles. And walk slowly. The dog looks like he's hunting birds and in slow motion.
    Just so you know, I check for your posts most days. I haven't written comments though because my computer was having problems and I couldn't get into the comments section. I am so not a techie person!
    Stay safe and warm. SJ in Vancouver BC

  10. SJ...I think nearly everyone living with ice and snow does the shuffle from time to time. When my dearly departed husband and I moved back here from a warmer climate, I swear that winter he spent more time on his back in the snow, looking at the clouds, than he did walking. He never learned the shuffle!!

    I can picture the dog doing the slow motion hunting thing. That's funny. That kind of reminded me of a smaller dog I had many years ago. We had an ice storm, and when I let him out to take care of business, he managed to slip and slide over to his favorite tree, only to have his feet slide out from under him every time he tried to lift his leg. Poor thing! I finally took a shovel and cleared the ice from around the tree. :)

    I'm not much of a techie person either. And I'm sure you know that I don't post every day. Life seems to get in the way of writing, sometimes. Like this weekend, when I've got a couple of projects in progress. Computers have a mind of their own. Hope yours has straightened itself out. And hope it is warm enough where you are.