How does the severity of Minnesota winters affect your quality of life?

The official start of winter is still more than a week away, but you wouldn’t know it from the snow we’ve received. Today’s Question: How does the severity of Minnesota winters affect your quality of life?

  • I don’t mind the snow but the brutal cold has an impact on my quality of life. It is hard to want to go outside and the heating bills are killer. I think if our winters or cold spells were any longer than they are I would have to move away.

  • rob

    I think the snow has a positive impact on my quality of life. The years of snow have compressed this area of the country into small tight knit communities where neighbors generally speaking care about their fellow citizens. For the sake of survival it has made us more helpful to one another than other parts of the country. If your car breaks down in the winter, within 10 -15 mins you will have to fend off 3 or 4 people who are stopping and checking if you are ok and if you need help. Any other part of the country if your car breaks down you better hope someone doesnt stop and rob you, or if you get out of your car run you over and keep going like you are garbage.

  • Wade

    The winters enhance my quality of life. I love for this kind of weather. Even the digging out after a storm I find amusing.

    I’ve never understood people that don’t enjoy winter. Considering winter in MN is a pretty good possibility, if you don’t like winters. Perhaps you should move away.

  • Steve the Cynic

    20-below keeps the riff-raff out.

  • Barbara Eiden-Molinaro

    Very positively. After living in Minnesota for 51 years I was done with winter. We moved to Washington DC in 2006, where cold is in the 30s and snow, even last year is a short-lived occassion. Plus, we added 4-6 weeks to the beginning of spring and the end of fall. I miss Minnesota Nice and the lakes, but not the winter. Of course we still get it in small doses at Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is more than enough.

  • Wade


    The winters enhance my quality of life. I live for this kind of weather. Even the digging out after a storm I find amusing.

    The only down side the cold has is increased heating costs. However I spend a ton of cash in the summer keeping the house cool from that miserable summer heat and humidity. As far as I’m concerned, summer is the worst season in MN.

    I’ve never understood people that don’t enjoy winter. Considering winter in MN is a pretty good possibility, if you don’t like winters. Perhaps you should move away.

  • GaryF

    Lived here my whole life, so I know no other. Been on trips down south during the winter, but always had to return to reality.

    Some day before I die, I will miss a complete winter. Leave sometime in November and come back the first of May, and go somewhere down south.

    Winter makes you enjoy the summer oh so much better.

    Sitting in the backyard in an Adirondack chair, doing the crossword puzzle, a big glass of iced tea, the Twins game on the radio, smoking a nice cigar and enough breeze to keep the bugs away.

  • bsimon

    After 17 years of planning to buy cross country skis, I finally have some. This will be the best winter yet. I don’t understand the people who make themselves & those around them miserable by complaining about the weather.

  • Benjamin

    While I am in the metro area finishing up for college, I grew up in some of the northern most parts of Minnesota. I love winter and all that comes with it. One can always bundle up more for warmth but in the summer, there’s only so much you can do to keep cool. My wife however, is from Omaha and isn’t used to this incredible, half a year or more winter season. Once I get my teaching license, I’ll probably end up living somewhere warmer (and where teaching positions actually exist)

  • Jessa

    I must say, I am usually the complainer during the winter. I’m always cold and in the winter when you get the cold to the bone temps it’s hard for me to stay positive, but it makes summers oh so much more enjoyable! And I’m not gonna lie, I do like playing in 5 foot drifts of snow… Just not when it’s 16 below zero.

    I do agree though – it does keep the riff raff out! 🙂

  • James

    The best part of winter is no mosquitos or ticks.

    Plus cross country skiing.

    Like others have said Rif-Raff repellant.


  • Meg

    As others have mentioned, winter is very much our Minnesota reality. My advice: find a way to enjoy it! For me, the first snowfall kicks off the nordic ski season and I can’t think of a better way to stay warm, not to mention enjoy the scenery and friends that come with it. Having lived in other midwestern cities through winter, I grately appreciate our network of trails here and refuse to take them for granted. Support and enjoy our parks!

  • Mark Weinberger

    The snow and cold help make this a great place to live. Skiing, snowshoeing, or just getting out and walking the dog in the cold, crisp air adds a special element to winter in Minnesota. It may be tough to step out into the cold, but once you’re out and moving, it’s wonderful to be outside. And my kids love the skiing, sliding, and playing in the snow.

  • Sue Schroeder

    Minnesota winters impact me positively! The snow is beautiful, much better than gray and dreary. With our cold snowy winters, we can enjoy skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and sledding. There are so many fun activities we can enjoy that are not available in other places.

  • Naomi

    I enjoy the severity of winter. The extreme blizzards; the spirit of community that comes out during these moments is wonderful. It’s the endless nature of winter in Minnesota that gets to me. It just goes on and on and on. My dog gets fat and I get more and more tired as each day piles on the last. Cross country skiing and getting out with friends helps a lot. Wish we could cut 2-3 months off of it and add that time to our other seasons.

  • Paige

    My husband and I lived in MN for 17 years (1991-2007) and my boys spent their grade school years there. We had to move to PA for my husband’s employment. My boys are proud MInnesotans and MISS the MN winters. I loved them the first 10 years, then got pneumonia 4 winters in a row. You’ve got to be HARDY to live in MN. My first winters outside Philly I literally went outside and KISSED the ground, I was so grateful for mild winters. I’m jealous now of your head start on winter, but will be puckering up with gratitude by the time February rolls around.

  • Sarah

    The biggest impact the winters have on me is dealing with negativity people cast about and listening to newscasters complain on air. We can’t control Mother Nature, we all choose to live here, so let’s just go about our days. We have to make adjustments when a once-in-20-years storm comes through, but otherwise, people should just put a hat and mittens on and deal with it silently.

  • steve

    i like winter in all its simplicity and beauty, my workouts are a challenge but it builds strength for spring! my mantra is “embrace don’t hibernate!”

  • Steve the Cynic

    Oh, no! DTOM James agreed with me again! What is this world coming to?

  • bob

    Winter and quality of life are incompatible terms. Consider that the word winter contains the word inter.

    which of course is another word for bury and is also the root of the word interminable. Winter for me has always been a seemingly endless, tomb-like experience, and the huge snowpiles looming over me only exacerbate these feelings.

    So, I’m off to Arizona for my annual motorcycle trip. Maybe I’ll stay for good this time. Cheers!

  • Winter Wonderland

    The long, terrible winters have a huge impact on quality of life. It’s very depressing up here during the winter. At least down in the populated parts of MN, there are places to go, but up here in the woods, we only have gas stations and one movie theater that shows the same Disney movie for two weeks straight. Thankfully, there’s Netflix and DirecTV. If I wasn’t up here taking care of my Mom, I would be out of here so fast, the snow would fly off my boots!

  • Kate

    I came here for college and stayed here for love. I have some aging relatives here, through marriage and moves, so I have ties that keep me here, but honestly, each winter is getting progressively harder. I’ve developed winter driving anxiety over the past few years, so it is all I can do to make it to work (no buses available to me, or I’d be on them in a heartbeat). The darkness, the bone-chilling cold, the high snowbanks and narrowed, icy streets, the goatpaths over said snowbanks to the sidewalks, the endless months without much in the way of vegetation… can you tell I am depressed? My greatest fear is that I won’t be able to retire and become a snowbird, nor will I be able to convince my husband to permanently move elsewhere, so I will have to choose between him and a climate more conducive to my mental health. I think I’ll pick insanity with him, but it’s an awful choice to have to make. To be fair to him, he can’t tolerate heat.

  • James

    Steve the Cynic, It must be the thin blood:-)


  • Philip

    It doesn’t. Please tell the weather terrorists to stop scaring the people.

  • Moira Cross

    It’s my perfect justification to settle in with three furry cats while knitting a warm wooly hat.

  • As a northern Minnesota photographer I’ve got to admit I really enjoy our winters. Would I like longer days? Yes. Would I LOVE a shorter winter season? Definitely.

    But shooting the ice along Lake Superiors shores and seeing fresh snow on the pine trees is always picturesque.

    The point does come though, when the vitamin D is draining out of my system and the itch to put my toes into the streams and rivers starts to bother.

    I could never live in a one or two season area.

    Minnesota is my home for better AND for worse.

  • Misha C.

    I don’t think I’ll ever want to live anywhere else. I’ve been here 54 years and have been south during the winter. Found it pleasant but kind of dull. I can’t imagine living where the climate and the landscape doesn’t change much throughout the season, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself!

    The snow is magical and transient, and it varies spectacularly. It can be big, beautiful, feathery six pointed flakes that float down from heaven and land on your mitten or your windshield, or it can be hard and driven and biting. It coats the ground making constantly new and changing landscapes in pinks and blues and brilliant white.

    The cold is bracing and invigorating. The icy roads keep us on our toes and remind us of the benefits of caution. The storms and cold snaps keep us responsible to each other and teach us the benefits and blessings of kindness. The long dark nights remind us that a balanced life is not all productivity and hustle.

    When news stations and weather reports emphasize temperatures with the windchill first or go on about how awful the next storm is going to be it just drives me nuts. We should be proud that we’re strong enough and wise enough to live here, not quaking like a bunch of wooses and thinking how horrible it is that we’re not lulled into sleep by some kind of endless summer.

  • Barb

    Our relatives in Fl. and Ark. were aghast when My husband and I bought our retirement home in Isabella.At a family gathering someone asked what was our favorite season up there and we looked at each other and shouted WINTER. It is so beautiful. I must confess that I have vowed not to drive on ice in my old age.I am in Florida caring for my mom but will return as soon as I can.

  • Clare

    Both my husband and I grew up in MN and we are planning on moving down south in the coming year. We are in our 30’s but are very sick of the cold, dangerous driving conditions and colorless lifeless landscape in the winter. We have children and we are looking forward to being in a place where we can all be outside playing instead of cooped up half the year.