Thank you St. Paul

This time of year most of the exercise I get is from walking. One of the few places I can walk where there isn’t snow and ice on the walkway is down along the river. It is nice to be able to go for a long walk, especially in the winter.

Upper Landing park

The river is pretty too especially on a sunny day.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

It could be colder

downtown in the winter
January in St. Paul

A couple of members of my family have birthdays in early January. Some years it has been hard to celebrate because of polar vortexes and Alberta clippers.  This year the lowest temperature predicted in the first half of the month is 6 degrees.

In the picture, the thick cloud of steam indicates sub-zero weather. In the summer the steam cloud can be seen but it doesn’t cast a shadow and can not be seen for miles.

Temperatures at the end of January can be brutal. It was -27 on January 30, 2019. I remember it well, it took most of the day to gently thaw the pipes in one of the bathrooms.

If your house is vacant it isn’t too late to winterize it. I always recommend that for houses that are vacant and for sale. A furnace or boiler can malfunction and it doesn’t take long for pipes to freeze. Once the pipes have frozen if at all possible have a plumber thaw them out.

I have thawed out pipes using a hairdryer and by using heat tape. It is important to leave the spigot open and to be patient. My method is slow but I have successfully thawed frozen pipes without damaging them.

Severe cold and snowstorms can slow home sales. I like to call it the ‘blizzard effect”.

As the year 2020 comes to a close

sunrise downtown St Paul
Sunrise in St. Paul, MN

I may stay awake to welcome in 2021 or maybe just to make sure 2020 is gone. New years eve is best celebrated 2020 style by staying home and maybe having a ZOOM new Year’s eve party. Reading a book or watching a movie works too.

The picture of the sunrise was taken on January 1sr 2018.  Taking a picture at sunrise is my prefered way to ring in the new year.

How ever you choose to celebrate please do so safely. We have a few things to look forward to in 2021. A vaccine for COVID-19 and a new president.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas 2020

For Christmas Eve I thought I would share another picture from the before time. This is of Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. It was taken in November of 2011 before the snow arrived and as I recall we had a lot of snow that year.

The park was remodeled in 2018 and has fewer trees. The large tree was brought in for the holidays and we will probably see it again in 2021.

Merry Christmas.

Rice Park – Downtown St. Paul

Happy Winter Solstice 2020

A snowless first day of winter is uncommon in these parts but it has been an uncommon year.  We may end up with a brown Christmas.

During the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest day and longest night of the year. Here in the bold north, there are less than 9 hours between sunrise and sunset.  By Christmas, the days will be 14 seconds longer, but still very short.

The picture is from the before time, which was before the pandemic of course. It was taken in December 8 years ago. We were coming out of the recession and it was one of the merrier holiday seasons as I remember it.

Winter – 2012 – Landmark Center St. Paul