Excuse me while I write the obligatory column about Minnesota winter. I’m writing this as we experience the snowiest February on record here in Minnesota.

This winter we’ve had two winters beginning with December with it being six degrees warmer than average. The first half of January was significantly warmer than average also.

Then the Arctic switch flipped, and January finished slightly colder than average at -1.3 degrees for the month.

So we’ve basically endured two very different halves this winter – mild and little snow in the first half and cold and abundant snow in the second half.

So what does that mean to the average Minnesotan?

We get to talk and complain about the weather.

Many may have noticed how the weather often is the topic of conversation here in Minnesota. I noticed that right away once I left the upper midwest and began living in New York where I noticed the weather was more of a news report than actual conversation.

We all know that in the past month weather has been dominating our lives from slow commutes, to numerous snow days away from school and even work. As I was stuck in the snow the other day I can honestly say I cursed Minnesota and its winter weather.

Personally, I do love the State of Minnesota. After living in a few other states I realize the State of Minnesota is clean, has a good quality of life and is very affordable.

Yet, my one hang up on Minnesota are the winters.

Regardless if its an average winter or an extreme winter, I totally shut down during the winter. I completely understand why some choose to leave Minnesota for someplace warm and sunny during the winter months.

During the average winter I find that I withdraw more from living and find that day-to-day life becomes an exhausting daily challenge. All while this is going on I partake in the weather talk that dominates our Minnesota culture. As I complain during the Minnesota winter I fall into the abyss of the winter blahs.

What’s interesting is that this is all part of a process just like the process of grief. I start the winter with acceptance and the distraction of the holiday season.

Then January arrives, and I’m in winter mode, followed by this time of the year where I start thinking about the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the light at the end of a tunnel when talking about a Minnesota winter is often long and arduous. So until I make a move to a warm and sunny place I will talk about the weather until spring has sprung and I’m in my full glory.

To all of you snowbirds reading this column – I completely envy you and understand your thinking. To the rest of you with me here in Minnesota, know that the first day of spring is coming. The million dollar question is - will we be blessed with an early spring or a longer winter?

Stay tuned.