Our house on the morning of Christmas Eve 2009
On Halloween 1991, I was in St. Peter, Minnesota, for a classics lecture at Gustavus Adolphus College, where I was a visiting assistant professor of classics. The heavy snow had begun to fall as I came out of the lecture. I spent that night in St. Peter, and in the morning I took advantage of a lull in the blizzard to shovel my car out of the driveway where I had parked it. It would have been wiser to stay in St. Peter, but classes at Gustavus had been cancelled, and I was eager to get home to Northfield, where Clara was alone with two-month old Will. So, as the snow began to fall more heavily again, I started out. Fortunately, I found myself behind a snowplow between St. Peter and Montgomery, and after two or three hours managed to make it home safely. When the snow finally stopped falling, there was more than 28 inches of snow on the ground.
This morning, we woke to nearly 8 inches of fresh snow—the official amount for Northfield was 7.50 inches—and another 8-12 inches is on its way tonight. The second wave of snow started a few minutes ago, right on schedule. This is predicted to be the heaviest snowfall in Minnesota since that Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Our usual Christmas plans—my brother-in-law's family down here from Roseville for Christmas Eve, and our family in Roseville on Christmas afternoon—have been scrapped. For the first time that we can remember, it'll be just the four of us at Christmas.