My Winter Bucket List


A vicarage internship will send you absolutely anywhere in the United States. Some of us are in Texas. Some of us are in Florida. And a few of the lucky ones, like us, are sent to God’s country – Minnesota.

Oh, did that surprise you? Did you think I was going to say California? Montana? Hawaii? Nope.

In case you didn’t know, Minnesota is ranked fifth best state to live in. Number one is Massachusetts (didn’t see that one coming). And New Hampshire is third! I am pretty sure I have mentioned growing up in New Hampshire. So that makes me pretty fortunate to have lived in two of the best states in the U.S.

(p.s. To my Floridian and Texan vicar friends, who enjoy sending pictures of themselves swimming in the ocean during winter break and barbecuing outdoors in February, you are ranked 31st and 34th respectively.) (See

Reuben sledding on a BIG hill

Reuben sledding on a BIG hill

So here I am, back in the great northern states. And maybe it’s all the Vitamin D supplements I’m taking, but I am loving winter! Don’t get me wrong, I love swimming and summer and barbecuing, too. But I also love a true Northern winter and it’s been a long time since I was in New Hampshire playing in the snow.

In my 11 1/2 winters in New Hampshire, I experienced the joy of winter activities done best in the north. Sledding, tubing, ice skating, outdoor saunas, being snowed in, snowball fights, and maple syrup drizzled over freshly fallen snow. (And hot chocolate tastes best out of a thermos, in the woods, at the bottom of a sledding hill.)

Any winter activity that I did not have a chance to experience has now made it to my Winter Bucket List.

GEMy Winter Bucket List (and how I am coming along):

  1. Cross Country SkiingCHECK! – Two weekends ago, I took a parks and rec class with my son and learned the fundamentals of cross country skiing. (Well, my son learned the fundamentals of skiing, while I concentrated on the fundamentals of balance.) It was exhilarating. And I learned that sometimes cross country skiing demands a bit of downhill skiing skills. Which I discovered too late to stop me from hitting a tree and bending my ski pole in half.
  2. SnowshoeingCHECK! – That same weekend, I had the chance to snowshoe through the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with my husband and daughter. Much easier than skiing and great exercise.

    Karis and I first time snowshoeing

    Karis and I first time snowshoeing

  3. Ice Fishing1/4 CHECK! – I watched someone ice fish.
  4. Downhill SkiingNOT YET – I need to double check on my life insurance policy and read up on my medical leave of absence agreement at work.
  5. Walk on a LakeCHECK! – The whole family walked across our favorite Lake Ann. Two surprises were: the boldness of ice fishers and the noises a frozen lake makes that creep you out (burbs and cracks).

    Hello from the center of Lake Ann

    Hello from the center of Lake Ann

  6. Snowboarding – If you consider snowboarding the 20-foot, 17-degree decline track at the park with my children’s snowboard that took 7 1/2 minutes to prepare for and 3.7 seconds to complete, then… CHECK!


I’d say I am doing pretty well on my bucket list. For those of you who are tried and true northerners, what am I missing? I am ready to add more to the list…

And for those of you down south, barbecuing and surfing and staying warm, know that if you get tired of all that sunshine and skin exposure, you always have a place here around the family fishing hole!

Stay cool!

My kiddos in a tree, in a blizzard

My kiddos in a tree, in a blizzard


Filed under Family, Outdoors

4 responses to “My Winter Bucket List

  1. Walt

    Okay… things to add to the Winter Bucket List: Dog sledding… doing that will separate you from those who only think that they’re northerners. Tobboganing down a ski run… anyone can sled down a sledding hill. Ice sculpture… remember the Dr. Seuss characters we saw at Dartmouth? Polar Bear Plunge… the ultimate test of winter insanity. Add all three of these to your Bucket List and it will indeed become a bucket list – that last things you do at all!

  2. Walt

    P.S. Isn’t snowboarding just waterboarding in a colder climate??? In other words… TORTURE?

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