Clinging to a Minnesota Spring

We’re always glad to hear from Diane Dettmann, our Midwest Correspondent; she’s the writer we turn to when we want a bulletin from the heartland. We discovered Diane in our site’s Comments section; she wrote so many articulate comments about our stories that we got in touch and asked her if she was a writer. It turned out that she was (she has published three books—the first when she was 48—and she’s about to publish another). She has contributed many articles telling us what life is like in frigid Minnesota. Last year, she had to delve into memory to write about a Minnesota spring; in April, it was essentially winter there. That is why she was happy to send us this post about what it’s like in Minnesota when spring has actually sprung.  —Ed.



This year’s long, bleak Minnesota winter dragged on and on. Subzero weather and relentless winds kept me housebound for days at a time. When the temperatures finally climbed above zero, I leaped for joy. Dressed in my snow gear and with my ice-grippers secured to my boots I waddled out the back door into the brisk winter air. Often as I trekked along the snow-covered roads during my walks I wondered, What keeps me in this frigid, gray winter state?

Guess what? I finally figured it out…SPRING!

With the first day of summer just days away, I relish each moment I can spend outside enjoying the lush green lawn, cool temperatures, and sun-filled days with low humidity. Unlike the frigid days of winter, spring exhilarates me, like a high school romance—fresh and filled with energy.

No more heavy layers to weigh me down.  Dressed in a lightweight jacket and my tennis shoes,  I bounce along the road in the spring sunshine, inhaling the sweet aroma of apple blossoms and lilacs. A gentle breeze brushes against my cheek and ruffles my hair as the cardinals trill their happy spring song from the top of the pine trees at the side of the road. Bluebirds flit from tree-to-tree in hopes the house they occupied last year is vacant for a few weeks so they can hunker down and raise a new brood of youngsters. Feisty and full of energy, the hummingbirds return and dive-bomb each other for their turn at the feeder.

Spring triggers a new outlook in me too. I wave to neighbors along my daily walk route. Since there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood, youngsters squeal as they pedal trikes up and down their driveways, longing to join the teenagers speeding along the road on bicycles. Their hair flows in the spring breeze as they barrel along the pavement, their spokes sparkling in the morning sunshine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMoss roses—true Minnesota flowers: they can survive a sudden return of freezing temperatures.

As I sprint along the road, industrious homeowners perched on ladders take a break from washing the remnants of winter off their windows and wave at me. Avid gardeners push wheelbarrows from place-to-place, planting petunias, moss roses, and other hearty annuals that will survive a sudden return of freezing temperatures. Every so often when I walk past the sheep farmer’s place I pause and listen to a lamb bleating in the distance, a reminder of the amazing renewal that comes with spring.

Sheep2(1)Diane’s strolling-path leads her past a farm.


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  • Salina Bujosa January 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Diane, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your essay! The pictures are very nice as well.

    • Diane Dettmann January 30, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Salina Bujosa, I’m so glad you enjoyed my spring essay. It’s winter in Minnesota now and I am SO looking forward to spring. I snapped the photos on my daily walks around the neighborhood. Thank you for the comment it made my day !

  • Diane Dettmann June 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Linda, so glad my essay carried you along and you enjoyed the journey! I guess it pays to take a mini-notebook on my daily walks and jot down the sights, sounds and smells as I experience them. Now I know how our students felt when their writing met or exceeded the standards. 🙂 Many thanks!

  • Linda Parker June 9, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Diane, I could feel myself walking along with you on your glorious spring sojourn. As alway I love the way you use specific details to “show not tell” the reader of your experience. This piece I’d definitely “above standard.” ?

  • Diane Dettmann June 9, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Sharon, I am so glad you enjoyed my essay and thank you so much for sharing your spring insights. The aroma of lilacs always connects me to memories of my mother and childhood spring days. I’ll keep you posted on the book and definitely will autograph a copy for you.

  • Sharon Cass June 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Enjoyed reading about your new essay Clinging to a Minnesota Spring I recall the Spring time too it was very beautiful and Cool, and smelling apple blossoms, lilacs, and see the beauty of life come about during this time of all was very amazing. Please let me know when the book is available and hope it would be autographed as well. Thank you Diane for sharing

    Sharon Cass a former classmate

    • Diane Dettmann January 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Sharon, just came across your comment on my spring essay. Sometimes I get behind. Thank you for your positive comments on the spring essay. My latest novel, Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph, is now available. You can find information on my website, Thanks for all your support!

  • Diane Dettmann June 8, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you so much Kathleen for reading the essay. Glad you enjoyed the it! The Minnesota winters make spring a very special season. 🙂

  • Kathleen Eddy June 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Love this essay, Diane. These are the reasons I love living in Minnesota too.

    • Diane Dettmann January 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      Kathleen Eddy, I agree, I’m already counting the days to spring 2017!