The Winter Medallion Hunt (Photo: Bryan Kennedy/Flickr Creative Commons)

The scramble begins. The quickest gets the matching gloves. Snowsuit on . . . wool socks on . . . boots on . . . I just need a hat and gloves. A lone glove lies on the wood floor in the entryway. Where’s its mate? Hats, scarves, and mismatched gloves fly out of the wicker basket.

“Ah ha!” It sits at the bottom calling to its twin.

I’m ready, we’re set, let’s go!

We pile into the minivan, shovels in the back. The 1990 Dodge Caravan is slow to heat up.

“Here we go! Let’s read the last clue again. Let’s make sure it’s Como.” The last clue is read aloud. Mom puts the caravan into drive, and we slowly roll across the packed, icy snow covering the road.

The best part about searching for the Winter Carnival medallion isn’t the digging. No, at age eight I prefer to lie in the snow or sit and watch the people shoveling around us.

“Wait! What’s this?” Mom’s shoveling pauses. She reaches down. Her heart fills with glee, only to be disappointed. “Oh, never mind.” But the voice remains positive.

I sink deeper into the snow.

Hours pass, the fun is over. My sweat turns into a cold chill. The sun begins to drift downward and head for the horizon. I did my part. I shoveled; I dug around with my hands. Now, I want to go home and strip off my layers of clothing. I want to watch TV and sip hot chocolate.

“Mom! Can we go yet?”

“Just a little longer, honey.”

The woman never tires. Just yesterday she was hunting, and tomorrow she will do it again. A never-ending treasure hunt, at least, until the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion is found. Then we must wait for next year.

It’s a continual cycle of disappointment. Our hopes are dashed when smiling faces cover the front page of the Pioneer Press. No worries. We’ll find it next year.

Epic medallion hunt images courtesy of Bryan Kennedy. Browse Brian’s photostream on Flickr at

Brie Goellner currently attends Boston University. Although she loves the city of Boston and its rich history, nothing beats coming back to Saint Paul. The people and the streets are amazing. Lying on the grass at a Saint Paul park and looking up at the stars is a favorite pastime.

Posted in: Prose