The forty-fifth parallel runs through Saint Paul, Minnesota. This parallel is generally considered the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole. This is irrelevant to our everyday lives with the exception of one truth: it is the cause of our extremely unpredictable weather, a concept that consumes us. We talk about it with co-workers, we talk about it on dates, we analyze it on the TV, we use it as an excuse for being late, we complain about it, we use it to avoid awkward gaps in uncomfortable conversation, and most importantly, we live in it.
For those of us who think about, study, discuss, photograph, worship, and otherwise adore the weather, Saint Paul is a miniature atmospheric playground.
My sister phones. "Storm!" she says, disgusted. "They're calling this a storm. No wind, maybe an inch of snow. It's winter, for Pete's sake, we're supposed to have snow. Get a grip!" My sister is not one of your hardy outdoors types, but we're Iron Rangers, and even though between us we've spent six decades in Saint Paul, we retain the Ranger's right to scorn urban wimpiness. It's the TV weather people who have set her off. "They are trying to brainwash us into weather wimps."
I was born and raised in Somalia, then lived many years in Dallas. After I graduated from the University of North Texas, I moved to Saint Paul in search of a job and a wife. It was January 2004, and the temperature, with windchill had dropped to -40° F.
For all of you Minnesotans who flatter yourselves by thinking you’re hardy, I suggest you snow blow for a while. That’ll take you down a notch.
My name is Halwa Abdulkadir Hussein. I was born in Somalia in the town of Hargeysa in 1989. I grew up in Somalia. I am Muslim. I have four brothers and a mom. My father died in 1994, and at that time I was young, so I moved to Kenya. I came to the United States of America on June 6, 2006.