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Winter Sara runs into summer Sara

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Winter Sara runs into summer Sara
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

I lead a double life. Actually, it's more like my life is divided in two. There's winter Sara and there's summer Sara.

Winter Sara drives a car that can twirl on the ice with the agility of an Olympic figure skater. Sensible clothes like corduroy, tights and sweaters comprise the bulk of her wardrobe. She likes to hibernate and eat ice cream.

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Summer Sara also enjoys ice cream, but she isn't as fond of hibernation. She keeps her windows open and takes long walks in the evening. She shuns sensible clothes and happily dons white capris and flimsy sandals once the weather is warm.

What happens to Sara during the other two seasons of the year? Fall Sara and spring Sara appear so briefly I don't really count them among my alter egos. Those times of year are primarily transitions between Minnesota's major seasons.

My seasonal selves usually exist entirely separate from each other, but sometimes winter Sara and summer Sara get acquainted. I took a trip to Hawaii in early February and, after the thawing effects of Pacific trade winds, winter Sara found out what she's been missing. Her legs saw the light of day. Her normally dry hands rarely required lotion and she discovered how much fun it is to exfoliate your feet walking on the beach.

Summer Sara said hello, ain't the weather nice, and winter Sara agreed. Summer Sara soon waved goodbye, though, once a wide-body jet en route from Honolulu landed in Denver snow flurries. She was a distant memory by the time winter Sara reached Fargo.

Mild weather in Wadena when I returned allowed winter Sara to bravely reclaim her natural habitat before harsher weather came back. She quickly relearned the not-so-graceful art of walking across icy parking lots lightly dusted with fresh snow.

Winter Sara's tenure won't last too much longer with spring on the way. A well-honed set of cold weather skills can soon be put on the shelf. She will have to wait longer than usual to return, however. Her retirement this year is indefinite as warmer climes are not just vacation spots for me, but the site of my future home. It may officially be winter there from December to March, but it certainly won't feel like any other experience I've had with the season living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alaska.

I don't know if I'll miss winter Sara or not. She's more prone to cabin fever than her warm weather self. She does enjoy the brisk weather when it isn't so cold her limbs freeze stiff. Cross country skiing or just a walk on a winter day are activities impossible to duplicate. The sun reflecting off trillions of accumulated snowflakes helps make up for the dark days. Still, those moments are pretty brief, and winter is very long.

Despite our long history, something tells me winter Sara has had more than her fair share of days to shine. Summer Sara is ready for a return to the sun -- and for more than just a few months of the year.

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