Our heating system has a mind of its own and our landlord has been slower to act than he should be. By noon today, it became clear that the only way I was going to get warm today was to go running. In 7 degree weather. Andrew joined me for a bit, but because I was hoping to go for a longer run than Andrew, we split ways about a mile in. As we ran, I found myself wondering why in the world anyone lives in a state where we feel held prisoner by the weather. If it’s windy, too cold, or we get 17 inches of snow in one day, there’s little one can do (although, somehow, that blizzard turned into a good cross-country ski day). My hands were chilly and my cheeks were not feeling the love of the cold.
As soon as Andrew and I parted ways, I got swallowed up by a crowd near Lake Harriet. Kids. Lots and lots of kids and their parents. Seriously? Why are people with good heating systems choosing to be out here? At least one person in every little cluster was carrying a kite. Lo and behold, today was the Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival and people were out to show their support. I was amazed and my mood instantly brightened. Suddenly, I realized that my hands were getting sweaty. Darn rag wool mittens are overkill, while 2 pairs of thinner gloves still aren’t enough. And truth be told, my cheeks weren’t burning any longer… my run was actually feeling really good!
As soon as I got home, I grabbed the camera and headed back. I wanted to take photos of the Kite Festival 1) because it’s a kite festival taking place on a frozen lake and 2) the sun has not shone in the past several weeks long enough for me to practice sunny day shots on the camera. When I got to the Lake, I had my second highlight of the day: the driver behind me complimented my parallel parking job. After I parked, the driver behind me stopped beside my car and I thought he was upset that I’d chosen to park on this one-lane road with a string of cars waiting behind me. Instead, he gave me an enthusiastic nod and the okay symbol with his fingers. I take a lot of pride in my parallel parking skills, so this absolutely made my day to be recognized by some stranger.
The Kite Festival itself was more amazing in the number of people who were there than anything else. There wasn’t an obscene number of kites, but there were just LOTS of people considering how cold it was. Because I was so hot from my run when I left the apartment with camera in hand, I didn’t dress appropriately. Unfortunately, I spent at most 10 minutes at the festival before my hands were screaming “frostbite!” and demanded I leave. As I walked back to the car, I couldn’t help but think how cool it was just how many activities were going on at the kite festival: people biking on the lake, X-Country skiing, roasting marshmallows, handing out free cocoa and cider, kids playing in the snow, and there was even a horse carriage taking people up and down the lake. All in all, it was quite the pleasant reminder that even cold days can be wonderfully nice.