It was a while ago. My son Jon wasn't even quite three years old yet. Tom was still off in the future.
Our first winter in Minnesota. I was a student at the University in Mankato. I wasn't prepared for a Minnesota winter, the below-zero temperatures and the prairie wind chills and how to dress for it all. Who ever heard of plugging a car in so that it would start in the morning (which it didn't always do anyway)? That winter, a record was set for the number of days in a row that the temperatures never once went above freezing -- 68 days, I think it was. I kept wondering how the pioneers ever managed to survive or what drove them to settle in such a desolate place.
Januarys in Minnesota are still no treat, but, wow, they sure are easier than they were my first couple years. For me, it makes all the difference being in the city. I drive from my heated parking garage at the condo to the heated parking garage at the office. Global warming might be coming into play too: We don't get many 25-below temperatures any more, thank goodness. This morning, a lady in the elevator told me the temperature was 13 degrees, and she had just heard on the radio that the record low temperature for this date was 50 degrees lower than that. That would have been 37 degrees below zero. Ah, those were the days.