Keep on the Sunny Side of Life
Paul Huttner on MPR’s “All Things Considered” recently made the startling claim that January 2020 was the cloudiest month that we Minnesotans have endured…ever! Or at least as long as they’ve measured such things. It was grey and cloudy and fairly dreary a whopping 72% of the time last month. When February arrived and brought with it some rays of sunshine, that seemed to lift the entire state’s spirits.
In case the winter has given you a little too much seasonal angst, let me share a couple of very interesting things about our beloved Gopher State to hopefully brighten your Friday.
> MN waterways flow outwards from our state in three directions. North to Hudson Bay in Canada; east to the Atlantic Ocean; and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
> Do you like Mars candy bars? Then you should know that Minnesota son Frank Mars introduced the Milky Way Bar in 1923, and the Snickers Bar in 1930.
> Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham back in 1926. And eleven years later, they introduced Spam so sing with me – spam spam spam spam!
> In Olivia, there is a half-husked corn cob tower that is 25 feet tall, made of fiberglass, and it has served as a roadside attraction since 1973.
> In Darwin, there is a gigantic ball of twine that used to hold the world record for its size.
> In Pelican Rapids stands the world’s largest pelican statue at 15.5 feet tall, made of concrete.
> Fun fact – I have seen all three of these attractions!
> St. Paul’s original name was Pig’s Eye, named for a French-Canadian whiskey trader called Pierre ‘Pig’s Eye’ Parrant.
> The Mall of America is the size of 78 football fields.
> The Old Log Theater in Excelsior is the oldest continuously-running theater in the nation, and right here in our town sits the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, which is the largest dinner theater complex in the nation.
> Minnesota has more golfers per capita than any other American city.
> In this state, we have one recreational boat per every six people.
> We have more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined!
> Finally, here’s some Minnesota inventions: Masking and Scotch Tape; Wheaties cereal, Bisquick, HMOs, the bundt pan, Aveda beauty products, Roller Blades, and Green Giant vegetables.
This whole Pondering was simply an attempt to bring a little sunshine into the middle of a so-far pretty cloudy winter. The Psalmist says “How many are your works, O Lord, in wisdom you have made them all.” (Psalm 104) So yes, it is good to be reminded of the wonders of our wintry state, but know this: if on Friday, when you read this little devotional, it ends up being all dreary and gray, remember what the last chapter of the Bible says. “There will be no need for light or lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light.” (Rev. 22:5)
See you church where we all can shine our lights!