Kellogg and John Ireland

(Illustration: Leann Johnson/

My girlfriend lives in an apartment across the street from the Saint Paul Cathedral. She has a very Catholic upbringing that only shows when we get to fooling around on her bed with its view of the illuminated massive doors and dome of the church across the street. Then guilt kicks in and I wish there was a curtain to draw. More than once desire has been quashed and old morality triumphs over free love as I am sent packing. After my latest expulsion, I’m driving my economical four-cylinder Chevy II in a sour mood as I pass through the intersection of John Ireland Boulevard on Kellogg when a fast Pontiac Grand Prix roars through the red light and hits me.

Another Crossing

The Crowne Plaza Hotel at 11 East Kellogg Boulevard in downtown Saint Paul. (Photo: Dan Tilsnen)

Vera’s death was just last December, and I am missing her on this May evening, as our forty-third anniversary approaches. I need time and space by myself, to think. A view of the Mississippi River twisting and turning sharply, as I am right now, would set the tone. A drink and something good to eat would be nice—a martini, a very good steak, a favorite after-dinner drink.

A Normal Wet Rainy Day in Saint Paul

Rainy Downtown Saint Paul as seen from across Kellogg Bridge. (Photo: Punchup/Flickr Creative Commons)

I hold out my hand and feel the soft tapping of raindrops on my palm. They are cool and don’t seem to care where they end up. I take out my umbrella and hold it up so I don’t get wet. It is fall. The wind starts up, and I am glad I wore my sweatshirt and rain poncho. The rain starts coming down harder now, and my patrol flag flaps madly as if trying to escape my grasp.

A Fanatic's Guide to Getting the Most out of the Weather in Saint Paul

Double rainbow over Saint Paul (Photo: Bryan Kennedy/Flickr Creative Commons)

For those of us who think about, study, discuss, photograph, worship, and otherwise adore the weather, Saint Paul is a miniature atmospheric playground.