Love it or hate it, winter is an unescapable reality of living year-round in Minnesota. Yesterday we dared to look at Minnesota's Ten Favorite Things About Winter, and in fairness, today we flip the coin.

Winter gets a bad rap, and sure it's a bit too long -- but getting out and enjoying all it has to offer is the key to surviving (and even thriving). Nonetheless, there are things about the long, dark season that many of us could do without.

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Yes, hockey, snowmobiling, ice fishing, cozy fires, the holidays, and skiing are all wonderful  -- but the biggest benefit of winter is the appreciation it gives us for spring and summer. (In some parts of the country they might call that cruel and unusual punishment.)

Honorable mention: Frozen toes, car troubles, high heating bills, and dry skin.

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I'm not a winter hater, although it's about a month too long. Take a month off winter and tack it onto summer and Minnesota's climate would be just about perfect.

The days are getting longer. The average highs will soon be getting warmer. The 4th of July is getting closer. Think Spring!

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