The Warming House

Ep. 7: Our ode to winter weather

Blizzard conditions and big Lake Superior waves in Duluth
A snowplow clears a portion of East Superior Street in November 2019 in downtown Duluth.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

After a rough start, 2021 delivered a pretty good week! Our country swore in the first Black, Indian American woman as vice president. It was historic and optimistic and just the shot in the arm we all needed to pull this new year out of the ditch! Like musician and writer Dessa, you may have also noted another female first to celebrate: Janet Yellen, the first woman secretary of the treasury. Dessa's tune "Who's Yellen Now," was a sparkly little 90-second exclamation point on the end of a darn good hour in The Warming House, if we do say so ourselves.

Let's not forget MPR News weather whisperer Nicole Mitchell (former hurricane hunter, by the way!) who joined us for a game of Smarter Than a Meteorologist, managing to overcome her self-identified lack of knowledge of sports to pull the Phoenix Suns and the Seattle Storm out of her cerebral dark corners for the win!

Co-host Sean McPherson, in addition to quizzing our paired up snowplow drivers, also walked us through the music of Low. Our sweet vinyl pick for the week was their 2002 album "Trust," which fit great for our winter weather-themed show. Note the track: "Last Snowstorm of the Year." Sean said, "Put this record on for a recalibration. Enjoying a Minnesota winter in general, and a Duluth winter in particular requires patience. It takes time to get dressed for the outside; it takes time to get your boots off to come back in. When the simple things take longer, you cherish the payoff that much more. Low will simply remove a chord where a chord used to be, and it can hit me harder than a symphony."

"Trust" by Low is being recorded at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth.
"Trust" by Low is being recorded at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth, Minn.
Courtesy photo by Tom Herbers

Our Silver Lining Story this week highlighted Miki Frost, founder of the Truce Center in St. Paul. Co-host Nina Moini talked with Miki about the great work he's doing to end violence in the city through conflict mediation. He's inspiring and his work is so important!

For our carryout recommendation, we went up north for a little southern comfort. Robert Lee, Louisiana-native-turned Duluthian, serves up Cajun comfort food in the Twin Ports most Fridays and Mondays. You can find out how to get a po'boy lined up for yourself at Mmm! Nothing like some gumbo to help keep you toasty until next Sunday!


  • Todd Smith and Derek Zahradka, snowplow drivers

  • Sanni Brown, TWH "advice-ologist" from The Current and Purple Current

  • Miki Frost, founder of the Truce Center in St. Paul

  • Nicole Mitchell, MPR News meteorologist

  • Robert Lee, food enthusiast and chef of in Duluth

  • Dessa, rapper, musician and writer

Volume Button
Now Listening To Livestream
MPR News logo
On Air
MPR News