Well, I’ve bitched enough about the bone chilling weather lately, it’s time I’m finally able to praise this much appreciated January thaw.
I wasn’t sure if we were going to get one this time around, but I guess I can count on it again. And boy, did we need it, for the cattle and for the kids and for low North Dakota spirits everywhere.
I drove to town the other day and it was 41 degrees. It might as well have been 70. I went by the little donut shop and the two girls were outside shoveling in their t-shirts and sunglasses like they were in California. I guess I couldn’t blame them. I felt that way too. I didn’t bother with my coat, in fact the sun shining in the window of my car made it too warm in there, so I opened up the window and listened to my tires splashing up slush on the pavement.
It’s because of January that I’ve never minded the mud.
We took advantage of the beautiful weekend and spent Saturday continuing work on my video for my song “Northern Lights.” Turns out dad doesn’t mind a third take of him walking up a steep snow bank in his snow shoes when its 35 above zero.
And I don’t mind standing there watching him either, thankful for things like snowshoes after watching the filmmaker sink up to his waist trying to situate the camera in a snowbank.
But after today the snow has cleared off the tops of the buttes and the 10 foot drifts have shrunk down to 8 feet drifts. And the snow on the table on my deck melted enough to remind me of the three casseroles and two pies I set out there to chill on Thanksgiving.(So that’s where that glass bowl went!)
Ahhh, I love it. Really. I wouldn’t mind January in North Dakota if she always behaved this way. And by that I mean staying above the 0 mark on the thermometer and chilling on the whole wind thing.
But knowing that’s not in her nature, so we take what we can get. On Sunday my little sister and I took turns taking Edie on sledding runs down the icy road in our yard.
(Don’t worry, we weren’t going as fast as the screams would have you think…)
As you can imagine, she loved it.
She loves the cold actually. It’s weird. You take her outside, the cold air hits her face and she comes alive, squealing and laughing, waving her arms and legs, squishing up her face in delight.
I plop her in a snowbank and she flings snow up in the air like she’s splashing in a swimming pool, not giving a care in the world about where the cold stuff lands on her face.
I swear, this kid was made for this place, it’s like she just sprang out of the slick clay one day and announced her arrival. She’s reminding me about the magic this place holds and I love her for it.
It’s all just an adventure.
Tomorrow’s Friday and we have the weekend ahead of us that we intend on filling with house construction projects and outdoor chores. Edie’s getting to the age where it’s fun to take her along. I bought her a pair of little boots and today, just as I was bundling her up to take her outside to test them out, Pops poked his head through the door and we piled in the pickup to go feed the cows.
“This is what you’ve always dreamed about,” he said as we watched Edie squeal at the cattle lining up behind the bale we rolled out for him.
Leave it to Pops to take the ordinary trials of a Thursday and turn it into a reminder of the simple things we live for.
And thanks January sun for giving us a chance to warm up.