If there is one thing I have learned in the 8 months I have lived in North Dakota it would be that this state is not for the weak or lazy. I have never worked so hard as I have this winter. Just getting out of the house takes planning not to mention the extra 30 minutes it takes to warm up the car (that is IF you remembered to plug it in last night and it even starts).
On any given morning out here, you will see a 70 year old woman out on her porch shoveling snow half the size of her, an 80 year old man using a single shovel to clean off an entire street, ranchers out in -30 degree weather birthing cows, and volunteers show up at all hours and temperatures of the night to walk around a dike to make sure the town doesn't flood.
Speaking of flooding...Fargo. I am sure you have heard (if you have cable) about the Red River which is just about to run over into the Fargo/Moorehead area. So many people are affected and Fargo is just the beginning of it. The Red River heads north to Grand Forks and then through smaller towns (mine included, but I think we will be fine though as we have an excellent dike and levy). My husband happens to be in Fargo tonight and who knows when he will return home. I hope it's soon because that will mean that Fargo's dike holds.
I found this photo on Flickr and had to share. A photo can say so much. Click on it for a link back to the photographer to see more of their flood photos.
The people here are amazing and I have started to think that maybe I am not cut out (or tough enough) to live here. I would much rather curl up on the couch and wait for the bad weather to pass. Unfortunately, it sticks around for quite some time. We are at the end of March and our low tonight is 0 degrees (without the windchill, which really makes a difference). Maybe I am just tired and emotional (pregnancy will do that to a person) or maybe I am just a pansy. Either way, I hope next winter goes easy on me since I will have an infant to take care of as well.
My insurance agent said something to this degree, "All winter you wait until spring and then it floods and it's a muddy mess and then you pray for summer which is too short but the mosquitoes are so bad from all the water that you hope for fall and...well, fall is actually quite nice but it ends too soon and we are back into the frigid winter again."
That pretty much sums it up. I am praying for dry ground for those of you along the Red River.