Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Wonderland...Yeaaaaahhh...

It often happens, especially in winter but during al seasons, that the weather forecast looks just right for days ahead of time and then suddenly turns to total crap out of nowhere.  That is why I would never get married during the months of November through April in ND or MN.  Even October and May are slight blizzard risks.  Of course, you have to be ready for any weekend plans, holidays, flights, and vacations to be sabotaged by the weather during these months.  This weekend we didn't really have anything special planned but the ten day forecast said temperatures were going to be in the 20s and no snow was expected so we planned to go to the lake so Justin could ice fish and perhaps Ben could get some much needed outdoor time in the snow. 
Well, if you live around here you know this forecast was not accurate.  We still went and it was in the 40s when we left home but on Saturday the temperature was well below zero degrees in the and topped out around zero.  Ben still got to do some sledding but it was pretty cold. 
There he is wearing hi snow suit and my scarf to protect his face. 

Justin's mom took him on a sleigh ride.  Good thing...I wasn't having anything to do with those temperatures! 

He liked it and almost fell asleep.  He looks like Randy from "A Christmas Story" with that scarf on.
Meanwhile, Tessa was inside doing what she does best...laying around like a bum. 

She has started to do the "try to insert hands in mouth" thing that babies of a certain age do. 
 That night the fun continued a blizzard and high wind warnings started flashing on the TV constantly.  We tracked the storm and thought that if we left early in the morning we could make it since the wind wasn't supposed to be severe until around noon.  Buuuuut...that morning I checked the ND DOT road conditions map and discovered a mess of red lines which means "no travel advised".
I love this map.  I don't know how anyone used to travel in the winter without it.  Every spring we all happily forget about it but once the snow comes it is a necessity. 
This is a current map (green means good!) but on Sunday it was all red.  We made it Fargo and decided to stay and soon after we decided the interstates closed anyway so we definitely weren't going anywhere.  It was kind of fun though.  We had friends who were at a hotel so Ben got to borrow a swim diaper and go swimming with their kids and we ordered pizza at my sisters later and  was able to catch up on the TV shows I like on the fancy channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) that we don't get.  The only drawback was that the mall closed early before I could get there. 
So we have lived through another blizzard.  It won't be the last.  It was so windy on Sunday.  At one point I went out to the vehicle to get some baby gear and the wind felt like it would blow me away and the snow stung my face.  I always think of the settlers during these days and wonder how they lived without warm insulated houses and machinery to clear the snow and pizza delivery.  And of course, regularly updated travel information maps.  I recall the book "The Long Winter", the sixth book in the "Little House on the Prairie" series and "Grass of the Earth" which is autobiography authored by Aagot Raaen, a woman from my home town.  I read "Grass of the Earth" in high school and I will never forgot Aagot Raaen's account of walking home to her family's farm from Mayville State University where she was studying to become a teacher on a subzero night.  I don't know where exactly she grew up in relation to the town but it was probably fifteen or twenty miles from Mayville. I should read that book again.  It was very interesting.

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