Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January 30, 2019 -- T+28, Part 2, Day 5 Of Open Border Negotiations

Cold: a note for the granddaughters.

When I was growing up in the northwest corner of North Dakota it was "normal" to expect February to be the coldest month of winter, and generally it never got above zero degrees (32 degrees below zero) for the entire month, day or night. Above zero degrees it was relatively nice.

Once it got below minus ten degrees it really didn't matter how cold it got. It all felt the same. I find it interesting that I really don't remember the cold weather. Sort of like hearing that women don't remember childbirth. (I doubt that's entirely true.)

For the most part, it was very, very cold in February in North Dakota, but it was dry, no precipitation (no snow). Because it was below freezing from the get-go (as they say), from December on, and because it didn't "rain" in the winter in North Dakota, we did not have any problem with "black ice" or any color ice for that matter -- except icicles, which were not a problem but just something interesting to watch.

I remember, vividly, how warm our houses and stores were. I never thought about where that energy came from; we were very, very fortunate that when I was growing up, energy was dispatchable, available, and affordable. It is interesting to look back that we never, never, never had a power outage during the middle of the winter. The utilities, I suppose, MDU and REA, did an incredible job.

Disclaimer: I had a summer job with MDU the summer between my freshman year and sophomore year at college. Wow, I was treated well. Dad got me the job; he had connections. Was it fair that he got me the job through his connections? Probably. I've always felt a little bit guilty about that, but on the other hand, he was paying for my college and he was looking out for himself as much as he was looking out for me. Life is not fair.

Time for some music.

The Class of '57, The Statler Brothers

If there is any song that "defines" my growing up in Williston, that was it.

Where was I? Oh, that's right: cold, utilities, no power outages.

What I enjoyed most watching out the front window during the coldest stretches: the one or two (cedar or Bohemian) waxwings that would flit in among the "evergreen" hedges along the house. How they survived the winter, I will never know. I don't recall throwing out birdseed for them. My hunch is that Mom did not have the extra "pin" money to buy bird feed. I would have been five or six years old. My brother would have been in the playpen that was placed in front of the picture window; it seems we always had a playpen in our living room when I was growing up.

Now, one of my favorite things to do every morning before I take Sophia to school -- put out a couple slices of bread and lots of wild bird seed on the patio outside her window. I put two pair of binoculars on the window sill which she really enjoys. The highlight of the morning is when a pair of cardinals show up.

Wow, what a digression.

Again, for the granddaughters.

List of birds found in North Dakota. At the link, I did not see any reference to "snow birds." Those are the birds that fly to Phoenix every winter.

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