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Blizzards can be fun!

December 3, 2010
By Terri Kelly Barta

I enjoy hiking in blizzards. There is something about pitting yourself against nature that just really appeals to me. It probably stems from my childhood when my mom was worn down by six kids in the house on a snow day and probably said, "You kids get your snowsuits on and get outside, if all you are going to do is fight." We were ecstatic. Well, maybe I should speak for myself. My littlest sister, whom we now call The General, probably would have crossed her eyes and stamped her foot and said she wasn't going outside. Usually, the younger ones had to go to the bathroom as soon as you got them zipped into the snowsuits. I got wise to that one at a young age.

Anyway, when I was about 18 or 19, I went walking in a blizzard in Fargo where I was going to college (Go Bison!). It's pretty safe walking in a blizzard in Fargo because there are so many buildings you can't really get lost.

When I was a young bride, however, we lived on a farm in Verona (my very first farm experience, but that is another whole column). Young and foolish, my former spouse and I went trucking down the driveway toward the highway. We lived in a little house on the farm and the people who actually farmed there lived in the big house. We were holding hands and laughing, totally invincible, nothing bad could happen to us. Fortunately, we weren't so brain dead that we went beyond the driveway. Much to the relief of the people in the big house who were watching "these crazy kids" from their picture window, we turned back. They invited us to play cards for the afternoon and we had a great time.

Of course, any true North Dakotan has probably driven in a blizzard. You know, zero visibility, wind whipping at 45 miles per hour, and it takes hours to go 30 miles. The fun in that is that when you get home and are all safe and cozy with hot chocolate or a hot toddy, you can tell the story of how you white knuckled it the whole way.

Which raises the question, why are the lines on the highways in North Dakota white? Wouldn't it seem that a neon green or yellow would be more appropriate here? A neon color would certainly be seen a little easier on blustery days. It is important to see the lines on the highways so you can point your car in between them and stay on the road. Just a thought!

When my four boys were young, I would cover them from head to toe so that only their eyes were showing and then send them outside on a snow day. They only had to be out a few minutes, because sometimes it was below zero and I didn't want to get reported for child abuse. When you have that much testosterone in the house it is important to get aggressions out, outside. Then they can cover up with blankets and settle down to watch television.

Even though I have to go to work no matter what kind of weather, I am always happy for the kids and others who get a snow day. As for me, I am out in the storm taking photos for the paper. Oh that's right, I have Dan and Lori to take photos now.

Well, that makes blizzards even better.

Kelly Barta is The Tribune's editor.

 
 

 

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