Before I’m ordered to the leave the state due to my lack of Montana brawn, let me explain: I like cold weather, snow, Christmas and Norman Rockwell paintings that include frozen ponds. I tell stories, often with a hint of bravado, about the treacherous winter mornings I endured in Bismarck, N.D. I’m cold-blooded, but I’m over it.
Waking up to another overcast day and a dusting of snow was disheartening, as is this shoulder season in general. If the sunny, spring days had just stayed away altogether, then this stretch of winter redux would be more bearable. But 70-degree weather came, on a weekend no less, and I was wearing sun block at the earliest time in recent memory. Then this week followed, and swirling snow came with it. It reminds me of the plains in the depths of February.
Working as a reporter–intern covering the North Dakota state Legislature, I was ill prepared for the cutting cold. As part of the press, I would have to park about a block away, which wasn’t a big deal unless I forgot my hat and mittens. When that happened, on the chilliest days, I would sprint to the building out of necessity. My hands would burn and ears swell and I would use hot water to regain feeling in both. I may be exaggerating a bit, but that’s what people do when they recant stories about the weather. Nonetheless, I remember it was painful.
Montana’s winters, at least temperature wise, can’t compare. But they drag on all the same. And as it continues to snow outside the Beacon office, I’m surely not alone in my hope that this latest storm passes; and that the weatherman is right; and that it will be partly sunny and 60 degrees by Sunday. The skis are packed, the golf clubs unpacked and I’m beginning to have flashbacks to those sprints across the North Dakota capitol parking lot.
We had a great winter, but I’m over it. Assume the berating …
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