It’s the wind that whips usSAM COOK: This is getting old. We’re denizens of the North. We can take it. But I’ve seen the signs. This winter of deep cold is beginning to crawl through our veins like ice worms. We’re going a little stir-crazy. The walls are starting to close in.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
This is getting old.
We’re denizens of the North. We can take it. But I’ve seen the signs. This winter of deep cold is beginning to crawl through our veins like ice worms. We’re going a little stir-crazy. The walls are starting to close in.
A friend of mine emailed the other day. The subject line was, “Cold and bored.”
“Just walked to the mailbox — COLD,” he wrote. As a coping mechanism, he had been daydreaming of hunting dogs and sun-drenched Montana prairies in September.
That’s all he wanted to say. He signed off. It was a therapeutic email. I hope it helped him.
A woman I know is trying to remain positive about the elements.
“Some friends of mine had to bury a horse,” she said. “They were amazed that the frost was only 3 inches down in the ground.”
You take your silver linings where you can find them.
Maybe you caught the comment from Josh Compton after he finished second in the 113-mile John Beargrease mid-distance sled dog race Monday. He and his dogs had spent a night on the trail in brutal cold and wind.
“I can’t feel my right foot,” he told News Tribune reporter Steve Kuchera at the finish line. “It was fun.”
It’s the wind, I think. Cold is just cold. But when it’s being hurled at you like the prop wash of the Madeline Island wind sled, it makes you kind of mean. Throw in some of these annoying half-inch snowfalls, and you just want to shake your fist toward Moose Jaw and shout expletives.
Trouble is, the words get ripped out of your lips before they become audible. They show up in Albert Lea in about 10 minutes. Some poor sucker out there feeding hogs hears them and looks around to see who’s shouting at him. Sees no one. Thinks he’s going crazy.
We need wind counseling. We should all be issued designated Wind Whisperers in North Dakota, just regular folks — hairdressers and cattle ranchers — who we can call for solace. Fingers shaking, you dial the number for your Wind Whisperer, Wilfred, in Williston.
“Wilfred,” you shout into the phone. “Can you hear me? Gene in Duluth. Your wind buddy. This wind. I’m gonna lose it …”
“Yah, well, how bad is it then?” Wilfred asks.
His voice is low and calm.
“Terrible! Twenty, 30 miles an hour. The wind chill is 50 below. I can’t take it anymore.”
“Easy, Gene,” he says. “That really ain’t so bad. I went out to feed my herd of Angus yesterday. No, wait, it must have been Tuesday. Yah, it was Tuesday ’cuz that’s Marlene’s bingo night …”
“Wilfred, you’re killin’ me here! I need help.”
“Well, you know them big round bales? Lost one off the tractor and the wind took it. Bounced into one of them natural gas flares at a drill site and caught fire. The wind rolled it all the way to Fargo. They said it looked like a fireball screaming across the state. Now, that’s a real wind, Gene.”
Marlene looks up from her cross-stitching.
“Who was that, Wilfred?”
“Some guy in Duluth,” he says. “Thought it was windy there. Must have changed his mind.”