Mandan News

Just go away, sundogs

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As another indicator of not having much of a life, it’s 6 a.m. Sunday morning, and I’m trying to figure out what to say to you. When this happens I usually start with the weather, and for the record, it still sucks. It’s interesting to note that our nights have been warmer than the days. For instance this morning, it’s a few degrees above freezing, it’s raining/sleeting, and the forecast says the temp is likely to drop to zero by suppertime and then below zero by Monday morning.

The only saving grace in all this is that every day that passes should bring the sun closer to settling in for spring. However, at this writing, the sun is surrounded by sundogs, which indicates that the sun’s rays are blocked by ice in the air. Yep, them sundogs can be pretty, but we locals know that when they appear, it’s really friggin cold out there.

So what do we locals do when the sundogs appear? We stay inside our caves and hope they’ll go away. When they finally go away, we poke our noses outside to see if we want to expose ourselves further.

It’s kinda amazing how we adapt to our climate. By the end of summer, when the temps hover in the 50’s, we put on a coat and complain about the chill, by midwinter we’re bundled up in parkas, gloves, snow boots, and we rejoice when the temps get above freezing … and that hasn’t happened much this year.

Seems to me that the winds come up, the temps fall below zero, and going outside is not a pleasant experience. Overall I’d have to say that despite all the global warming hoopla, our winters have returned to normal.

Yup, I’ve lived here most of my life, so I can recall some pretty miserable winters around here.

Unlike today’s kids, we really did walk to school every day. Okay, it wasn’t uphill both ways, and we weren’t barefoot either, but we did walk and it was miserably cold.

Usually by the time we arrived at our destination, our ears were close to frostbitten, and our hands cramped from being jammed into our pockets because it was not cool to wear hats and gloves.

Today I don’t leave the house without at least a hood, cap, gloves, warm socks, boots, and long underwear; so much for my childhood machismo. Yes, despite both of my loyal reader’s opinions, there are areas in my life where I have matured a bit.

So when I started this rant this morning, it was nice outside, the temp was above zero, no wind, and now the wind is howling, a concussion of thunder just rumbled through town, it’s sleeting and our house is creaking from the Alberta clipper that’s rushing in to spend the week with us.

The forecast says the temps will barely get above zero this week, and most likely the sundogs will continue for a while. So the best advice I can offer is to stay in your cave and be thankful that by the time you read this, February will have arrived.

Then March will appear and hopefully the sundogs will disappear and April will come along to let us know that we can finally go outside without worrying about freezing to death … and by that time I hope I can come up with something else to complain about beside the weather. In the meantime here’s hoping you stay warm and happy.