My mother hated the wind. As I sat in my morning chair listening to the wind constantly blowing (since around April 12), I could see why.
The moisture was very welcome, and we did not have any snow this past weekend, but we received an inch of precious water, served up with wind. I can relate to why my mom hated the wind after listening to the ominous sounds of our house attempting to stand against the gale force of the north winds. Not to mention our high tunnels.
As much as I love the stillness we experience each August, the wind never bothers me as much. I used to tell my two children to go outside and let the wind blow the stink off them when they were ornery. However, enough is enough already; I have spring work outdoors.
When I come indoors and say, "It's so beautiful outside today." That comment has little to do with the temperature. I realized that the wind wasn't blowing on those "nice" days. And there's no such thing as a breeze in this state.
Mom grew up in the Depression. I did a little research and found this information, "The Great Depression of the 1930s coincided with a long, intense drought in the Great Plains. Most of North Dakota suffered serious drought during the 1930s. When a little rain came along, it was often not enough to make up for the many months of drought that came before the rain. Crops dried up, and hay would not grow. Some farmers made hay with thistle to feed their cattle even though cattle won't eat thistle unless they are very hungry. Because there was no rain to wash away the grasshopper eggs, many farm crops were completely destroyed by clouds of grasshoppers. The grasshoppers were so hungry that they ate brooms and clothes on the clothesline once they had finished with the crops." (SOURCE: The Great Depression - North Dakota Studies. https://www.ndstudies.gov/gr8)
I asked my mom about those days. She said, "I remember one dust storm. It was awful, it just . . . It was all black. Coming right at us. And then Alma (her sister) and I started crying because we were -- we must have been pretty little, so they made us sit underneath the window so we wouldn't see the dirt and dust storm. Then they went, and they stuck towels under the doors so it wouldn't bring too much dust in and on the windowsills. I don't know how long it lasted; that I can't tell you, and I don't know where the guys were, they must have been in the barn or something, but the younger ones were all at the house, they ran for the house when they saw that dirt coming. But that was horrible I can still see it. It's black."
That doggone wind also robs us of some of that God-given moisture as it dries it up when it sweeps across the prairie. Don't get me wrong; I'm so thankful for the snow and rain. I can see the grass coming to life in the front yard. The nighttime temperatures will be rising this upcoming week and hopefully we will be able to see the garden and move my transplants to the greenhouse without the danger of freezing my hard work of the past two months. We all know the North Dakota weather saying, "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes; it will change." Here's to change.
PS: Here is the original quote from Mark Twain: "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes." And you thought we made that up.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.