LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Day Two, April 2022 Blizzard

Dispatch from Red Oak House (April 13, 2022):

Mostly I shoveled snow, trying to keep ahead of it.

Spotted lots of birds, including a Sharp-Shinned Hawk flyby and some Turkey Vultures taking shelter in the neighborhood trees.  My siblings and relatives elsewhere in North Dakota were texting me photos of the snow at their houses. (Family in other parts of the country were saying they were not sorry to not be in North Dakota.)

I dug out the driveway and the pickup and watched the first neighbor on our block roll out his snowblower. Otherwise, no action on our block until the neighbor on the other side rolled out his snowblower.  It’s quiet on our block otherwise. I can hear the nearby train and the snowplows on Ward Road. Oh, and I cooked a chicken vegetable porridge for supper from what we have here in the pantry and refilled the bird feeders again and again — with pleasure.

Here are a few snapshots from my collection of the winter of 1996-1997 in southwestern North Dakota.

And this is what winter looked like in Slope County, North Dakota, circa 1935. Blizzards with no electricity and phones ya big babies! That’s my Mom in the photo.

Until her very last days, my Mother was so worried about the drought and I feel that this moisture-laden storm is — I admit this is my own weirdness — maybe coming from Mom and my Slope County ancestors via the Pacific Northwest and Colorado, and it is bringing misery to many on the open prairie … but, but, but …

And this is so self-indulgent, but when this blizzard is over do I have to brush my hair?

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