Every year, it seems, I capture the winter scene through visual images of what life is like in Fargo, ND, during the winter months.Â But this year, I’ve been sluggish about taking photos of life in the “southern tundra.” I’ve been too immersed in simply making my way through the white stuff that has overtaken us this year to actually be out in it with a camera. Alas…it’s time. Even though I will look back on these photos a few months from now and cringe, wondering how we made it through, and why I felt the need to capture such frigidity, it’s life, and trying to will it to be otherwise won’t make it go away anytime soon.
It’s not always this way. I’ve lived through dry North Dakota winters too, and summers of drought. But we’ve had a series of wild, wet ones for quite a few years in a row. This year, it started early and was relentless. I know the East Coast has gotten it bad, but we were dealing with it much earlier. Though it may seem to make less of an impact here, trust me, the opening of the winter skies has created a lot of challenges in the way we move about day to day.
For example, this is was our bedroom window. It will be nice when spring comes and I can open the shades and let in the sun. Right now, it’s pretty dark in here.
Our poor little mailbox got dumped on to the point of being nearly buried. It’s an adventure just trying to find the mail every day.
This is our view from the garage looking into the back yard. Look at those layers of snow!
Even the evergreens, usually so resilient in the winter, are barely managing to stay above ground.
Nevertheless, I look at these little signs of life with a hopeful attitude. These images remind me that winter is not permanent, though it can be debilitating at times.
I feel the need to describe things I didn’t capture here. Our cul-de-sac snow mountain, which typically comes and goes with the snowfall, is more a summit this year and appears here to stay until spring. The snow-removal dudes just couldn’t keep up with it. So there’s a huge obstruction that we have to work around each day, every time we come and go.
And once we are out on the streets, the snow is piled so high to make way for roadways that it is very difficult just getting around town. You can’t see the oncoming vehicles without pulling out into intersections first. I’ve nearly gotten into a few accidents just trying to move from place to place. I’ve seen more people than usual stuck in snowbanks. Whole lanes have been erased by snow. Just doing simple errands has become a hazardous adventure.
But this past week, some melting happened. Now, the white piles have turned brown. I don’t like the looks of it, but it’s another signal of an oncoming spring.
And how do we survive? Honestly, it’s not as hard as it might seem. Yes, we have these annoyances to deal with, but we find ways to keep warm. This weekend, for instance, we went to a First Reconciliation event for our second-grader, watched our fifth-grader’s basketball tournament, and my son and I, along with two friends and their parents, headed out Saturday night to dinner and then on to our school’s Generations Dance.
Though I’d heard other parents talk about it before, this was my first Generations Dance, since it’s only for high school. The idea is that the son or daughter takes the parent of the opposite gender to the dance. So I had a date with my 15-year-old son. It was a great excuse to hang with him and his friends. Even though he hadn’t been planning on going, I decided that since the dance is as much for parents as the kids, we weren’t going to miss out. The dinner was nice, and even though he wasn’t about to boogie with his mom, my son seemed to enjoy being around his friends. And I danced with some of my friends.
We do have limitations in the winter here in Fargo, ND, but we also have a lot of creative ways to keep life moving forward and enjoyable.
Q4U: How do you beat the Winter Blues?