When Hubby and I were talking about moving back to South Dakota, our number one concern was the winter. It can be brutal here, especially on old folks like us. Our blood had thinned a lot in the mild winters of Boise. Could we stand a bad Dakota winter?

Since we arrived at the end of October, the weather has been unseasonably mild for the most part. We’ve had little snow and temperatures have been about 20 degrees above average. It’s been quite pleasant. But good things must come to an end. We’re facing a at least a week of single digit temperatures for highs and below zero at night. The time has come to find out whether these two old folks can endure.

We’ve had many years experience with the Dakota winters. They didn’t slow us down at all. We attended all the indoor rodeos at the Black Hills Stock show (going on now) even if temperatures were 40 below 0. After the rodeo, tow trucks cruised the parking lots, giving jumps to vehicles that wouldn’t start in the bitter cold. We used their services one night when Hubby left the lights on in our van. It was a very cold ride home that night.

In the old days, people would leave their cars running in the store parking lots so their cars while they went inside. They didn’t have to worry about them not starting again, plus they’d be warm inside. No one seemed to worry about the cars getting stolen. I was never brave enough to do that, mostly because I tended to take longer to shop than I planned. I didn’t want to put gas in the car any more than I had to.

The worst part was when it was sub-zero with a wind blowing. Wind chills will freeze the hair in your nose as fast as you breathe and make your lungs ache if you breath in too much. But it doesn’t keep people from going out in it. The ranchers do it all the time. They are really tough.

My mother-in-law attended high school girls’ basketball games in 90 below zero wind chill. Seems crazy now, but she loved watching them play. She was a South Dakota girl so she bundled up and joined the crowd in the gym. She was always a big supporter of girls’ sports.

I’m thankful Hubby and I are retired. If it’s too cold, we don’t have to get out in it. We can observe everything from a nice warm house and talk about how we used to get out in it. However, Hubby shovels the snow so he’s got it worse than me. I’ll keep a warm pot of tea going for when he comes in.

Not long ago, I talked to my mom and asked if her weather was cold or hot. She replied that it was cold, with temperatures in the 50s. She asked me the same question and I told her it was warm with temperatures in the 50s. So like everything else in life, it depends on your viewpoint from where you are. One person’s hot is another person’s cold. It’s all relative. We do what we must to get by.

5 Responses

  1. we say it’s cold if it’s 50 also. our “not very insulated” small home in AZ gets cold in those kinds of temperatures. Stay warm, and like you said, at being retired you don’t need to go out. once the winter is over, you will remember all those great days in SD in the warmer temps.

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