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Janu"weary" in North Dakota

Updated on January 19, 2010
Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean resides in North Dakota, where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.

the snow was perfect for Christmas but the frigid temps we could do without
the snow was perfect for Christmas but the frigid temps we could do without
kids still go to school in the frigid cold weather  (photo credit: The Bismarck Tribune)
kids still go to school in the frigid cold weather (photo credit: The Bismarck Tribune)

Near Record Low

Last year Bismarck, North Dakota almost recorded an all time low record on January 15 with minus 44 degrees. The record was minus 45.

It's January in North Dakota. Today on January 8, our thermometer showed -33 degrees F. Right now the wind isn't blowing but if it does pick up, it could feel closer to -50 degrees. I know, I know its North Dakota and we should be used to our winters by now. Snow and cold weather is fine and we do like to say it keeps out the riff-raff. But when the temperature dips down to being downright dangerous it's just not fun anymore.

I'm thankful because I get to stay indoors all day, along with my daughter. I opted not to bring her to school today or take her to physical therapy. The extreme cold is hard on her little body and dealing with her wheelchair in this weather is not fun by any means. I do however, feel for my husband who is outdoors most of the day delivering home medical supplies. And then there is my dad who is out trying keep an 18-wheeler running in the extreme cold, my two brothers tyring to stay warm working outside in the oilfield and my uncle trying to keep his livestock warm and fed.

Yes, it's January in North Dakota, or as the title of this hub states, Janu"weary." (I got this from the title of a poem my dad wrote which I will share). Winter for us sometimes starts in October and by the time January rolls around we are ready for spring, or at least temps above freezing. We usually have our coldest weather in January and the cold snaps often make us weary of winter. With the excitement of the holidays and the ringing in of the new year over, everything seems to slow to a crawl. Vehicles run slower (that is if they start), water seems to flow out of the faucet at a slower pace and the days seem to stretch out even longer. The only thing that moves quickly is people bustling to get from one warm place to another.

On the bright side, January does mean that we're one month closer to February and Spring is in sight. Really, though I should know better than to jump ahead of myself - last year we had a blizzard the last weekend in March.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I really do love living in North Dakota aka the frozen tundra. It is my choice to stay here and suffer through these cold winters. But maybe someday I will take my husband, who comes from our neighbor to the north, seriously when he quips, "we could move to Canada where it's warm."

My dad and his truck in warmer weather. Also pictured, my mom and two of my nephews.
My dad and his truck in warmer weather. Also pictured, my mom and two of my nephews.


Written by Michael D. Lawlar, winter of 1997

Hello Hello how are you

Colder than cold, and almost blue

It warmed up to 20 below here today

Lots of ranchers running out of hay

The horses, cows, and deer are hungry too

Hay bales are becoming fewer and few

It sure is nice to have a good warm truck

Heater keeps on heating - can't trust in good luck

Keeping the house and kids warm is a full time chore

It keeps me running full bore

Propane bills and electricity are sky high

A lot higher than air conditioning in July

We're heating with wood and lignite coal

Keeping the heat bill low is our goal

Carry wood in ashes out

Its lots of fun beyond a doubt

Getting thru this winter is the name of the game

Surviving it may lead us to fame

From the 18 wheeler this is Michael Dean

Lots of winter yet to be seen

Loading up getting it done

Winter trucking is lots of fun!


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