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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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    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Agaglia - thanks so much for your comment. Yeah, we just have to laugh sometimes about the cold weather - I do feel bad tho for people who have to work outdoors in these temps. I'll have to check out your hub!

    • agaglia profile image


      7 years ago

      My dad was a trucker too, so I hear ya with the poem. Nice one. thanks for the memories. I wrote a hub about the cold too- mostly to complain. It is supposed to be a funny little rant - sometimes we have to laugh to get through it. Check out "It's too *&%^ cold!" on my hub. see if you agree.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      E. Grand Forks does not have very warm winters, either. Sorry to here you're leaving MN - good luck in California!

    • Jane@CM profile image


      9 years ago

      Cari - brrrrrrrrrrrr! My husband grew up in E. Grand Forks and I dislike going there in the winter, we actually lived up there for two years. Not that central Minnesota is much better, but I think you all stay colder - longer. Happy I'm moving to Cali - this is our last winter here.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      eovery - I did not hear of any place that got that much snow - but I do know that the drifts caused by the wind can easily get that high. Thanks for stopping in!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Hi Ken! I think you would love ND - it really is a beautiful state especially in the western part with the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Late spring or early fall would be a great time to come!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      ehern33 - 25 degrees is cold when you're used to way warmer temps. I lived in North Carolina for two years and it was cold when it hit below 50 degrees! Yes, I admire the hard-working men who work outside in this weather!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      coffeesnob - Yes, why go out side unless you absolutely have to? Last night was the first time I got out since Wednesday!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      9 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      I really want to visit & explore North Dakota...but I WILL NOT be doing so during winter months. :>)

      I enjoyed this. Thanks for writing it & sharing your Dad's poem. Put another log on the fire & stay warm.

    • ehern33 profile image


      9 years ago

      I feel for you, that is just to darn cold for this southerner..LOL Even in Florida it is cold right now, like 25 degrees. No where near your cold but to cold for our sensitive skin.. Thanks for sharing and the men in your life have guts..

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Cari Jean

      I don't like winter very much. here in the Ozarks we hit a -17 wind chill. I have been staying in too. good article and the poem was fun to read - kudos to your dad!

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Hi, Cari Jean,

      I was sent some pictures in an e-mail that showed areas of N Dakota with 6 to 10 feet of snow. I hope you are not prisoner in one of these areas.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      breakfastpop - I'm just ready for it to be above freezing!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Pamela99 - I lived in North Carolina when it snowed once - I think it was like 8 inches - didn't last long. Everyone was sort of freakin' out about driving in it but I thought it was great!

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      TINA V - I agree the snow does look beautiful esp. when it's fresh and sparkly! I'm just glad I don't have to shovel the stuff!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      The snow is beautiful, the cold can be refreshing, but after a while it's time to thaw out. I'm ready! Nice hub.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where we got the cold wind off the lake, but nothing compared to what you describe. I'm having a fit here in Jacksonville, FL because we are getting down to the high 20's at night and 40's during the day, although it might snow tomorrow which would be extremely unusual. The last was in 1989. No one goes out as there is no such thing as street cleaners here. Stay by the fire and keep warm!

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      9 years ago

      Snow looks beautiful and it seems fun during the holidays. But sometimes it is really a headache. It can make a person's day gloomy too. You only have to wait if the weather is bad, sit down, relax, and have a cup of coffee.

      Nice hub and photos too. Smile and enjoy your day! :-D


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