A Return to Normal

The weather guy in the Fargo Forum announced this week that we were soon to return to our “normal” weather  pattern of ten months of wind.  July and August are typically the least windy months here on the northern Plains. Oh yay! I can hardly wait for the wind to start blowing!

Our weather shifted abruptly on Thursday morning when we had a torrential rain storm with no wind or hail. It had been hot and dry for weeks. Now it is muddy. Tonight, lows in the 40’s are expected.  The birds are flocking.  Autumn is coming. It seemed like summer would never end. Now I wonder where it went so quickly.

I wonder what we will return to, weather-wise and society-wise, when things return to “normal”. The header photo is of the normal or Gaussian curve.

What are the typical weather patterns you remember when you were growing up?  What do you want “normal” to be like in your life come January?

 

 

74 thoughts on “A Return to Normal”

  1. I see PJ has posted the news about Anna’s husband here already.

    I cannot help but remember the last time I saw so many of you in RL was the memorial for our little jailbird, and I am flailing about because I do not know what we do in a time like this when we cannot physically stand in this space together.

    Our little family has had the luxury of being able to simply burrow down in our little bunker and hopefully ride this storm out, mostly without driving each other crazy.

    It is strange that not being able to gather with people I mostly know only virtually is so unsettling.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. My mind is totally distracted by Anna’s loss. If this is the first you’ve seen about his, visit end of yesterday’s blog.

    In an attempt to get back to present day:
    I like to think we always had a white Christmas, but as an adult (and esp. a parent) I recall several where either an early snow had melted, or there just hadn’t been an accumulation.

    I would like a January with no more than a few days below zero.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Growing up in the Twin Cities, I remember T-storms rolling through in summer that broke a long, hot and dry spell, and then we had days like today in MN. Now it seems that the storms roll through but more often than not it doesn’t cool off and the humidity stays high.

    Normal in January means plenty of snow to XC ski on, highs in the 20s, lows around 0, and a calm political climate.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Like BIR I’m having trouble focusing this morning.

    I grew up in the armpit of the nation, St. Louis, so normally I don’t worry too much about the weather here. I will have to say however that these above 90 days (when there’s so many in a string like we had this past week), are really hard when you don’t have air-conditioning. I am very happy for the cooler days and the cooler nights.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Morning-
    My siblings are getting together (“Together”) this afternoon and doing a ‘driving tour’. My oldest sister is visiting from PA, and over the last few months have been talking about neighborhood things and how as kids, we’d be part of the 4H tours before the fair. So we decided to do our own.
    So all staying in our own cars, and not going into each others homes, but stopping to see the landscaping projects, or new outdoor fire pit or whatever. Plus a visit to the old Townhall, (Where I still often have meetings so I have a key) and we’ll pick up the 4H history books, and end the day with Pizza outside.
    We talked about putting it off. But you don’t know about tomorrow. So we decided we just need to do it.

    I’m so worn out from everything happening in the world. I want ‘normal’ to just be ‘another’ day and not have to wonder what has hit the fan today. We need to fix some things in society, but is there a way to do that without looting and burning?

    Sigh.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. This takes me back to the time when I was part of the youngest generation, and any visit to the great-aunt’s house had a required tour of the garden.

      I enjoyed that, but never thought someday I would long for something like that.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. My family had a nice tour. Saw Sue’s new landscaping, Ernie’s garden and refinished deck, learned a few things about the farm from when they were kids, saw Joanne’s garden and landscaping projects, and enjoyed looking through my Grandfathers photo albums. Ellen, the one visiting from PA, gave us all our birth year, yearly diary our grandmother kept. Fun reading, but makes me want to read all the rest.
      Only got wrapped up in politics once and had to re-direct the conversation. (There’s always at least one rabid republican in the bunch…)
      But all in all, glad we did it and had a good time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am not sure that we will ever return to normal. This is all so exhausting and chaotic, that I feel like it is changing everything. Back in April, we all thought everything would have passed by now.

    I suppose that the rules of nature and the bell curve dictate that it will change, it will return to some form of “normal” whatever that is. But this pandemic I think will change some things forever.

    Weather patterns in NW Iowa where I grew up, just south of Renee, was windy and extreme. I did not appreciate living on the edge of the Great Plains because of that. I much prefer city life where there are more protections. But I don’t think the family there saw city life as protective. They viewed city life as overwhelming and restrictive—many of them still see it that way.

    My sister just sent me a story of my mother’s to make into another children’s book about the Armistice Day Blizzard in 1940. That was an extreme weather event that went on for days. My mother was 12 years old when it took place. She always talked about walking to school in warm weather, then the weather suddenly taking a turn. Her father had to hook the horses to the sled and go get them and the neighbors because they could not see well enough to walk 1/4 mile back home again. I finally finished sorting and scanning generations of pictures, papers, wills, letters, etc into a digital record, so now I can start this book.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. We have a barn swallow nest at the left corner of the front door. We love the barn swallows and we put up with the poopy mess they make there. Was cool to watch the 5 youngsters take wing earlier this summer. And then someone built another nest on the right corner of the door. Really?? But OK.
    Two days ago I picked up one of the youngsters that had fallen out and put it back in the next. There’s 3 little heads peeking out and being fed through out the day. They gotta hurry up; they’ll be heading south soon.

    And I think the cranes are gone now. Been a couple days since I saw just 2 fly overhead. Haven’t seen or heard them since.
    Steve- reading your book on cranes and it’s really fascinating. They are amazing animals.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Ben. One of the saddest things I ever read was Aldo Leopold’s chapter on sandhill cranes in his classic Sand County Almanac. When Leopold wrote, he and other lovers of wild things were convinced the sandhill would soon go extinct. So his chapter on them has a tragic, elegiac quality. Cranes are still threatened by modern civilization, and it scares me that so many birds depend on one bit of real estate, the Platte River. But sandhills have proven to be tough customers who continue to thrive in a changing world.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Back from spending some time down at the lake… sometimes we bike down there with our books and find a bench and read there, just to mix it up a bit. There’s the lake and the bluffs, a couple of ducks, cars going over the bridge between the lakes, joggers and families biking by a few yards away. Sat staring at everything for a while, and this irrational thought emerged (for the first time ever):
    When someone dies, why doesn’t the whole world just stop, pause for a bit? Doesn’t that feel like what should happen?
    But no, for everyone but that person’s close humans, everything goes on as if nothing happened.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes, that’s the way it seems to go. I always feel that the funeral luncheon is an expression of that, and the size of one’s appetite is inversely proportionate to the closeness of one’s relationship to the deceased.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. The obvious changes in weather are linked to global warming. Winters used to be predictably frigid, with occasional periods of brutal cold. Now planners often have to call off the Beargrease dog race or the Vasaloppet ski race because air temps are too high and/or there isn’t enough snow. The coldest winters I’ve experienced were in the late 1960s and the 1970s. I was a grad student, walking from home to the U and back each day. We did daily hikes between 12 and 16 city blocks each way, and that could be an ordeal.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They had tunnels at the University of Manitoba so we only had to go outside when we went to our vehicles. The parking lots had electrical outlets so we could plug in our block heaters.

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      1. Visitors are often amused by the Skyway system in downtown Minneapolis. The enclosed passageways are something like elevated tunnels connecting stores so people don’t have to walk outside. Because all the tall buildings create rivers of wind at the sidewalk level, walking indoors is considerably more comfortable. The Skyway system was built at a time when winters were always cold, sometimes painfully cold.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Having worked downtown I can tell you that the skyways also save time since you don’t have to put on the coat, put on the boots, put on the hat, put on the scarf…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yes, the skyways allow businesses and especially restaurants to thrive in the downtown areas. Trudging through snowy sidewalks when you only have an hour for lunch doesn’t have a lot of appeal, no matter how good the food is, or how much of a bargain the merchandise might be.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. Yes, the skyways allow businesses and especially restaurants to thrive in the downtown areas. Trudging through snowy sidewalks when you only have an hour for lunch doesn’t have a lot of appeal, no matter how good the food is, or how much of a bargain the merchandise might be.

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      2. There were tunnels at Carleton as well; Unfortunately they didn’t connect up the buildings on the other side of the lake to the main campus. So if you were in a dorm on the other side of the lake there was no hope for you.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Saw some pictures recently that proved the snow banks were bigger when we were kids. However, that happen because the snow plows were different. These days, with the curve on the plow blade and with a little more speed, they can throw the snow so far off the edges, it doesn’t built up like it did. Not totally eliminating them, but prevents the huge piles on the sides all winter that just drift in again.
      And road design has helped; they try not to have the steep banks next to the roads where the snow collects.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. To be honest, at the moment I’m so discouraged and sad that it feels like normal is a thing of the past.

    Got word this morning from my sister that my one remaining uncle in Denmark passed away. He turned 90 in February, so had a long and productive life, and I’m sure he was ready to go. But as mig alluded to above, I, too, feel disconnected and at loose ends. Unable to reach out in any meaningful way, even to those who are close, geographically speaking. And at such a great distance, it’s impossible.

    On Thursday I attended a memorial service for a woman I worked closely with for fourteen years. She died suddenly the previous Tuesday. And this morning’s visit with Philip, my friend who has been in hospice care for months now, may well be last I see of him. Anna’s tragedy has really brought home to me how precarious “normal” is.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. PJ, I don’t want to turn your comment into another political speech. I’ll just say that US government has been knocked entirely out of normal patterns to an extent I never could have believed. My faith in other people has been damaged to an extent I don’t think I’ll overcome. I used to dread a US president getting us into a stupid war. Now I understand that worse things can happen . . . are happening.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Steve, I completely agree with your comment. But I’m also feeling kind of schizophrenic about it these days. In general and overall I am really disappointed in people or should I say Americans. But then I run into individual acts of kindness that make me think everything is not lost. Yesterday I dropped off a meal at Anna‘s house and came around the corner to find her neighbor cutting her grass. Such a small bit of kindness I am sure meant wonders to her. And if there are individual acts of kindness still happening out there, maybe there is still some hope.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I think most of us are feeling the same, Sherrilee. Few of us would say we have given up hope with respect to other people. And yet my natural optimism has taken some heavy shocks. My faith in other people has been shattered, although I could return to my old mindset if circumstances allow. Right now, I don’t expect to see that in my lifetime.

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  11. annas husband reminds me that we are all walking around oblivious to the reality that life is fragile. today id the 2 year anniversary of my friend wileys death and i have come to realize that the secret he kept did allow me to have a different relationship than we would have had if he had told me he had no hope of survival as we planned what i thought was a future and he found a way to keep our friendship on a no regrets basis until the end.
    normal is so affected by the circumstances of the moment that we can only be responsive and appreciative and hopeful and thankful.
    everyday is one day closer to the end but thats inevitable. i saw a george benard shaw quote today i liked
    “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful.”
    id be willing to celebrate a new normal and am hopeful that the next year will bring greatness and growth and an appreciation i didnt have earlier when i took much for granted.
    kurt vonneguts favorite uncle had that saying i love.

    “But I had a good uncle, my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life-insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well- read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
    SO I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
    -Kurt Vonnegut “A man without a country” p. 132”

    i love this group and am so appreciative that we come together daily.
    it really is nice…

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Your cricket observation reminds me of a joke. An Ojibwe chief is concerned that the approaching winter could be tough. He asks his people to lay up a lot of firewood. Still worried, he calls the weather bureau and asks what their projection is. “Gonna be a nasty winter.” So he tells his tribe to cut more firewood. The firewood stacks are getting pretty high. He calls the weather guys again. They tell him, “Man, we’re expecting a really bad winter! Maybe the worst ever.” The chief asks how they know. “Well, we’ve been watching the Ojibwes, for they know all about this kind of thing. And you wouldn’t believe how much firewood they are stacking up!”

      (Please, no scolding for racism. This joke appeared in an Indian journal.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Our Arikara friend uses the height of the summer’s Buffalo berries in the draws to predict the depth of the snow. The higher the berries, the deeper the snow.

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  12. I just had an alarming weather story appear on a news feed on my phone. It said a cold spell was going to hit the Prairies with possible lows in the teens tonight. I then realized that the information was from Environment Canada and they were speaking in Celsius!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. In difficult times I reflect on what Jesus said, “Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. But even the hairs in your head are all numbered. So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
    God sees our sorrows and I firmly believe that He will undo all the hurt and pain we presently experience.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wes, I gotta say, from your earlier comments over the years, I never would have expected that you would quote scripture. I always love the Trail’s surprises.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. For those of you missing The Fair. Here’s a No Fair song posted on FB today by Ann Reed with the following comment:
    “No Fair
    words and music by Ann Reed with help from Dale Connelly and many wonderful people on Facebook.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks PJ. That made my day! I have had weather change headaches for 3 days and I AM CRABBY and unbearable to live with. That helped a lot. Please send Lou your sympathies.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If misery loves company, Lou may find some solace in knowing that Hans finds himself in a similar situation at our house. I swear, I don’t know what I’ll do to him if he brings one more overgrown cucumber into the house.

        This afternoon I brought four large ones down to the Sunday afternoon free produce exchange in our neighborhood. I came back with a very nice jalapeño pepper, another pepper of unknown origin and taste, a couple of stems of lemon grass, six tomatillos, and a small bunch of mizuna. I was no sooner back in the house than Hans sheepishly came in from the garden with yet two more overgrown cukes. Aargh!. At this point I have pretty much cooked every recipe on the internet that calls for cucumbers, I even put some in tabouleh, just for the crunch, dontcha know.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. cucumber and butter on white bread is like drinking spring water . so clean and crisp. that and a cup of black tea is all there was fo me to eat at a the week long trade show in cologne germany for 10 years. i learned to love them and look forward to each one

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  15. Normal weather doesn’t mean as much to me as it might have years ago. Relocating from Moorhead to Ohio has put me in a different climate. I have to accept the anecdotal reports of long term residents here. They relate more rain. Few sunny days. More icy conditions in winter. Less snow. I’ll have to continue observation.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I never knew Anna’s husband but this I know.
    Ecclesiastes 7:1, “A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death is better than the day of birth.”
    From what Trail Baboons related, he had an excellent reputation! As painful as recollection will be, the remembrance of the good done in his lifetime continues.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know how many of the baboons have ever met Anna’s husband, I know I haven’t. In fact, I have met Anna only three or four times. But this I know, Anna is among the younger baboons and has a teen-aged daughter. The sudden nature of his death, in the midst of all of the other chaos going on at the moment, is bound to have an impact. My heart aches for them. From what I know of Anna, she has a pretty strong support system of friends and family, and I trust that she will be OK as she continues on this journey that’s her life.

      Liked by 1 person

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