North Dakota is a state of changes. Many people here say “You don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes, it’ll change,” and it’s very true. There is no continuity, no sense of method to the madness that is a North Dakota weather-week.
But we’ve learned to adapt. You wear layers when you leave the house in the mornings. That way, if you suddenly have a half-day of Indian Summer, you can tear off a couple layers, and still be comfortable. And if the temperatures plummet towards quitting time, you simply re-apply said layers, and you’re nice and toasty for the drive home. Simple? Simple.
What about on those fall days, when you wake up to a chill, so you apply an extra layer, and a nice hooded jacket, but when you get to work, it starts to drizzle? Well, you’ve got an umbrella in the car, so you can pull that out – and you’re covered, literally.
And then it starts to flurry – those evil little white flakes of sky-dandruff that fall and make everything slick, before you had a chance to winterize your car (because it’s only September, dammit). Well, you haven’t forgotten completely how to be a defensive driver, just go a little slower on the way home, right? Well, you’re forgetting about all those numb-nuts out there who live permanently in North Dakota and yet have forgotten what the roads are like when they’re iced over (Wishful driving at its best). Ok, so take the back streets, Wait, which ones are bad in the winter again? Crap, the one I’m on. Ok, changing streets.
And once you get home, the clouds lift, the flurries stop, they melt almost instantly into the ground, and disappear. So when you walk in the front door, your OtherHalf turns and says “What kept you?” You try to explain, but he looks out the window, sees nothing, and looks skeptically at you.
And so you change out of all your layers, into some nice, toasty sweats, just in time for one of the children to call you and request a ride.
Ah well, it could be worse, right? At least there’s no earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, or flaming tornadoes. Yet. For a rural state, North Dakota is in a constant state of flux. No two days are ever the same.
And now the trees have started changing, and I want to go out and hug them for their fabulous color choices. But the bark’s still damp from this morning’s slushy sleet, so I guess I’ll just go outside and enjoy the sunset – while it lasts.