You see, I've done my cold weather duty. I grew up in North Dakota. (Pause for effect....).
Every time I say that sentence - "I grew up in North Dakota..." - two things invariably happen.
- People blurt out "South Dakota? I had a cousin (or uncle, or hangover, or whatever) in South Dakota one time...and then go on to blab about it, completely unaware that they've named the wrong state.
- Once you correct them, they say "Oh - it's COLD up there. You must be used to this."
If I were to repeatedly whack you upside the head with a 3 hole punch, at what point would you get used to it? Sure, it would hurt the first few times, but maybe after the tenth or fifteenth time, don't you think you'd start saying "You know, the ol' 3 hole punch upside the head, that's not so bad....when I was a kid we got whacked with a 5 hole punch, now buddy, that hurt!".
One does not grow accustom to the bitter cold any more than one grows accustom to bamboo under one's fingernails. Excessive experience with it does not denote a certain fondness for it. I do not like it.
In December of 1989, Kelsey had I had been married a scant six months. We moved to Williston, North Dakota to houseparent at a boys home. Even by North Dakotan standards, Williston is a cow town. Fifteen miles from Montana, it stands as the beginning of the frontier, the place where Lewis and Clark saw their first grizzly bear. It is also a place of bitter cold.
We drove a VW Jetta back in the day. We kept it parked in the heated garage, but even then, at 40 below zero, you could drive only about five blocks before every bushing, rubber bump stop, belt, cushion and tire became like concrete.
I did not like it then. I do not like it now.
Pray for warmth. A spirit of burning. Whatever. We were not meant to live this way. Can I get a witness?