As I write this, it is -17 degrees Fahrenheit (-27 Celsius) with a whopping high of -9 F. (-22 C.). That is f@#$ing cold by any means. I saw a picture of some college kids in Alaska in their underpants standing next to a temperature sign that said -45 F. I can understand that being Alaska and everything, but this is the lower 48.
The interesting thing about this part of the country is it's geography. There is the Red River that flows north all the way to Hudson Bay. So Arctic air just settles into the Red River valley and can linger for days at a time. The people that settled this area were very hardy folks. Mostly Scandinavian coming from very cold parts of the world. You can probably tell from our accents that we come from this area, dontcha know. They found that the farmland was nearly the best in the world and so that is why they stayed.
My truck is a diesel so it always needs to be plugged in or else you are not going anywhere. Auto starts are worth their weight in gold up here. If you fuel up your truck you have to make sure you have a winter blend, otherwise it will gel up and not run. They use a blend of 50% #1 and 50% #2. Plus, I add a fuel supplement just in case. Too go any where you have to start the truck 15-20 minutes ahead of time. Hopefully the day before you left the heater on high. You get in and the seats are frozen. I can't grab and hold onto the steering wheel without gloves on. Once you start to roll down the street the shocks are so stiff they don't do anything. You can't go over 40 mph because the transmission fluid is so thick. You have to drive it a little to get it to warm up.
I am surprised that there aren't more auto thefts here. Everywhere you go, people leave their cars running. Nobody shuts them off. It is against the law to leave your keys in your car but apparently it isn't enforced here in the winter. Maybe the punishment for stealing someones car doubles in the winter.
We dress in many, many layers to keep warm. Sometimes that doesn't even help. Then when you step into a store , you are sweating because it is so hot.
There are winter activities you can enjoy here. Don't get me wrong. I used to have snowmobiles, ATV's, snow skis, warm winter clothing and have even done some ice fishing. So there are opportunities to get out and enjoy the cold if a person wanted too. But we got rid of all of that to pursue this lifestyle. I enjoyed snowmobiling so much one time that I frostbit my cheek. Not severe enough to wreck my well chiselled features, just enough that when I put my hand on it to warm it. It was frozen solid. It was weird feeling that and knowing it could have been worse.
So this goes on and on for 3-4 months at a time. At least it is too cold to snow. Yes, that does happen here. So if anyone wonders why we really are not fond of the snow and cold, that is part of it. I could go on about what it does to you mentally, ( Lisa is really crabby!) but I don't want to be long winded. If you ask us if we like the snow, please don't feel offended if we blurt out some obscenities before we catch ourselves and politely say "No".
Our new friend is called alcohol. It is also called anti-freeze up here. So stay frosty my friends. We start heading south in a few days.