Have you entered the storehouses of the snow...Job 38:22

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That Four Letter Word S--W

I had a good day yesterday.  That's odd for South Dakota.  Although perhaps it's not as odd as I make it out to be on this blog.  The problem never has been really South Dakota, the problem was always me.  South Dakota does make me crazy.  South Dakota does make me sad.  South Dakota has drug me to the pits of depression. However, it's really not because South Dakota is some how inherently evil.  It just is like oil and vinegar, or any other two elements that can never fully integrate, I am not a good in South Dakota.

It's fine to say that South Dakota can't change for me, to say that it is me who has to change to accommodates it's ways, it's weather, it's idiosyncrasies, it's people.  But I can't.  I've tried. I can however, learn to navigate this hostile terrain safely.

There was a bit of rain yesterday that was a harbinger of the snow to come.  I've been checking weather.com, accuweather.com, weatherbug and the national weather service.  All with the anticipation of the dreaded four letter word, snow.

When I was a kid, I think I loved snow.  I remember building snow forts.  While I pine away with romanticized visions of life in Brooklyn, Brooklyn has changed perhaps even more than I have.  There are but scan few Norwegians left in my old neighborhood.  8th Avenue is a China Town.  The 17 of May parade, still held in Brooklyn, now marches in a different direction on a different Avenue. Salem Gospel Tabernacle is no longer Salem, it is Sunset Park Community church.  There are no string bands or Smörgåsbord or Juletree Fests.  But it still snows in Brooklyn.  Snow seems to be a constant in my life.

I had a conversation about snow today with my husband.  It really wasn't about snow.  It was about me and snow.  I've been doing all this weather checking because I have to head south again for class on Saturday.  I was contemplating do I leave tomorrow or Thursday.  Two days of driving in a little 2003 Chevy Cavalier that like me, is feeling her age.  I've driven in extreme snow many times and survived.  But I'd rather not do it again.
Cows, South Dakota and Snow - all synonymous
Oh I signed on for this so I supposed I shouldn't complain.  But here is where this all comes together.  Snow can be predicted but is always unpredictable.  A slight change can dump more snow or less snow.  Today's snow will not be like tomorrow's snow.  The snow in Brooklyn is a different experience than the snow in Missouri.  The trace snow in Tennessee does not compare to the mountains of snow in Connecticut. And of course nothing is like the powdery whiteout blizzards of South Dakota.

I want predictable.  Oh not that I'm not fun loving and like adventure and new experiences, I do... but when they are done, I want predictable.  I want to know that if I plan to go to Tennessee on this day, that's the day I'll go.  I want to know that if I plan to get up in the morning and do this or that, that by the time the day is over I've done this or that.  I want only occasional changes in my life-not constant the every day something changes patterns of my life here.

Thats the problem here in South Dakota -- besides the cows and the rudeness and all the other things I complain about, the real problem is me.  I want some stability.  I want to know where home is.  I want to not have my life reordered and changed.  Like the rapid changing weather patterns here in this Storehouse of Snow, I find the changes paralyzing and depressing.  If the weather has to change, can it not change so fast? Can I have a warning that it's changing?

My husband's job makes extreme demands on him.  He's become a soldier - no I don't mean he's joined the military, I mean he is a soldier.  He's always ready for the changes and demands. He sets aside his emotions and just does it. He never checks the weather reports.  He never considers whether the weather might change.  He just packs up and goes.  I can't do that - that's why he's adjusted to South Dakota and all the places we've lived so much faster than I have.

Snow is coming - change is coming - and it keeps coming - the cold dark depression of winter is setting in to South Dakota.  I'm not ready for it.  I don't think I will ever be ready for it.  But it will come nonetheless.  I will drive tomorrow, or the next day and go south.  I will have Thanksgiving at "home" - if it is home? in Tennessee.  Then I'll return to the snow and leave again in a few days.  Such is life right now -- constant change impinging on a life that wants stability.

Until then, I guess I need to lace up my boots, button my coat, tie my scarf and navigate through another South Dakota winter.


  1. I would really hate all that snow. What little we get in Tennessee is plenty!
    Joyce I can't imagine living somewhere I was so miserable. But you just have to hang in there, be nice and polite even if no one else is. Keep Tennesse in your heart and remember we are ready for your return. We'll say Hiddee and Thank you, nice to see ya, come on in have a set, did ya eat yet? Way Lordy have some tea!
    And keep smilin' no matter what!
    Cynthia Ross Heath

  2. I do speak better english than this(most of the time). Just bringing you some southern hospitality, and hopefully a smile to your face.
    Have a great day!

  3. Aww yes, Southern Hospitality, I'm ready for it - actually, I hate to say this, but this is the only place I've lived that seemed to lack hospitality.

  4. Joyce, I can relate to your emotions about the unpredictable weather and snow as it is much milder where I grew up. I am never ready for winter or snow. Have a safe trip...

  5. How insightful. You are learning so much about yourself in this journey!!


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