January 31, 2024

Just My Opinion - by Mary Kilen

What A Welcome Break!
I’m not delusional. I know it is still January and winter is likely not done with us here on the plains. Like everyone else, though, I’ve really been enjoying the break this past week.
After enduring more than a week of subzero temperatures, the weathermen were predicting a warmup. I admit to being a skeptic. After all, the best day of weather seems to be at the end of the seven-day forecast and it just keeps moving to that last day.
As temperatures began warming towards those predicted 40s and 50s, I found myself thinking as I do every year about how different temperatures feel depending on what month it is.
We ran into Minot on Saturday. I was getting out of the car wearing just a sweater. Dale and I were enjoying the warmer temperatures, sun and blessed lack of wind.
Sunday was more of the same for us and even Buddy seemed to be really enjoying the warmup.
As I write my column on Monday, I was doing the same thing at the office today. I stepped out in just my sweater and thought how nice it was.
Then I looked at my phone and realized it was just a couple of degrees over 40.
Isn’t it funny how after a brutal cold snap that temperatures in the 40s feel glorious? Predictions of 50 degrees have you feeling like you need to be outside.
So here we are at the end of January and it is in the 40s. We are celebrating the break in the weather. Now consider if that same 40s happens in April or May. Then we are complaining that it feels cold and we need our coats.
We are creatures of habit. We expect certain temperatures at certain times of year. Any deviation from the “norm” has us reacting like we are either entitled to better or blessed to experience nicer weather.
I don’t know why it works that way. I’m certainly not going to complain about thinking that the weather this week is wonderful. I might mutter about how much time I’m spending inside taking care of business, but I’ll enjoy every minute of this break.
I’m sure that winter will return. After all, it is only January. Not to curse myself or anything, but I’m kind of expecting a return to winter in February. After all, it is coming up on tournament season. Wrestlers start their regional tournaments this weekend with State Wrestling just a couple of weeks away. After that it will be tournament season for both girls’ and boys’ basketball. I wouldn’t mind not having to deal with extreme cold or snow heading to any of the tournaments, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it happens.
A New Hobby At Our House
It started at Christmas. Dale and I were walking through Scheels looking for Christmas presents for the grandkids. He got distracted by the Legos displays. Most specifically, he found himself drawn to the Great Pyramid kit. The kids like Legos, so I told him he should pick it up. They would help him with it. Sure enough, Christmas came and Dale pulled out this very intricate kit and the kids helped him get started.
After they left, Dale and I spent some time finishing it together. It was fun. It got us away from screens. It challenges your mind and dexterity. Unfortunately, we also found ourselves kind of fascinated with the process.
We soon found ourselves shopping for more of the kits. Since then, we have put together several kits including the Taj Mahal, the White House and a Japanese temple.
At just about any time right now you’ll find an unfinished project on the dining room table. I laugh when I think about it sometimes, because essentially, we are turning into our parents. Instead of jigsaw puzzles, we’re putting together more of a 3-D puzzle with bricks.
We’ll see how long we keep working on kits, especially since finding ones that interest us can be a little challenging. We still have a couple more to finish for now. Dale is now looking forward to our Vegas trip, but with a little different purpose. He usually stays at the hotel when I make my shopping excursion to one of the malls. He’s planning on going with me now because he wants to go to the Lego store.
This could turn into an expensive hobby, but it sure is fun to work on something like this together.