October 25, 2023

Just My Opinion - By Mary Kilen

Big Change Coming
It started with the first release from The National Weather Service in Bismarck last Thursday. It said that mild temperatures will give way to much colder temperatures later this week. In addition to these much colder temperatures, there is a moderate chance for rain and snow, especially on Thursday and Friday. There is a slight chance for heavy snow across parts of the Central and Northern Plains, including western and central North Dakota, late in the week.
The National Weather Service encourages you to stay up to date on their website, weather.gov/bis. You can also follow their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter/X, @NWSBismarck on both platforms.
Then came the weekend and the “promised update if conditions change” that landed in my email on Monday morning. It had nothing good to say, unless of course you are ready for a taste of winter.
Now the key messages are that there is a medium potential (40 to 70%) for at least four inches of snow over northwest North Dakota Wednesday through Wednesday night. That will be followed by another round of heavier snow possible across most of western and central North Dakota on Thursday through Thursday night. Odds are increasing that significant storm total accumulations (over six inches) will occur over parts of western and central North Dakota.
Much of Mountrail County is in that “medium potential”, while the far southeast part of the county is in the “low” potential. Of course, they planned another update later on Monday and who knows how much that will change.
Note: The afternoon update now has us in a high probability for at least six inches of snow and a medium probability for up to twelve inches. There is another briefing now set for Tuesday at 11 a.m. since the paper will be done by then, I guess I’ll just sputter at the NWS with the rest of you!
Impacts, especially for Thursday, point to potential hazardous driving conditions. Again they encourage you to stay up to date with the forecast and have a winter weather survival kit if traveling.
This time they are also telling to you prepare your home, buy needed supplies and have a plan in case you lose power.
Prepare your vehicle by making sure it is weather ready including a safety kit, cold weather gear and all the necessities you may need to deal with the storm.
Monitor the forecast and stay up to date with the latest forecast information as the storm approaches. This is tricky sometimes, because who knows how much that forecast will change from now until it actually gets here.
I’m not ready for this. Of course, I’m never ready. Winter could wait to show up and snow in February and I still wouldn’t be ready.
Meanwhile, the temperature forecast doesn’t look great at all. We are definitely supposed to get an early taste of winter temperatures for the next week or more with highs in the twenties and lows in the single digits.
It doesn’t look like Halloween temperatures are going to be at all cooperative this year. Parents may be looking to bundle up their little ones under the costumes to stay warm while they check out the Trail of Treats and other events set for the day as well as door to door trick or treating.
It’s nothing new if you have lived in North Dakota for years. I remember buying Amanda’s costumes at least a size larger to accommodate the snowsuit or coats. That was especially interesting the year she wanted to be a belly dancer. I can remember chasing costume parts through snow banks. It’s never fun, but it is part of living in North Dakota, unfortunately.
To the Siblings in the Stands, You’re the Real MVPs
A friend of mine shared a post from herviewfromhome.com with the heading underneath reading, “Unless a knee is bending in the wrong direction, no way we are meeting our deductible tonight. THERE IS A GAME TO WATCH! Walk it off, child. If it’s still swollen on Monday, we will think about possibly calling your older brother’s doctor.” The entire story is labeled a four minute read, but if you are a sports parent, you know what they mean.
It talks about being the younger siblings and the first paragraph leads in with “The most underrated fans in youth sports are the siblings in the stands. The youngest ones schlepped from game to game, morning and night, rain or shine. The ones who can’t always remember their best friends’ names but are known as Braden’s little sister and the quarterback’s pesky brother. None of whom own phones but intuitively know where to meet and who brings what to endure the hours spent in the bleachers.”
We experienced this over the weekend to some extent. With my foot out of the cast, we finally got to go to Bismarck to see Amanda, Zach and the kids. Saturday was some family time and included the kids coming to our hotel to swim.
Sunday, however, the boys had games. We started out at Abel’s flag football game in the afternoon. Dale and I sat with Amanda, Zach and Zach’s parents, Scott and DeeAnn. The game got underway with all of the fun that is seven-year-olds. There is a lot of coaching and lining up kids before each play. Jozie and Carter were good for a little while, but then they wandered off to play on some playground equipment.
After the game, it was a quick supper to go before Carter’s game at 6:00 p.m. This was a fifth grade championship game at BSC. We found our seats in the stands, again with Amanda, Zach, Scott and DeeAnn. Jozie was sitting with us and I’m sure we saw Abel for a few minutes before he wandered off to play with his friends and some new friends he made. He barely came back when the game was over two hours later.
The point is, though, that kids grow up playing sports and watching their siblings play. Those siblings that are in the stands are there to cheer on the others. Jozie may have wished Carter “good luck” before the game. When your nine-year-old sister says that, you roll your eyes at her and pretend you didn’t hear her.
Either way, we are all there to cheer on the kids we know and love. It’s a great way to spend some family time, but I don’t know how some of these parents do it. Amanda’s kids are all younger, but with the three of them there is soccer, football, youth football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, cheerleading and more that will keep them busy throughout the year. I know it will only get crazier when they get older, but it sure is fun to be the nana and papa on the sidelines watching when we can.