Are we On? (Dave Vilhauer blog)

It was one week ago that my wife and son took a break from shoveling to build a snowman in our front yard. Tomorrow’s temperature is expected to be in the 80s. Can you say weather extremes?

This weekend I plan to do something I haven’t done in months: put the snow shovels away for the season. Not that I was expecting last week’s blizzard to hit. The fact of the matter is, I was just too lazy to put the shovels away before that when the snow melted and temps reached the 60s.

It certainly has been a winter to remember and it was capped off by the second “bomb cyclone” in less than two months. And to think I had never even heard of that term before this past March.

There’s an old saying that if you don’t like the weather around here just wait five minutes and it will change. Well, it took a bit longer than five minutes, but the change from week to week was substantial.

Last Thursday, a group of us drove in a caravan when we left work because the conditions and visibility were that poor. In mid-April. By this time tomorrow, some of us might have to be treated for sunburns as we deal with the warmest conditions we have seen since early last fall.

Now, I am not complaining (although, like most of us I really thought we were done with winter after that last blast in March closed down nearly the entire state). I totally understand that people suffered major consequences from this past blast, especially those who were busy with calving season and those already dealing with flood issues. Many experienced power outages, including some who just recently got their power restored.

So why do people live in this part of the world? There are a variety of reasons. Many of us grew up here and never left. Some grew up here, left, and returned because they found out life here in South Dakota is pretty great. In addition to a Midwestern work-ethic, folks around here are friendly, resourceful and resilient. Sure, we don’t always agree on everything, but at the end of the day, those who live in these parts have way more in common than they have in differences.

While during a blizzard or extreme weather fluctuations it may be hard to recall some of those positives, the fact of the matter is we don’t have to deal with earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, high crime or frustrating traffic jams. Yes, I am totally satisfied with living where I’m at. In fact, I might even feel secure enough to get out the fire pit and grill this weekend, if for no other reason than to clear a path to put the shovels away.