WANDERINGS FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
BY GAYLE STUART
COLD, COLD, COLD
Have you ever thought about what our ancestors went through in the winter time?
Starting back at Christmas time, we have had several days close to and below zero. We have warm houses and for the most part warm clothing. Most cars are parked in a garage, so they start and we can get where we need to be. Any livestock would be a concern in cold weather and to get the horses out to be able to go to church, groceries, and maybe a doctor was a chore.
Our ancestors would have houses, (smaller than what we live in now) that maybe did not have insulation. Newspapers on the walls was one way to try to block the wind and they covered the windows with something also. Wood-burning stoves for cooking and heat and maybe a fireplace helped. You hear and read about the women making quilts, but where did they get material to make enough for all the children and for themselves?
I had a great-aunt and her husband who thought they were going to make their fortune on a cattle ranch in western North Dakota. The first few years they lived out there the house was a soddy. There were at least 5-6 children in this dwelling also. We have been on the property a couple of times and have wondered how anyone could make a living and how brutal the winters could be out there. How did they keep warm? We know wood was scarce in this area and that they picked up cow chips. We know houses were smaller at that time, so heat was contained more. Now this land does have an oil well on it.
Most of you know that I am from Minnesota and I have a poem I would like to end with. It is winter in Minnesota and the gentle breezes blow. Seventy miles an hour at thirty-five below. Oh, how I love Minnesota when the snow’s up to your butt. You take a breath of fresh air and your nose gets frozen shut. Yes, the weather here is wonderful, so I guess I’ll hang around. I could never leave Minnesota, because I’m frozen to the ground.
It must have been a warm winter the year I came here!!!!