Friday, May 14, 2021

Weather extremes, respect and perspective

| February 10, 2021 1:00 AM

We’re fortunate here in North Idaho to rarely experience weather that’s a matter of life or death. I lived in North Dakota for several years and developed a respect for extreme weather. Their two seasons are really hot or really cold. The farmers know that too much or too little rain, too early or too late could cost them their livelihood in any given season.

North Dakotans were plugging in their vehicles overnight in the winter long before electric cars were a thing. And in a state that routinely posts way below zero temps with or without wind chill, you make sure your vehicles' gas tanks are full and that extra clothing is carried in the car. Kids don’t get on a school bus without a winter coat, hat, gloves and boots. No exceptions. And yes, all winter long there are brief outdoor recesses during the school day.

So tonight we’re going to see our weather dip into single digits and below zero with wind chill. That’s a clue that maybe wearing short pants or flip flops is not smart. Exposed skin can be frostbitten. For real. Bundle up!

The big chill won’t last long but while it does you can entertain yourselves and the kids by making colored ice balls!

Fill a balloon with water and add several drops of food coloring and set outside for at least 24 hours before cutting the balloon knot and removing the frozen ball.

A tip I learned from experience: don’t let the balloons touch each other while they’re freezing or they’ll burst. When frozen, set along the walk or in planters for a pop of color on these dreary gray days.

While here we’re in the single digits our oldest daughter in Reserve, Montana is experiencing 50 below zero temperatures. Our youngest daughter lives in Phoenix and said she was wearing socks and a sweatshirt because the temps dipped below 50 above overnight.

Amazing to think the sisters have a 100 degree difference in weather in the same week. Guess which child is more likely to get a visit from mom in the winter. LOL!

Par for the pandemic course ... a blouse I ordered online before Thanksgiving to wear at Christmas arrived in time for Valentines Day. Shop local lesson learned!

My first Valentine was my dad and throughout his life he never failed to give a card or candy to his daughters. It’s fun to receive candy and flowers and enjoy a nice dinner out but I’ve come to really value being loved 365 days out of the year.

On Valentine's Day 1986 my husband arrived in Idaho from North Dakota to take a giant leap of faith to marry me and my three daughters a month later. He left his family and lifelong friends to make a life and a home here where I had family and lifelong friends. That’s love.

For 35 years Valentine’s Day has held a special meaning for me. Celebrate love however it appears in your life. Celebrate today and every day if you’re blessed to be loved.


Happy birthday today to Kiki Miller, Julia Pierce, Melanie Lambrecht, Judy Riba Nelson and Tate Merry. Tomorrow Carole Tabakman (75!), Trevor Smith, Eleanora Capaul (60!), David Clark, James Shepperd, Jarryn Siebers, Jeff Carlson, Sharon Link, Gordon Leigh, Chad Salsbury and Heather Frayer share a Feb. 11 birthdate.

Faith Valente, Bonnie Guindon, Kim Edmondson, Rochenda Crane, Elizabeth Glidden and Laura Wilson celebrate on Friday. On Saturday Rachel Fehling, Sam Crawford, Ron Vieselmeyer, Jim Prussack, Sherry Adkins, Ken Martin and Toby Flood take another trip around the sun. Happy Valentine's Day birthdays to LaDonna Beaumont, Don James (91!), Joe Doellefeld, Jason Hayes, Tripp Rogers, Jan McDaniels, Susan DuBois, Sarah Hansen, David Lunceford, Jean Bledsoe, Mike Shepperd (70!), Kaelyn Bingham and Sarah Schell.

Feb. 15 is a special occasion for Jeff Conroy, Linda Jagars, Mindy Hatcher, Tracy Dickinson, Craig Smith, Art Sullivan, Sandi Hall and Donna Montgomery. On Tuesday Stephanie Smith, Tom Thompson, Diana Farquhar, Adam Averill, Morgan Dickinson, Bruce English, Quinn Kennedy (Sweet 16!) and Jim Wilson take another trip around the sun.

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.