The Rooster Crows — February 19, 2021

Below zero at dawn; Below zero at dusk; It’s getting old; should all be told; we’re tired of this incessant cold. Burma Shave! It’s not a record, but some communities in eastern North Dakota have just experienced 10, or more, consecutive days during which the thermometer has failed to claw its way above the zero mark. In Rutland, the mercury dropped below zero on the evening of Wednesday, February 10, and did not get into positive territory until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 16, and then not by much. The cold weather is not just local, either. Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs reported on Monday, February 15, from her winter haven at Port Aransas TX, that the temperature there was at the 21-degree mark and that the entire Texas Gulf Coast community was without electricity and covered in ice. The only folks moving around, Judie said, were the winter refugees from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, who were the only people down there with the know how to walk or drive on the ice. Judie also reported that the ice had taken down power lines all over Texas, leaving more than a million Texans without electricity. So, spending the winter in North Dakota, where ice, snow, wind and cold are part of the daily winter routine, isn’t all that bad. The residents here prepare for winter, and, as a result, the plumbing isn’t frozen, the electricity works, and central heat keeps folks comfortable. As the late Clayton McLaen of this community often observed, “There are two seasons in North Dakota: winter; and getting ready for winter.” We’re ready! We’re ready to be done with it for a while, too, now that bragging rights have been established. The TV weather gurus are predicting temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s above zero for the upcoming weekend. Bring it on!

Mr. Alex Marcovich of Madison WI and Mr. Joe Diaz of Chicago IL were visitors at the Jesse Brakke residence in Ransom Township last week. The two have been visitors to the Rutland Community several times in the past, most frequently for community events such as Uff-Da Day and Memorial Day, but this year they wanted to experience something different, ice-fishing on the prairie. They arrived on Wednesday, February 10, as the mercury slid below the zero mark, and headed back east on Saturday, February 13, having caught their limit of ice, as well as some nice perch, walleyes, and northern pike. Their best catch of the trip, though, was on the evening of Friday, February 12, when they stopped at The Lariat Bar and ordered the walleye special. Alex had the pan-fried walleye and Joe ordered the deep-fried walleye. They agreed that both were outstanding. Alex is a commercial pilot flying charter flights for SC Airlines of Madison, and Joe is an IT Specialist employed by the Home Chef division of Kroeger Foods in Chicago. Alex was first introduced to Rutland by Jesse’s daughter, Claire, when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. Alex and Joe have been friends since boyhood days in Chicago. Claire, the real fisherman of the bunch, wasn’t able to take time off from her duties as an Occupational Therapist in the Madison area to show the boys how to catch the big ones. Maybe next time. They are hoping to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October, if not sooner.

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It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The birds are chirping and nesting. The day lily greenery is well through the black dirt.  The cats have ticks.  It’s summertime in Rutland.  Oh, wait, this is March?  This was the winter that the Farmer’s Almanac predicted above average snowfall and warmer-than-usual  temperature in the Midwest.  Well, we’ve gotten the warmer temperatures.   Last year, we still had several inches of snow on the ground and a blizzard was looming.  We have a break from the waters rising which are lower this year than they have been in a decade and this is getting the farmers breaking ground and starting planting.  I’m itching to get the garden planted but will keep the plants indoors for a while. In the meantime, I am planning to bask in the sun.  Enjoy our early spring.  Who knows how we will all feel when July comes around?  What are your predictions for the coming summer?

Paris in Rutland with Snow

This evening about 30+ Rutland area residents and a few from nearby towns are attempting to get into their “April in Paris” dinner at the Rutland General Store and they truly have a challenge if they are traveling from anyplace other than in town.  Snow is blowing fiercely sideways out here.  I thought April was supposed to bring some rain — we’ve already planted the potatoes and radishes and a few other things.  Spring is playing funny tricks on everyone this year.  At least the snow is expected to finish in plenty of time for Bingo and the Baked Potato Feed, both on Sunday.