I have been to Fargo and back this morning and what an amazing late fall day! When you can you go in and out of a grocery store in a shirt …no jacket!!!..on a late November day, well that is remarkable! I also went into the temporary downtown Fargo library site without my jacket and also into the workplace of my beloved and only sister. I picked up her order of lefse (lef-suh for those who are not acquainted) from Carl’s Lefse factory in our hometown and delivered it to her…our Mom used to be a lefse-roller there several decades ago and today when I walked into the factory to get that lefse for my Sis, I could hear the thump-thump-thumb of the present day "rollers". (thank goodness a younger generation has learned to roll lefse by hand). The sweet aroma of frying lefse filled the air in the factory front office…mmmmmmm! My home smelled like that on Monday when we rolled and fried home-made lefse for Thanksgiving. Carl’s really puts out the lefse at this time of year…..Lunds, a specialty food store in the Twin Cities, orders and buys most of the lefse made at this time of year. Carl’s also fills orders for the Thanksgiving, Christmas , and New Years’ holidays for families and also for a lot of special dinners held at this time of year…also for Open Houses featuring Christmas baking and Norwegian delicacies. It is a great place to walk into in a little town famous for its Norwegian roots….the ocean- sailing Viking ship, the "Hjemkomst", was also built in this little town in an old potato cellar abandoned after potato blight hit hard in the 1940′s and pretty much wiped out the small potato farmers in this immediate area. Bob Asp rented that old "Leslie Welter Potato Company" building for one dollar a year for all the years he built his "Hjemkomst". For those who do not remember or never heard about it—-Bob Asp’s children and an experienced ocean-sailing crew sailed the "Hjemkomst" to Norway in the summer of 1982 landing in Bergen, Norway, in July after a trans-Atlantic trip that lasted for a couple of weeks.
But I digress—many, many times! The Weather today! It reminds me of the day in late November of 1968 when we drove on the brand- new 4- lane Highway 10 to old St Lukes’ Hospital where I gave birth to our youngest son who has just had his 40th birthday two days ago.( we got there after 10:30 a.m. and our son was born at 11:24 a.m. on 11-24-1968!!! It was a day like today—mild, bright sunshine, and a brilliant blue sky with high cirrus clouds. It was also just a few days before Thanksgiving. The mild sunny weather lasted til just after November 30 that year and then in early December—–"Katie, Bar The Door!" It snowed and snowed and snowed and the winter of 1969 produced so many storms… and a spring flood like unto the worst of the floods , except for the one in 1997. I do not claim to have any Groundhog genetics or weather- predicting abilities, but I am kind of suspicious of the upcoming December just because I remember, so well, the late fall of 1968 and the blast of snow and winter we got in 1969. Let’s hope I am totally wrong in being suspicious. Has anyone checked the thickness of any muskrat or beaver houses????? That is supposed to be an indication of upcoming winters. In the LONG WINTER by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which chronicles a winter in the late 1800s (1888?)….a very old Native American walks into one of the stores in DeSmet, SD, and speaks to several townsmen of the upcoming bad winter, quoting native knowledge about weather phenomena including the thickness of muskrat and beaver houses. The old weather Prophet was "right on" about that winter…DeSmet and other SD towns were isolated by blizzard after blizzard and freezing cold temperatures and the people nearly starved to death when trains could not get through for months on end.
TIDBITS: (1) I picked up a on a few current events this morning including another press conference by president-elect Obama. Can anyone remember another president-elect holding so many news conferences prior to taking office? I can’t. This is the third one in a row this week and today, Obama got a really tough question from (Surprise! Surprise!) a member of the Mainstream Media who have played the roll up to now, of his cheerleaders throughout the primary and presidential campaign. A reporter from CNN.. one of the in-the-tank-for-Obama stations.. had the gall to raise a question about the choices Obama is making so far for his advisors and his cabinet….the question involved asking if it was truly the "change" he had promised the American people, to pick Clinton administration re-treads for most of the positions so far. Obama got very testy and went into one of his rapid "waitwaitwaitwait!" explosions, angrily chiding this CNN turncoat for asking such a question. Obama said his cabinet was not today’s topic as if only he controls the questions asked. Very interesting. He also did a lot of stuttering and stammering, away from a teleprompter, which makes him seem like a totally different speaker. The next 4 years are going to be fun to watch; I bet he will cut his press conferences to nearly ZERO if he keeps getting tough questions he does not want to answer. Other presidents of both parties have taken this tack multiple times in the past. I think Obama will do the same thing once the Honeymoon is over. (2) the grocery store I went to was full of last- minute shoppers this morning; I went in to get 3 items—frozen raspberries for my raspberry rice dish tomorrow, 2 pie crust packages for the requested cherry pies from the Birthday Boy (son number 3) and some loaves of bread for morning toast….(I managed to bake homemade rolls and lefse, but ran out of time to do homemade bread). I walked out with 4 bags of brown sugar, two boxes of Hershey’s Pot of Gold chocolates, 3 cans of pumpkin, a 2 pound container of coffee, and an extra bag of flavored coffee (Amaretto) in addition to what I went in for…all of these extras were either on sale or on a 2 -for- 1 deal. The stores know how to draw more business—I am a walking testimony of that. (3) I enjoyed hearing correspondent Ellen Ratner talk about her pet turkey, "Pavo" who must by now be several years old. Ellen recoils at the thought of anyone eating turkey on Thanksgiving. She calls Pavo her "child" and if anyone is interested, she is appearing with Pavo tomorrow morning on one of the morning shows… which I , unfortunately, cannot remember now…it might be FOX and Friends. I also heard that a 50- pound turkey had been "pardoned" by ND Governor John Hoeven today….to spend the remainder of its life on a game farm somewhere in the state. That would make Ellen very happy.
It is a BEAUTIFUL day today! Even if it only lasts until the predicted cold front comes in tonight bringing snow flurries (that’s all it better be!!) and a lot of cold air for a day or so. Like our old departed friend John H. used to say,"if you don’t like the weather in the Red River Valley, just wait five minutes!" I must go stir the cooking cranberries.