Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Spring? We won’t bank on it, if you get our drift…

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | April 18th, 2018


A winter 2017 scene in Grand Forks - photograph by C.S. Hagen
According to Greek mythology Hades is to blame for the Earth’s mournful state of winter. The story involves Persephone the goddess of nature and Hades the god of the underworld in a classic caper of obsession, abduction, and Stockholm syndrome. Hades had become obsessed with Persephone and captured her as she was picking flowers by the river and hanging out with some river nymphs of questionable repute. According to the tale, she fell through a fissure in the earth and Hades himself dragged her to the underworld.

Here, she was presented with a feast, but refused food and drink until trickery got the best of her and she ingested four pomegranate seeds -- and in Greek mythology if you consume the fare of your captors you’re almost contractually bound to return to them -- whether it be one seed or the whole shebang. But Hades was a captor with a heart and allowed Persephone dual citizenship between the Underworld and the land of the living. Above ground the flora is alive and in full bloom, and when with Hades, the Earth is in a state of winter.

According to the story she eventually developed a fondness for Hades, and judging by the state of this winter, they must be getting along fairly well.

This winter is like a guest that has overstayed their welcome. I hate getting my hopes up as we’re taunted with the idea of spring, and I especially hate scraping my windows in the mornings. Waiting for spring is almost like waiting for a callback. I don’t want to look desperate as I stare at the thermometer tapping my fingers on the table, waiting for some trace of warmth. Though, if there is a silver lining to be found, one proverb from the Farmer’s Almanac states: “Hoar frost on May 1st indicates a good harvest.”

That’s great and all but if there’s snow on the ground on my birthday I’m going to be pissed--and my birthday is in June. I’ll be even more disappointed if the snowdrifts are knee high by the fourth of July.

It could always be worse though.

The year 1816 was known as “The year with no winter” or “The poverty year” or my favorite, “18 hundred and froze to death.” The global climate dropped, crops came up short in the Northern hemisphere, people went hungry and scientific reports attributed it to volcanic activity. Reports of a persistent dry fog were told--so thick that sunspots could be detected. According to “Appalachian Magazine” severe frosts happened monthly--crops and firewood were scarce, prices for commodities went up. The poor had to fend for themselves and on September 13 1816, a Virginia newspaper stated “the cold as well as the drought has nipt the buds of hope”.

Fortunately, morale is high on the prairie and our buds of hope are still intact. On particularly cold days as the Canadian Geese aka “Honkers” return to the north country, I can’t help but wonder what their thoughts were when they came home to find the snow, ice, and cold that they had left months before substituting their webbed flippers for snowshoes navigating the tundra. For some reason I envision them wearing ear muffs as they trudge across the frozen slough and I wonder if any of the "honks" uttered are goose swears.

Or are they like us, grinning and bearing it like a good North Dakotan? I imagine it would be tough for a goose to grin with the way their bills are shaped... so they remain stoic (like a good North Dakotan). No wonder they keep coming back. They must be gluttons for punishment like the rest of us. 

Recently in:

News

​Best of the Best 2018

by Sabrina Hornung

Last Sunday we celebrated our annual Best Bets award ceremony at the Plains Art Museum and we had a packed house. With awards from over 50 categories, members of our community gathered, rallied and supported each other in our…

Professionally people know me as a trans activist, educator, or community organizer. This is often the topic of my Trans Corner column. What they may not know is I’m an incredible geek who spends her time unwinding playing video…

Thursday, May 31, 5-9 p.m.11 8th St S, FargoNine regional artists join forces in Fargo’s newest artist collective gallery. Along with the core group of artists, art enthusiasts can anticipate guest artists and great opportunities…

“If I look like a kid on Christmas morning, it’s because that’s the way I feel right now. How I wish my parents could have heard the words you said about me,” Luci Baines Johnson said. She was preparing her commencement…

Gadfly

Armageddon and Rage

by Ed Raymond

Is Our Democracy Dying From A Koch Assisted-Suicide?The One Percent is going after wealth like Captain Ahab went after The Great White Whale. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal recently wrote about “the up-market way to…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

The organization Nature of the North is storming Fargo with their mission to get everyone out and in nature one way or another. This week’s attempt is a workshop featuring Cyrus Bickell of Disgruntled Brewing in Perham, MN. A man…

Nikki Lane is a trailblazer. Her unique voice could be described as a cross between Wanda Jackson’s grit and Neko Case’s hauntingly smoky vocals. It’s classic and it’s fresh. In 2017 she won an Ameripolitan award in the…

Writer-director Alexandra Dean’s “Bombshell” recounts the remarkable life and achievements of Hedy Lamarr, the Golden Age screen goddess whose physical beauty and career as a Hollywood actor long overshadowed her…

Arts

​Civility is for the Birds

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduTucked in the back of Roberts Street Studio, if you follow the “yellow brick road” (a funny story, if you get the chance to ask her), you are likely to find local artist Mackenzie Kouba working…

Theater B is giving away seven tickets to go see “The Moors” by Jen Silverman, from April 26 until May 12. Described as part Brontë, part Twilight Zone, “The Moors” is a dark comedy set on a bleak and unforgiving…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comAnd they lived “happily ever after.” Many people in the U.S. believe in love and matrimony, but marriage takes consistent effort and time to weather the ups and downs.According to…

By Ken Smithkelandsmith@gmail.comWhen the State of North Dakota decided to sell the campus of the Ellendale Branch of the University of North Dakota following the disastrous January 1970 fire that destroyed the two main buildings,…