Grand River Roundup

Another week of snow and cold, but Wednesday the temperature did get above freezing with 35 degrees here.

Guest Columnist

The quilting ladies from Slim Buttes had a fun day in Hettinger on Monday. Linda Mohagen, Patsy Wilkinson, Margaretta Hanson, Lori Besler, and I took lap robe quilts up to the nursing home to give to all the residents. Pam Harper took us around to find each individual so we could let them pick out the quilt they liked best. The Slim Buttes Sunday School kids had made Valentine cards for all the folks, so each of the residents got a Valentine along with their quilt. We got to visit with a lot of old friends and neighbors while we were there and we all had a good time.

Pastor Henry Mohagen came to the nursing home to pick up Linda after we finished handing out the quilts so they could go to North Dakota to visit their kids. They stayed at their house not far from their son Robert and his family on their ranch outside Towner that night when Robert’s barn caught fire and burned down early Tuesday morning! Robert was almost done lambing and all the ewes and lambs were in the barn. Sadly, all of the sheep died in the fire. The pole barn attached to the barn also burned and the brick milk house near it just blew up. Robert had been remodeling the barn and he lost all his tools, several pieces of machinery, all the hay in the haymow, all the saddles, bridles, harnesses and everything else in the tack room, and the kids lost their bikes. Thankfully no one was injured and the firemen were able to save the house from burning, although it got so hot it melted the snow on the roof!

Louise Jenson came down to visit Amanda and the kids Tuesday afternoon. Starla Jenson and Amanda’s sister Josi Jenson came to join the bunch later that afternoon. Louise showed us pictures that she took on her trip with family members to vacation in Costa Rica. It’s beautiful down there with lots of trees and flowers – and a LOT warmer!

Reub and I went down to Rapid City on Wednesday to get our income taxes done. We were supposed to get them done last week when it was so cold that we postponed the trip. The weather was beautiful down there, the thermometer in the pickup registered 50 degrees and there was water everywhere. It didn’t get nearly that warm here, but some of the snow did melt that afternoon. It snowed again in the night and the mercury had dropped to -8 when we woke up early Thursday morning. It was nice while it lasted, although the temperature dropped to -18 below Thursday night.

We get Working Ranch magazine and there was a good story in the March issue entitled “Old Time Fun at the Black Hills Roundup Ranch Rodeo” in Belle Fourche that featured a lot of local cowboys. It was a good read and if you haven’t seen it yet, try to find a copy.

Sage and all four of his kids came to visit us on Friday while Sage did some welding on supports for the counter top he’s building in their new house west of Hettinger. They ate lunch with us and played cards for a while before heading home. Casey and the Harding County wrestlers left Friday afternoon for the regional tournament in Fort Pierre on Saturday.

A nasty snow storm moved in Saturday morning and, since Casey and Taz were both gone, Reub and Missy did the feeding during the heavy snowfall. She’s getting really handy with the tractors! The weatherman predicted 5 to 8 inches of snow for here, but when I went to the chicken coop Sunday morning, the snow up to my knees on the flat and the drifts were up to Missy waist! We got at least 18 inches of snow here, including the snow that fell all day Sunday.

Casey and the Harding County wrestlers made it back home about midnight, after fighting some nasty roads. There was no travel advised in Perkins and Harding County and if they wouldn’t have had 4-wheel drive they wouldn’t have made it. Reub and Casey spent most of Sunday plowing roads and moving snow so they could get the feeding done. They also moved a lot of snow out of our yards so we could get around a little easier.

Church was called off Sunday morning and all the schools around here started two hours late on Monday. You may have guessed that I’m getting pretty sick of winter. I can relate to this old Canadian lady, but I don’t think she’s going to like winter in the Dakotas any better:

Canadian winter

The Michaels family owned a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border. Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for generations. Mrs. Michaels, who had just celebrated her ninetieth birthday, lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.

One day, her son came into her room holding a letter. “I just got some news, Mom,” he said. “The government has come to an agreement with the people in Washington. They’ve decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?”

“What do I think?” his mother said. “Jump at it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don’t think I could stand another one of those Canadian winters!”