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MARILYN HAGERTY: Winter one for the ages

Dear Shirley,

Twenty or 30 years from now, the children of today will hold children on their laps. And they will tell them about the winter of 2013-14.

It was long. It was cold. The wind was relentless.

Of course, it was weird everywhere. But here in North Dakota we almost relish our reputation for being cold.

So our children of today may well brag about surviving the winter of 2013-14. They will talk about the first blizzard, which the Herald called Anita, and how it came sweeping down at the end of December.

As I look through my diary, I find chilly notes. On Jan.5, I scribbled, “Hole up. Temperature obscenely cold. Dot.Com the dog goes out and comes back in quickly.”

By the end of February, I scribbled, “Tired of griping. Tired of winter. Wonder about taking more vitamin D.”

Well, you get the idea, Shirley. I always feel we are stronger and braver in April because we have weathered winter. I love to see the snow melting and the pigeons grouping together in the underpass on South Washington Street.

And April is just around the corner. I have been hearing from some of the snowbirds in your city of Tucson. They are beginning to file flight plans to come home. They tell me groceries are less expensive down there than in Grand Forks.

Happy trails

Well, the first of the California strawberries have been coming in. And there are cookies all around.

You see, Shirley, it seems to be retirement season around here. Some key people are bowing out. Friends gathered Tuesday at the UND Gorecki Center to honor Tim O’Keefe who is finishing his work as UND Alumni Director. And Herald Publisher Mike Jacobs will be honored at an open house beginning at 5:30 p.m. today at the North Dakota Museum of Art on the UND campus. Then he will be honored at other gatherings including the one at the Herald Monday. He has reached the finish line after a Pulitzer Prize-winning career at the Herald.

And Ryan Bakken is talking retirement! He will go play golf. Jacobs can illustrate and write about birds. I think Tim O’Keefe will travel.

Well, Shirley, I guess I can’t retire. I never was any good at golf. I am afraid of birds. And I don’t have the money it takes for much travel nowadays.

At the end of each month, I just go through my checkbook. Then I write, “Bank says,” and, “I say.” If the bank has more than my figures, I settle for that. Otherwise I go looking for mistakes.

Love from your sister Marilyn waiting for the Red River to start flowing north.

P.S. Remember how the Missouri River down at Pierre used to make noise when it broke up? Sometimes we would see a deer floating downstream on a chunk of ice.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.