It’s gonna get cold South Dakota!

I used to live in North Dakota and found it quite refreshing to actually experience a real winter. You see, when I was growing up in Arizona our winters had very little to no snow and never got much colder than 25 degrees. It was still cold but nothing like the Dakotas!

For example, one day I was in Wagner, South Dakota tracking with my missionary companion and we noticed that the thermostat was showing -66 degrees. Well with only slacks on and a coat you’d think this Arizona boy would get cold but no…..my blood had thickened up enough to keep me warm during the very cold winters. The only thing I needed was a coat and good overshoes to keep my toes from freezing off! Anyways it was good enough weather to sword fight with large ice cycles.

Another winter, I was living in Douglas, Wyoming and it kind of crept up on us…literally. It was October and the leaves were changing colors and we were enjoying the full autumn colors and temperatures. one night, we had a silent snow storm that blanketed the valley and town so much that the only thing you could hear in the deafening silence was tree limbs breaking from the weight of the snow. It was awesome! It was a dark and cold night but the sounds of breaking limbs in the distance echoed throughout the town and was a new experience for me.

The cold winters in the Dakotas are fun to experience and filled with lots of fun and adventure! It was the first place that I was able to build my own snow cave. The most snow we received in Arizona was about 2 inches of snow in which I was able to build a snowman and keep it in the freezer for a few years…just to remind me of what it was like to have snow!  That all changed once I experienced my first winter in South Dakota.

Just thinking

Okay it’s 9:33am September 28, 2015 and I am thinking about memories long past back in the Midwest.

One such memory was when I lived in Devils Lake, North Dakota and I was with Elder Ellsworth tracting houses and we got on a country road where I saw a nearby field that looked good enough to frolic in.

Grass field

Oh it looked so inviting to a boy who grew up in the parched, hot desert of Arizona! So I took off running and screaming and flailing my arms crazily as I ran through the grass and let it go all over my body. I could see myself in a movie where I was Tom Sawyer in the woods and the meadows exploring everything. Yes, I may be 34 years old right now but if I was in a 12 year old body you wouldn’t know I was older.

Funny thing…..as I waltzed back from my little adventure I noticed some black specks on me……I examined myself closer and realized that I had hundreds of little ticks all over me anxious to feast on my blood!!! Well, I was in horror at the sight (Arizona never gave me any ticks) and started going crazy again …this time ripping my clothes off to my underwear and trying to claw off all of the ticks that seemed to be eating me alive!

After about 10-minutes of making sure that I was clean of ticks, I then proceeded to pick them off one by one off of my clothes before putting them back on. Needless to say I was a bit unnerved at that point and cautious in a field after that.

When I got home later that day and got undressed for my shower, I noticed that I had some more ticks!!!  Only this time they had burrowed into my skin and had been enjoying my blood for some time now. I was not happy and started scraping them off carefully so as to not leave any remnants of their bodies inside my skin to cause an infection. The interesting thing is that my companion’s mother died from Lime Disease…from a tick and I was afraid of ending up like her.

Anyways…just thinking…