A View From Our Side: It’s a SAD Time

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Could It Be We Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

So, Mr. Weatherman, it’s Sunday night. We received 13 inches of snow requiring that we once again drag out the snowblower (hey, not complaining, I am lucky I have one) and the array of shovels to clear our sidewalks, driveway and plow trails through the backyard to get to our garbage receptacle in the back alley. Our time is messed up because of the Sunday morning switch to daylight savings time, our muscles are sore and from my window I can see flashing lights approaching from the south. Warning…Warning…snowplows approaching. Really?


It is not that I don’t appreciate the City of Minot clearing the street in front of my house, and even though they are using the gates on the plows to limit the amount of snow that is piled up in my driveway, the task at hand will be daunting in the morning.


I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, but the local weather guy really made it worse when he talked about SAD, short for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter. Some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter. Not sure I know who that person is, but I’ll certainly accept that there are a minority of folks who may get tired of summer and yearn for the colder temperatures, mountains of snow and longer nights of winter. But it certainly is true that once the sun breaks through the once gray skies, most people will have a better attitude.


However, I am here to tell you that over my years in North Dakota, I get to this time of the year and use a different acronym, “SATOW”. Nah, it isn’t a common word like SAD, but it does fit my mood right now. Many of you have already figured it out, but SATOW stands for “Sick and Tired of Winter”! It’s that feeling you get when no matter what the calendar says, it is still winter. Take for example those record highs and lows reported by the meteorologists. Sunday’s high for Minot, North Dakota was 70 degrees. What? When was that?


My attitude does improve a bit when they also report that the record low for this date was -15 degrees Fahrenheit, and our 13 inches is also not a record.


So, whether you use SAD or SATOW as your attitude barometer, we all “get it”. Winter can pack up and leave, because behind cold days with minus wind chills, there is spring, and that makes us all HAPPY! (nope, not even going to attempt an acronym for that many letters).

This Week’s Best Kept Secret
It wasn’t long after the snowfall diminished to snow flurries on Sunday, that I saw the Minot Park District was clearing the trails through Oak Park, even Camp Owetti. After being indoors for the better part of two days, your kids would certainly enjoy a trip through the seemingly wilderness terrain. It’s about a mile around the park, just enough of a challenge for most adults and kids. A big Shout Out to the Minot Park District for keeping the trails clear on even some of the most challenging days.

Today’s Chuckle
America is a great country. If you can’t make it in the rat race, they give you free cheese.

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