Although the water has had a sheet of ice in some places in the morning,
the ice melts away in the sunshine and breeze. We are on borrowed time and the freezing cold mornings remind us of what is around the corner.
It won't be long now until the water takes on solid form.
But we don't have permafrost in GriggsDakota. Like the word implies, permafrost never melts.
Recently I watched a few episodes of a television show about buying a home in Alaska.
It made me feel like we live an easy life here.
Permafrost caught my attention. It appears to greatly reduce Summertime yard work. Permafrost makes running water a challenge. It makes outhouses more common. I am old enough to have had to use a few outhouses in earlier days. Indoor toilets and running water are lovely amenities.
According to the shows that I watched, having your own greenhouse is common in Alaska. There is permafrost in 85% of the land in the state and fresh produce is very expensive. I like the greenhouses, and start to wish for one.
As reality beckons me, I realize that in Alaska, it would be just as complicated to successfully operate a greenhouse as it is here. Our temperatures are so cold. When you add the windchill and weak, inconsistent sun much of the year, a greenhouse is not a sure success for an amateur.
We have never been able to raise all of our own fruits and vegetables in balmy North Dakota, with a real garden warm rich soil.
The television show sells the dream of independence. The dream is appealing, but we must be careful what we wish for.
There are those who dream of living off the grid with no electricity or cell phones. There are those who dream of living off the land by gathering, growing, shooting and catching all of their own food.
There are those who dream of owning a vacation home where they can just live the outdoor life for a few weeks every year. Salmon fishing, grand mountain views, and time to enjoy it. The perils of permafrost begin to melt away.
But I must be careful what I wish for.
We can live an outdoor life with four distinct seasons. Even if Winter is sometimes disproportionately long, as it was this year, there is always Spring, Summer, and Fall.
That keeps me smiling when the water hardens up in GriggsDakota.