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Holidays on Ice! December 31, 2011

Posted by The Typist in Fargo, Toulouse Street.
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I think I lost the thread of New Years living in North Dakota. The state climatologist tells me the average temperature for this time of year is somewhere between six and nine degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, there were no outdoor fireworks displays. The kids were small, we didn’t get out and socialize much and there were no party invitations. The plan on most holidays was to stay home or do something with the kids.

The only exception to the firework rule that I know of was the turn of the millennium. There were fireworks aplenty to be had, with year round stands up and down the Interstate, and I decided to blow the Fourth of July leftovers, because it was the New Years that rolled over the odometer and because I just missed the idea of fireworks on the holiday.

In spite of an alarm clock set to get me to work at 5 a.m. just in case the predicted technological Mayan apocalypse took down all of the computers at the bank, I insisted on saying up until Dick Clark made it official. I didn’t actually seem him, because I had pulled on my Rocky Minus 40 boots and parka and taken the bucket of sand I’d filled inside the garage (otherwise the sand would be rock hard) out into the back yard.

While the family huddled on the couch around the partially sunken basement’s window into the back, I serenaded the neighbors for blocks around with a respectable opening gambit of bottle rockets to get everyone’s attention followed by fountain (always a family favorite) and finishing off with moderate display of a half-dozen of Roman candles.

No one called the police. A single, frost-bothered dog howled in the distance after I was done. I could only hope that somewhere out in that frigid night, a few other people heard the first reports, stepped away from their television, pulled on a coat and boots and shivered in wonder at my bright display of temporary insanity.

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