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Blonde on the Prairie: Seeking A Sunbird

February 1, 2013

I am on a quest to find out. Maybe you, the Valley City Times Record readers can assist me.

I was the passenger as that husband of mine drove us home. Lately we’ve been traveling on short trips to and fro so not to get depressed. We are living proof that if you just keep moving your mind can’t hijack your joy. While he drives – I wonder. Bet you never knew I did that, did ya?
He is a legend, this thing I speak of. We think he’s a he but maybe that’s only because of his massive size. He’s been an elusive legend and I’ll just bet even to this day if you’re out in the woods you look for him. I think there is even a reality television show about the hunt for him. His name is “Bigfoot” and not without cause. He’s supposed to be a giant, hairy creature. He’s allegedly half man, half beast. Believers have claimed they’ve seen his footprints and his waste. A few have been so lucky as to get grainy video footage of him rummaging through thickets in places no man should dare to wander. Bigfoot is a legend and so is this other group I’m in search of.

At least three times a week I hear the term. To retail store owners the term is almost a derogatory one. The word I refer to is “snowbirds.” Snowbirds fly out of the snow kissed northern lands to seek the sun of the southern states while taking their money and business with them.
They don’t just fly in airplanes. They pack up their motor homes or just drive their car to their parked models in Arizona, Texas, Florida, California, South Carolina or even to a timeshare in Mexico. They leave in October and stay until pert-near June. They seek the fun of the sun. They seek the peek of youth that comes from the extra energy they get from being active. They seek heat on their feet – the kind they can get without wearing wool socks. They seek never having to worry about canceling an activity because of the weather. More than likely the forecast for their location will be the same day after day after predictable day – SUN!

Snowbirds flee forgetting that they can’t ice fish in the Gulf of Mexico. You can buy tuna in a can but you can’t get yourself a good, fresh northern pike on the line down yonder. No sir!

Snowbirds flee refusing to recognize the snow allows them to see the yellow in it. Dogs tinkle. It’s what dogs do. Dogs live everywhere. I hope the snowbirds don’t sit in the grass of one of those southern states. They might not know what they’re sitting in.

Who needs Disney World when you’ve got Williston and the Red River Valley Fair? You’d think Mickey Mouse would think it was goofy to live day after sunshine-filled day knowing tomorrow would be sunny too.
I’m in search of an elusive legend that I don’t know for certain even exists. I’d enjoy your help and feedback so feel free to write to me at:

The Blonde on the Prairie
PO Box 521
Valley City, ND 58072

I’m searching for the ever-elusive, urban-legend I call “sunbirds.”
Sunbirds fly or drive just like snowbirds do-at least that’s what I’m imagining. I’m guessing they leave in October and stay until May but I could be off by a month either way. There must be some creatures that load themselves, their families and pets up as they journey to the northern lands.

Snowbirds seek south, the predictability of the sun and the warmth.
Sunbirds seek north, the unpredictable wind chills, snowstorms and temperatures so cold that they look forward to having their sinus infections freezing.

They seek taking a polar plunge in a bikini when the thermometer reads -14.

Sunbirds seek the north hoping they’ll hit a patch of black ice so they can scream, “I hate black ice!” knowing full well they won’t be called a racist for saying it out loud.

North Dakota welcomes kind people whether red or yellow, black or white. Diversity is precious in our sight if you are kind and not put off by our secret.

Have you or someone you’ve known ever caught sight of a sunbird? If you should see an elusive sunbird, please send me a photo and tell their tale. In the uncanny event you should happen upon Bigfoot while doing so please leave some yellow snow so we can track and save you.

This has been the Blonde on the Prairie from the prairie reminding all of you to seek your sun or seek your ice but while doing so don’t forget to be nice.

Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.

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