Blonde on the Prairie: Recognize Autumn with a Sweater

I woke up and for some odd reason I could only talk in a British accent. I’m a mimicker and mimickers many times mimic other distinctive dialects. When I want to sound harsh I break out my best Russian. I pucker my face and make my forehead purposefully furrow. Though most Russians are very kind people, their language comes across as a bit harsh. “Please. Take garrrr-bage out now,” I mimic like I mean it and my name is Svetlana rather than Jodi. The real Russians in my life call me “Jodichka.” That can never sound harsh because it’s so endearing.

But this particular morning I woke up with the British on my brain.
“To-daaaaA,” I began, “It is sweata weatha. To-daaaaA I shall waaaa a sweata!” And so I did. I was all alone in the cabin talking to myself with this British accent and it wouldn’t go away. I felt “Ratha betta waaaa-ing that sweata,” and all because it was such a cool, almost-autumn day.

This past weekend that husband of mine and I loaded ourselves into our vehicle to drive into the city for rations. First we shopped all we could in Valley City and then it was off to Fargo for the rest. I had saved my money for a new memory foam mattress topper. I had expected it to cost somewhere ‘round about $140 or maybe more. Husband dropped me off while he went to buy some manly things whatever that means. I wandered over to the housewares department and I could not believe my eyes. I saw the product and I saw the sale sign but it didn’t make sense so I looked again. It still said the same thing. It said this very expensive, memory foam mattress topper was on sale for $29.99. Could it be? Was I misreading the sign? I sat there a spell reading and re-reading the sale sign. I finally doubted myself into asking a sales clerk to come on over and confirm it. She did and I suddenly wanted to buy all of them but: As fate had it, that husband of mine returned and gave me the stern look like a Russian diplomat. I know that look well. I walked away with just one king-sized, memory foam mattress cover.

However the money I had saved was burning a hole in my pocket. My eyes began to dart to and fro and just then I impulsively picked up a new, warm, fuzzy, wuzzy flannel sheet set. Why stop there? I work hard for my money and the thing that excites me the most is my time in my bed. A girl can’t very well enjoy her time in bed without two new king-sized, goose-down pillows now, can she? Into the cart they went. I was almost at my limit when it hit me. I have a bad back and the doctor said, “Use ice and then use heat.” One should always listen to their doctor, so over to the aisle I skipped to find our new fleece, electric blanket with duel settings! I didn’t need an accent to mimic the profound joy I was feeling for my purchases. I spoke pure English and I celebrated like an American! “Woo-hoo,” I belted out to the sales woman!

We drove home together. Husband was happy I was happy and I was mostly silent in the dreaminess of my first night in all the new bedding. Mostly silent-not totally. Mama always said, “If you make your bed ya gotta lie in it.” So I made my bed. Oh yes I did. I made my bed all right and oh baby did I sleep good!

When a girl sleeps good she feels good. My whole week has been good. I hopped in my vehicle to drive in to the city for a little ice cream treat. On the way home I was licking and driving oblivious to most everything other than my taste buds screaming, “Thank you!” I was on gravel just anticipating the turn to my cabin when the ice cream didn’t matter anymore. I caught sight of what was in my side-view mirror and stopped without thinking. Awe once again struck me into breathlessness and lucky for me I had my camera with. What is right in front of me isn’t always worth looking at but this scene from my side-view mirror certainly was. I finished my cone as I let the almost-autumn light envelope me. It was a perfect moment and I raised my hands off the wheel in praise.

My wish is that instead of cursing the change of seasons you rejoice by waa-ing a ratha smart sweatA! And for those of you who just don’t have it in you to appreciate autumn and its glorious beauty-the Russians say, “I hate cold” like this: я ненавижу холод. It’s betta you simply waaa a cozy sweatA! I promise you’ll feel bettA! Carry on!

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