Gene Pinkney
Last of 2023 Articles


Perspectives on a Most Unpredictable Year

The year 2023 has been full of strange surprises. Let’s start with the natural world. With the first snow coming fairly early in late October, it looked as though we might be in for another siege of heavy shoveling and perhaps one of those seemingly endless northern prairie winters. But alas, I thunk wrong. After less than two weeks of slippery thin ice covered with little snow, suddenly the temperatures vaulted into the 40’s, the snow disappeared, and now, here in Wahpeton, we’ve enjoyed dry roads and snow-free travel right through Thanksgiving and Christmas. And today I heard the mild weather might carry right on into January. That’s close to miraculous.

I’ve always associated January’s first two or three weeks with temps well below 0. But this year it won’t be 25 below, but possibly 30 above. John Wheeler reports this year’s long stretch of above 0 temps is a new record.

Another concern I had was that the 3 rivers here in town might run dry. We’ve had a few rains but nearly all have been less than an inch. Then, just at Christmas, along came a soaker and splish – splash! The river will be above flood stage tomorrow. The ice that was on it has gone out.

All across Minn. folks brave enough to put out fish houses are busy trying to get them in before they sink. Big Ottertail Lake never did freeze up. Normally the ice on the Minn. lakes is easily over 2 feet thick by now. None of this weirdness of weather has ever happened in my lifetime. I’ll wager the global warming crowd is going ape thinking of all the propaganda they can now put out to inject more fear into a befuddled population.

And about my birds, I have just one question, “Where did they all go? I usually go through at least 20 lbs. of bird seed a week to feed the several dozen juncos, finches, red poles, chickadees, and woodpeckers that enjoy my feeders. This year I can count the number of birds on ten fingers.

Something ominous has happened to our wintering birds. A winter this mild should see some hardier migrants, like robins, staying all winter. Instead, all I see are a few crows, starlings and a very scant few English sparrows and woodpeckers. This is ominous. If I didn’t have Jesus, I’d be damned worried.

I learned a lot from enduring Dr. Joe Satin’s required advanced Shakespeare class, where we had to read all 36 plays in one grueling winter quarter, back in 1960 at Moorhead State. Nearly every play showed an And also say a prayer for our paper’s talented young outdoor column is uncanny relationship between strange and unnatural events in nature, and parallel dark goings on in kingdom politics. If the bard lived now in North Dakota he would surely say, “Something is rotten in the USA, even in North Dakota.” And as I look out upon our teetering, fear filled nation, with its insane leadership, I would agree with “the swan of Avon,” something out there stinks to high Heaven.

The Bible says, “cursed are they who call evil good, and good evil.”
But that’s exactly what’s happening even in many once esteemed universities, after the bestial atrocities done against Israel on October 7,th where hundreds of innocent and unarmed whole families: men, women and children were savagely brutalized and slaughtered by satanically crazed Hamas mobs.

I finally got some details as to just how gruesome, grizzly, and perverted many of the killings, rapes and mutilations were by reading

Saturday’s Minneapolis Tribune, a publication that normally goes out of its way to mask any unnatural goings on among those on the left they approve of. They still haven’t come out against the brazen protests going on in the Ivy League, justifying these atrocities in overt antisemitism, but as Hamlet puts it, “Murder, though it hath no tongue will speak with most miraculous organ.” Don’t they know that attacking God’s “chosen people” is tantamount to booking a reservation in Hell? -- “I will curse those that curse thee, (Israel,) and bless those that bless thee.” (Gen: 12: 3)

I think the unnatural things going on out there in nature are a perfect reflection of a world in which, “good things of day begin to droop and drowse, while night’s black agents to their pray do rouse.” (Macbeth).

Here’s the poet-prophet, Yeats one more time: “Come away oh human child/ To the water/ and the wild/ With a fairy hand in hand./For the world’s more full of weeping/ Than you can understand.”

It’s time to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and for continued peace right here at home. And by all means pray that a warm wind will unlock the many iced-in fellow Dakotans out there praying for the power to come back on. Truly Frost had it right, “I think I know enough of hate/ To know that for destruction/ Ice Is also great/ and will suffice.”

Nick Simonson, whose columns get better with every edition. He has lost both parents in just this last year. That’s a heavy cross to bear. God bless you my friend. Keep writing; you’re a winner. Curt Wells had a Daily News column on bow hunting, a few years ago, and now he’s editor of Bow Hunter Magazine. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your dream.

(Gene Pinkney, for The Daily News, 12/30/23)