Reader Reply: May 2022

What is your favorite indication that summer is here?

I think my favorite indication that summer is here is being able to put away the snowboots, snowpants, hats and gloves and take the extra blankets out of the car. They all come out with the first snowflakes of fall and stay through the unpredictable spring weather.

When the days start stretching out and the sun gains strength, you know it’s finally time to retire the winter gear and look forward to the warmer days of summer with the clear blue sky and puffy white clouds. What a joy it is to travel with less baggage for a few short months!

Sandra Dingfelder
Slope Electric Cooperative


Summer has arrived when you have the urge to throw some burgers or brats on the grill and sit on the back porch during the mid-afternoon, enjoying your favorite beverage or ice cream treat.

Summer has arrived when you check the daily progress of your garden and spend your evenings sitting on an outdoor bench, listening to bird concerts, owls hooting and the buzzing of the bees, or sometimes just listening to the quiet.

Elaine Hoffman
Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative


One of my favorite indications of summer is that the school days are finally wrapping up! No more math problems! I mean, who really cares that Suzy lets her cat out for 15 minutes each day? Now, I’m not trying to sound like math is useless! It’s just that it gets...uninteresting, you know? Wait, I’m getting off topic here. I’m not necessarily excited about no more problems, but the freedom and sunshine!

Matthew Schaper, age 12
Parents are served by McKenzie Electric Cooperative


It’s often hard to tell when summer is truly here on the Great Plains, where Mother Nature doesn’t heed the calendar. To find out the truth, I just ask myself one question: Are the trails ready?

Now, some people are willing to go out there and get their fat tires muddy at any time of the year, but others choose to wait until the ground is firm. The heavily shaded areas take much longer to dry than the exposed parts of the trail. When I can race through the trees on my mountain bike or my feet without sinking into a mud pit, I know summer has finally arrived!

Running by the river, through the trees and up the steep hills under blue skies is a feeling like no other. I’m already excited to run into a friendly face, encounter wildlife or discover a new flower I haven’t seen before.

Trails are a great way to get outside for exercising, socializing or clearing your head and simply living in the moment. North Dakota has miles and miles of beautiful trails for hikers, bikers and runners of every level. I encourage everyone to discover their local trails and bring a friend!

Madelyn Orr
Parents are served by Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative

Summer in North Dakota is something I really look forward to! First of all, school gets out, and I get three whole months of being outside all day! The lawn needs to be mowed, the baby birds are starting to fly around and sing, we plant a garden and it starts warming up outside. I also enjoy seeing the trees bud out during this time and helping my grandma with lawn care.

I live out in the country and we have chickens. At the end of May, we get new baby chicks to take care of. They are fluffy and fun to hold.

After the work is done, it is time for summer fun! I enjoy going to the swimming pool on hot summer days, going on four-wheeler rides, taking trips with my family and eating watermelon, popsicles or ice cream to cool off. The Fourth of July is fun, too, especially the fireworks!

These are some of my favorite indications that summer is here! Sweet summertime!

Donnie Vetter, age 11
Parents are served by McLean Electric Cooperative


JUNE: What is North Dakota’s best outdoor activity?
Deadline for submission: May 13

JULY: Why do you love your community celebration?
Deadline for submission: June 10

We want to hear FROM you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and the name of the rural electric cooperative to which you belong. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727