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Baumgarten: Two beds and a dilemma

For the past several weeks, I had to make a really hard decision. It really affected the way my next day went. It’s a problem most people don’t have to face, to my knowledge, but it had very intense consequences.

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What was this horrifying dilemma I had? Well, it was choosing between beds. As you may recall, I have become a little tired of driving 25 miles to the farm at night, especially when it is snowing.

To my luck — and I was very lucky at that — I was able to find an apartment in Dickinson without having to sell a kidney or being a part of one of those crazy college studies. You know, the ones where you take a pill and end up staying awake for days on end or growing hair in places you shouldn’t. I found the place that was right for me, and I love it.

The problem was that I had to set aside some time to move my stuff from the farm to Dickinson. Remember, I’m a 25-year-old single woman that is used to having her own space. That means I have a lot of things, and quite a few weigh more than 100 pounds or are too big to carry up the stairs by myself.

So, and through no fault of theirs, I had to wait for my father and brother to find time to help me deliver the goods. If you know anything about farmers and ranchers, trying to find time to walk away from the farm for a few hours is like saying the Vikings are going to go to the Super Bowl. You can keep praying and saying it’s going to happen, but you know deep down in your poor, tortured soul it is probably never going to happen.

To be fair, my dad and brother get off the farm more often than I like to admit. After all, it is their livelihood. If they leave, the cows aren’t going to use their mouths to open the gate and haul grain to their troughs.

But in the meantime, I had an apartment with no bed. I did, however, have a couch. I have often told my friend that couch was the most comfortable I had ever slept on. I figured I could sleep a couple nights on it while I waited on Dad and Jake.

Turns out I was wrong. Like all couches, it was too narrow and had a tendency to push you on the floor like a spouse that needed to kick something in their sleep. Trust me on this. If my grandfather was alive, he would probably tell you that grandma’s restless legs became those of Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater, the guy who kicked a 64-yard field goal last season. Grandpa got punted to the floor for the night.

So I had this dilemma. I could drive five minutes to a semi-comfortable “bed” and wake up the next morning semi-refreshed. Or I could drive the half-hour — sometimes 45 minutes courtesy of the ungraded gravel — to a warm, soft bed. Keep in mind, this wasn’t my bed. My brother somehow took that over too. And remember that my parents keep different hours than I do. I’m sure they hated it when I came strolling in around 1 a.m., but I hated it when they pounded around at 7 a.m. Can you see where I’m going with this?

This went on for weeks, for my family is very busy. The days that I had free they had to work and vice versa. And the days we both had free something either came up or the weather said, “Let’s see if we can make the Baumgartens miserable today.”

But, like everything, the good things don’t last long. After hitting a some walls with furniture and a couple choice words, we got most of my things loaded up in the pickup. There were some casualties — a few of my DVDs flew out the pickup onto Old Highway 10, and my brother giggled as the movies conveniently flew under the tires of his Cadillac. We all got a workout hauling items up and down the stairs, but we got it done. And I can’t thank my helpers enough.

I know what you are going to say, and you are right. I should be lucky to have a bed. Mine was definitely a first-world problem. But it’s better to complain rather than bottle it up. Besides, I think you’ll all understand. I couldn’t be happier to have my old bed back. I’m told I’ll always have two beds, but now I don’t have such a dilemma.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a five-minute commute home.

Baumgarten is the assistant editor of The Dickinson Press. Email her at and read her blog at

April Baumgarten
April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, as the news editor. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college,  she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.