WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- When we were growing up, we had a house cat. I shouldn’t say “we,” really, because that cat was all my little sister’s, except that my big sister named her Belly, after one of her favorite mid-'90s girl grunge bands and I got the heroic ranch kid privilege of rescuing her as a tiny abandoned kitten from underneath my grandma’s deck while my 5-year-old sister clenched her small, nervous fists under her chin and waited for her turn to hold her.
There have been plenty of times I’ve felt like I like I live in the middle of nowhere. Like, every time I’m out of milk and a trip to the store and back takes me, at minimum, two hours. But when you live 30 miles from the nearest grocery store, you never just pick up milk. And you never only go to the grocery store. Because you made the trip, you might as well hit up Tractor Supply Co. and then the post office and your sister's to get back your casserole dish and then maybe the pharmacy and then Mom’s store to see what’s on sale…
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- It’s Christmas card season. And while the World Wide Web might make the whole concept a little obsolete these days, I’m still camp Christmas card. But the photo’s all my friends and family are getting, because we can fake it in the photo. A Christmas letter? Well, I’m afraid it would read something like this: Warm winter greetings from the Scofields,
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- If I could fill my page with words to make up an ending to each season that has given us her all — glorious orange sunsets and wildflower purple and the deep, dark blue of the rain — I would give the wind a voice.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Apparently love is in the air this fall. In the past two months, I’ve attended four weddings, sang the couples love songs and watched the brides walk toward their grooms wearing big, beautiful dresses and holding big, beautiful dreams.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — OK, please tell me everyone has it — that space under the stairs or in the attic or the corner of your bedroom piled up to the ceiling where you put all the things. All the things you want to save but don't know what to do with, like the junk drawer every Midwesterner tries and fails to clean out every three years. Please tell me you know what I mean so I don't feel alone in the stacks of boxes I'm wading through here to make room for a plumbing project under those stairs.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Last weekend, my friend up the hill invited us — and the entire contents of my little sister's apple tree — over to her house for what she refers to as "Apple Day."
I'm sitting in the airport in Minneapolis waiting for a flight to take me up and out of this city, back home to resume life as normal. I came for a conference meant to connect people from all walks of life and give us the tools to start a conversation about acceptance, inclusion and understanding as we work to build our communities together — all of those things that start with a story and hover around an open mind.
When I was a young kid, my grandma Edith would take us to town. I would ride in the back seat on the blue velvety cloth seats of her sedan, my feet dangling above the floor and my eyes reaching just high enough to watch the power lines whiz past the window. She would run errands. To the drugstore, to the grocery store, to the Chuckwagon Cafe where her brother sat drinking coffee in his seed cap and then to the nursing home to visit her mother.
WATFORD CITY -- The window is open in this house tonight, letting the summer out and the cool autumn air in. It’s dark before 10 p.m. now and the crickets in the grass are louder than the frogs in the creek. On the ranch, we mark time by seasons a bit differently. Calving season. Branding season. Haying season. Roundup. Winter.