Thursday, August 18, 2011

North Dakota Girl at Heart

In my heart, I'm a North Dakota girl.
 I was born in Valley City, ND
and graduated from...

(with high school best friend, Janet Schill)

and attended college at

in Grand Forks.



Three of my children were born in Fargo,
#1, #5 and #6.
 In between I've moved around,
but have lived there 22 years, a little less than half my life.

Some things have changed, others haven't.

The countryside around Highway 1 traveling from Lakota to Langdon
used to be picturesque farmland. 
You'd see acres of wheat, wheat and more wheat.

There'd be a rock pile on the corner of each field,
but otherwise, crops as far as the eyes could see.

That isn't what you see anymore.

This is what you see along the ditches.


And this.

There's cattails everywhere because there's water everywhere.
Duh, you might say.

But, this isn't a lake, it's one of many flooded fields.
There's been an increase in precipitation, obviously.

Lakes and rivers are threatening towns and homes across the state
 as they expand beyond their normal boundaries.

Even  Interstate 94 the west side of the state is threatened.

Back to the cattails.

Beka was so thrilled to see her first real-live cattail
we stopped at an approach and played quietly in the ditch for a minute.

You can do that in North Dakota.

It was one of those "city girl meets the country"
kinda' moments.

Holding her cattail like a corndog while trying to stand upright in the wind.

Guess what blurred the picture?
Can't guess?
My hair.
My windblown, tangled, mangled mess.

Another thing that doesn't change in North Dakota.
Road construction.
All the metal culverts rusted out, they're replacing them with concrete culverts.
Or would that be cement?

I don't know, but I know the new ones won't rust out.

Another thing that hasn't changed?
The wind.
See those straggly strands?
My hair, again.
I was trying to shoot a better picture
and my hair was whipping around my head like spaghetti in a blender.
Another thing that hasn't changed in ND...
I have a bad hair day EVERY day.

North Dakotans figured out one way to deal with the wind problem.

Wind farms are springing up across the state,
generating energy and a little revenue for the landowners.

As far as bad hair,

there's no solution.

Sadly, there's no solution for the water issue yet,

and it's only getting worse.

Ya' know that whole thing about when life gives you lemons...
if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...

Well, I think I have an idea.

Didja' know you can eat cattails?
One expert claims they're a cross between zucchini and cucumbers.

North Dakotans could harvest the cattails and
open up restaurants with delicacies like
cattail bread
cattail sandwiches
cattail and tomato salad
cattails on a stick
fried cattails
sauteed cattails
grilled cattails...

...and all the restaurants would be floating restaurants,
hovering over the flooded farmlands.

Everybody would be elegantly dining on
sumptuous cattail delights,
watching the hypnotical whirl of the wind towers,
listening to the gentle lap of the waves against the building,
but having really, really, really
bad hair.


  1. and we wouldn't have any cattails left! :) I brought a bunch home one fall day to decorate my containers with outside and my hubby told me it was illegal to pick them. I don't believe it really is, but it is discouraged. Anyways, it made alot of cattail 'fuz' all over the place! Kids loved playing with them...
    Fun to see Jana and the 3 kiddos at vbs last night. We had a blast!

  2. Weird... ND is flooding & TX is in horrible drought. Both states have bad hair days every day because it's so hot in TX.

  3. Jill - if you want to keep them from fuzzing in your arrangements, hairspray them - like 1980s amounts of hairspray. It works.
    Mindy - one thing I never got used to during my stay in ND was the wind.

  4. O I miss my home town also....well not really but I do miss the country. I am not a city girl, and am kinda scared to raise city boys! When you are home we should have coffee...Hope you had a wonderful summer.

  5. The Indians used cattail fuzz for diaper land fill problems


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