North Dakota – Bold Contrasts

October 28, 2014

Today’s Writing Prompt: Tell me about a place you knew intimately that you haven’t been to in at least ten years.

North Dakota

The pink purple inky blue long sunsets of summer. The bone chilling winds that pulled at my insides, but gave me energy, not exhaustion. The yellow field across the road … corn for feed … one day a smoky fire, set on purpose but they forgot to tell the neighbors.

Black coffee…. I had to add cream, yes, real cream … and muffins straight from the warming plate next to the oven. And rumegraut .. butter cream sugar  … so bad, and yet, so good … with anything from ice cream to oatmeal…

The sweet, constant scent of sugar beets until the harvest, gravel roads covered with tons of product on the way to make sugar. Sunflowers, awesome, taller than anyone in my clan …. Grown for the seeds, sent mostly to Japan…“Amber waves of grain” as well ….

The ice so thick that it took down the CBS tower and I cried loudly …. Decided to get cable for the long winter. 40 pound sacks filled by high school kids when the Red River melt came north, carrying the run-off and the melting feet of snow, pulling along branches, spilling over the shores, burning of Grand Forks, destruction of E. Grand Forks (Minnesota) …. President and governor and the FEMA director from the south who couldn’t understand why trailers were no good after October 1st.

Christmas eve wedding held at the Lutheran Church because of the crowd. Girls in midnight blue, bride and groom hugging both sets of parents after “the kiss.” Dinner at the family owned restaurant …Whiteouts so bad I couldn’t see Tom’s mother’s house … right over there. Snow so deep it had to be taken away in trucks…The lady with the firepole into her basement, Christmas all year, and kids invited to slide.

Funerals …. The whole town stopped, as if the clock, having been blocked by the loss, couldn’t  move until the final farewells.

Kids drinking  heavily, getting serious younger than our parents would have approved. Two major universities, but most stayed near home, not sure of whether Dad could spare them or whether they could take being alone out there in the cold.

Knowing that something was moving underneath us, but not sure what, until the talkers and the silent non-talkers nodded together and I had to pack up and move along

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