FARGO, N.D. -- The young professionals downing drinks and nibbling small plates at Fargo’s fine dining establishments always have confounded me.
It’s a rare occasion I splurge on a $9 martini or an artisan cheese plate. I couldn’t understand how peers could afford to do so regularly.
Then it hit me: They can’t.
They might argue with me. “Sure, I can afford it. I have $40 right here.”
But do you have money in an emergency fund?
Do you save 10 to 15 percent for retirement?
Is your credit card completely paid off?
A “no” to any of those means no, you can’t afford it.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- I was taking a drive with dad the other day – heading back to the ranch from town after dropping my car off at the shop and in between an exchange about this endless winter – when dad told me George died.
“Good ol’ George. Drove bus all those years. He was my bus driver too, you know … what a guy, that George.”
“George died?!” I exclaimed because I hadn’t heard and because it surprised me, though it probably shouldn’t have. George was well into his 80s.
WILLISTON, N.D. -- Most have a story how they got to Williston.
It doesn't usually include an 800 credit score or a trust fund left by grandpa.
Probably not many at a fancy Atlanta cocktail party brag about their dream retirement double-wide trailer overlooking the Little Muddy.
However, that is our story, and I don’t care. We love it here.
Our story begins with my losing a six-figure healthcare consulting job in Florida and then getting turned down for the Walmart greeter position in Pensacola.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- So I took a Zumba class the other day.
I know, I know. I’m way behind on this fitness phenomenon that gets us all together in a big room to cha-cha, salsa, and drop it like it’s hot in the name of Latin music and exercise.
But if you saw me shake my hips, you would understand that my hips, indeed, don’t lie. No. They tell the honest truth about many things once they’re let loose – the first truth being that they can’t be let loose.
The second is I’m a soulless nerd.
The third revelation? I shouldn’t have dropped out of dance class in kindergarten.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Marilyn Hagerty said she still doesn’t get it.
During an interview for NBC’s “Today” show Saturday morning in New York City, the Grand Forks Herald columnist said the national attention she’s received in the past two years stumps her.
Her latest review, of the chain restaurant Ruby Tuesday, recently went viral online and prompted “Today” to invite her back for a second appearance.
FARGO, N.D. – As the North Dakota landscape continues to evolve with this latest oil boom, the way people see the state is changing as well.
Politicians, industrialists, environmentalists and the media all have a vision of what the state looks like and what it should look like.
More and more, artists are offering their own perspectives on the Peace Garden State. And it’s not always a pretty picture.
“There’s never been a time when so many people have gathered to make some kind of a response,” says Moorhead, Minn.-based photographer Wayne Gudmundson, adding that people have “flocked to see a phenomenon.”
RICHARDTON, N.D. — Assumption Abbey librarian Brother Michael Taffe reaches for a random book among the rare books stored in the abbey’s library office.
The book is the writings of St. Ephrem, published in both Latin and Greek in 1682. He reaches for a second and third book of writings by early church fathers, each dating back to the 1600s and 1700s.
“We obviously have a huge theology collection,” Taffe said. “We have books on the Bible, the Psalms, studies on the Catholic church and other denominations.”
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- During three recent weeks, University of North Dakota professors Anne Walker and Jill Shafer woke up in a minimal hotel, took cold showers and drove past groups of children carrying water for miles, women grinding flour out of grain and impoverished cities on their way to work.
“Ethiopia is not set up for tourists,” Walker said.
But they were there to work.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- “The Biggest Loser” finales are always eye-opening. Tuesday’s was jaw-dropping.
Stillwater native Rachel Frederickson won the popular NBC weight loss TV show and took home $250,000 by shedding 60 percent of her body weight. It was a record-setting weigh-in with the 24-year-old former high school swimming champ dropping a higher percentage of body weight than anyone in the show’s 15-season history.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- We’re traveling this week, my husband and I, across the big state of Montana, then down through Idaho before heading into the cowboy town of Elko, Nev.
I’m writing from inside the walls of our vehicle as the sagebrush-covered cliffs of Montana whiz by my windows revealing mile after mile of scattered farmsteads with neat houses and weathered barns, the winding Yellowstone River and black cattle that look like ants munching at the base of blue mountains.
This week I’m packing up my guitar, my husband and all the boots I can fit in my car and heading west to Elko, Nev., where I’ve been asked to participate in the “National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.”
I’m happy to have been invited to an event that celebrates cowboy culture and works to keep it alive with music, art, poetry and classes on saddle making, Dutch oven cooking and two-stepping.
Now, I know nothing about making cinches and little about how to boil a potato in a cast iron skillet, but I can catch and saddle my own horse and bring those cows home again. That’s a tradition that’s been successfully passed down at this ranch.
And, oh, I can two-step. I went to country school.
New development coordinator looks to rejuvenate Tioga’s Main Street
TIOGA, N.D. – Melissa Koch is bringing fresh eyes to Tioga.
The city’s new community development coordinator wants to reach out to other new residents like herself to get them more involved in the community.
Koch also is working to rejuvenate Tioga’s Main Street while staying true to the town’s character.
“I love the charm of small towns, so it’s important to me to keep it that way,” Koch said.
Grand Forks museum’s growing collection prompts expansion plans
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Last month, $500,000 worth of African artwork arrived at the North Dakota Museum of Art on the University of North Dakota campus in the back of a 17-foot U-Haul.
Museum Director Laurel Reuter and Associate Director Matthew Wallace had driven the truck across the country and through a snowstorm to bring back the gift from an art-dealer friend of the museum.
The museum’s entire staff was waiting to help unload the truck.
“It was like Christmas,” Reuter said. “Nobody could believe the gifts we brought back.”
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