Blake is on Spring Break this week from NDSU. Unfortunately for me, there is no Spring Break in the “real world”. Deciding I deserved a day off anyway, I took Friday off from work and decided we should adventure to Grand Forks. While this may not seem like the destination vacation for most Fargo natives, Blake and I had yet to visit. In fact, we’ve been so consumed with work and school that we’ve barely had time to visit any places outside of Fargo and Moorhead.
We hopped in the car and headed North. Grand Forks or bust! We were able to meet up with two of Blake’s relatives. A “fousin” we deemed them. “Fake cousins”. (His mother’s, cousin’s, daughters?) Luckily, they were able to give us an exclusive tour of the Grand Forks area. We went by the “Ralph” to purchase some Sioux hockey memorabilia, had some delicious local pizza, and experienced the Grand Forks night life. All in all, we had a fabulous time.
One thing I have come to love about the Midwest is how proud everyone is of their town. I have yet to meet someone that says, “I hate it here and can’t wait to leave.” In fact, I haven’t even met anyone that wants to leave the state of North Dakota. I think this would surprise most people outside of the state. I think people view North Dakota as a desolate, boring, tundra of a state and couldn’t think why anyone would live here, led alone stay.
I grew up living on both sides of the country. My parents divorced when I was young and I spent summers in Washington State, where my dad lived, and on the East Coast with my mom the rest of the year. When I’m asked where I call home, I shrug. My mom and my high school friends are in Maryland, yet I have no urge to return. I loved going to college in Virginia, and would love to return to the Shenandoah Valley at some point in my life, but thats purely because of the breathtaking beauty and not so much for any other reason. The majority of my family is split between Washington and Oregon, but they are the only reason I would move back, not because I feel like the Pacific Northwest is my home. To me, I crave a sense of “home” more than anything else, and it’s refreshing to come to an area where everyone is content right where they are. Even people who have left North Dakota, would love to move back at some point. It is home. Blake’s parents are from North Dakota and while his dad is usually quiet and reserved, you see him light up when he discusses him home state or talks about Bison football.
Home is where the heart is, and for the time being, that means North Dakota for me.