Monday, May 16, 2005


Recently my wife and I purchased a home…or I guess I should say we are in debt to the bank for a home that we will have purchased over the next 30 years. Nonetheless we are now living in a house in North Dakota. We enjoy our little brick house with a nice yard for our fur-child to roam about and accomplish his end doodie.

We have been in North Dakota for just over a week and have already noticed a few cultural differences about this almost Canadian state.

1. This afternoon I went by the Starbucks to pick up my afternoon prescription and noticed something quite North Dakotan. This particular Starbucks has a drive-thru to order your beverage of choice. The pick-up window where the drink is handed to the customer has a heater above the glass door. It is similar to the heater in the entrance of a grocery store. As the door opens a sensor is triggered to start the massive rush of hot air down on the customer. The interesting thing about the drive-thru window at Starbucks is that the heater is on the outside of the drive-thru blowing hot air into the open window of the car. Is it really that cold in North Dakota? It is!

2. All grocery stores, gas stations and hardware stores are still selling 50 lb. bags of salt for ice and snow removal. As a reminder, it is the middle of May.

3. Saturday as my father and I were installing a new fence in the back yard our neighbor awoke from hibernation and crawled out the back door of his house. He gave the neighborly nod and said, “Say, you about moved in der den?” (translation: “Have you almost completed the unpacking of your boxes?”)

4. There is no sign of foliage on any of the trees yet.

5. Sunday afternoon Kirsten and I went to Menards (saving big money, of course) to pick up a few odds and ends for the completion of our fence. At the check out counter there was a posted sign stating the current exchange rate for those coming in from Canada. What?

6. It snowed Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the featured item at Menards is still the gas-powered snow-blower.

These are just a few of the differences here in North Dakota. One can quickly understand why the entire population of this northern state is just over 600,000. Do people really like living here? I guess they do because as I pulled into the Starbucks this afternoon the license plate of the vehicle at the heated drive-thru window read ND S GR8. North Dakotans adore their land and we are making an effort to join them. We are trying to learn the ways of the people and as I learn more I will keep you informed. If anyone has any tips on making igloos or frying seal blubber please let us know. Check back often for additional information about the tundra der den, eh?

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Excellent post! Oh ya, sure, you betcha!