Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If Only Minneapolis Were the Drift Prairie

Blog, I managed to temporarily get out of the funk I've been in for the month of January by physically removing myself from Minnesota by means of the Empire Builder. I fell asleep shortly after St. Cloud and woke up to a sunrise peeking over the endless North Dakota horizon. It was lovely and quaint and refreshing to be in the open space that seems to reset every doubt and worry I incur in the city. That and I got to hang out with my niece who, as I've stated before, can make anything better; especially if she's eating birthday cake.

I'm sorry. Were you expecting me to keep this party tidy?
The weekend was one of celebration. Emma turned one on Friday and had quite the shindig on Saturday. Since my brother's birthday was just two days later and mine is this coming Sunday, we managed to have our own birthday cake that we set ablaze with candles numbering our combined ages.

Our cake burned with the intensity of 53 birthday candles. Also, Fruity Cheerios.
Emma proved to be a great hostess. I was glad that she decided to sport my birthday gift of a new Tim Mahoney onsie for her party. Who's Tim Mahoney? I'm not sure. But my hipster niece really loves his alt style and tunes so I'm always sure to keep her wardrobe decked out with his stuff.

Guys? Can you please be sure the satellite radio is tuned to "Chill"?
The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy. I have to admit that I spent the first part of it drugged up on an off brand version of Benadryl that was simply named "Allergy" due to a bad headache. My brother and I made a shopping trip to the grocery store that resulted in not only discovering another off brand medication called "Leg Cramps", but also placating a hurried woman who had managed to fling a dozen eggs across the floor. Ian's words of assurance? "Eggs are only like 12 cents apiece."

It has been ten years since I was in Minot, North Dakota. My last trip there was probably when I ran at the state cross country meet in 2001. Seeing the town again didn't bring back any memories whatsoever. Nothing looked familiar, save a hillside that was located by the university. So even though I have been to Minot a number of times in my life, I was blown away by what is going on there at the moment. North Dakota's economy is booming, Blog. And Minot is where it's at. Ian and Heather pointed out house after house, hotel after hotel that hadn't been there when they arrived just a few months ago in October. Even though it's got a decent population (by North Dakota standards) of 40,000, everywhere you go is constantly busy and constantly hiring. There is an amazing energy there that was based in production and making money. Oh the irony, Blog. I had to leave the city and go out to the drift prairie of North Dakota to experience some bustling energy. If I'm honest, it kind of made me want to move there. I mean, how nice would that be to hang out with my hipster niece all the time and make some serious cash working at Hardee's?

Maybe only half of that sounds awesome.

So between day dreaming of how odd it would be to make Western North Dakota my new home and listening to my mom observe every little thing that Emma did as a "Veldhouse trait" (Veldhouses sleep neatly, Veldhouses love ice cream, Veldhouses are all born within the last week of January and the first week of February, etc. etc.), it was a weekend that ended too early despite the Amtrak running two hours late. I'll have to make another trip soon. The dirty, blue collar atmosphere is somehow a refreshing getaway from the suits and petty office complaints that surround me here.

Veldhouses love eating bananas with Grandma.

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