I can still feel my husbands reaction the first time we visited the rural state my family have lived for the last 100 years. Shock. It resonated off him.
My parents no longer live in the state of their birth, but I grew up visiting every few years and it holds some of my best childhood memories. After we got married we visit every few years and it wasn’t what my husband expected it was going to be.
He was worried he was going to be the only ‘brown’ person and that people would stare. When we arrived for the first time at the Bismarck airport he was surprised. The Bismarck airport has 1 terminal, with only 4 or 5 gates and usually only 2 of them are being used at a time. My family complains about the airlines monopoly. Only a few airlines fly into Bismarck so they get to charge how ever much they want for air fare. Southwest, with it’s great deals, does not fly there.
He knew the first time we visited what a small state it is. Total population is just about 700,000 in the whole state, the 3rd least populated state in the Union so we are a rare breed. Not many people can say they have ever been there. But it didn’t really hit him until he was in the airport. But he was shocked too when people would just smile at him. No one stared like he feared. His shock was worse when we made the drive up to my grandparents town. He thought it was going to be like an Indian ‘village’ (as he calls it) but with less then 2,000 population this little town surprised him!
We stayed with my grandparents. My grandfather would wait for us to wake up and then make us fried eggs and toast for breakfast. At first he couldn’t pronounce my husband’s name. He can be a bit deaf at times and lets face it, it is a pretty unique name.
My grandfather took us fishing on the Missouri river which is some of my favorite memories as a child and my husband caught a fish, much to my grandfathers surprise as most of the fishing season was over. Now whenever my grandfather talks about my husband or we say we are coming there my grandfather wants to take him fishing. He will even talk to my husband about things I don’t even know about. When we were packing to leave my grandfather snuck into our room with a bag of candy.
We visited the Bismarck state capital. My husband got a orange t-shirt that says ‘North Dakota’ on it and it’s one of his favorite shirts.
Whenever we think about going on vacation my husband will say “How about we go to North Dakota?”
We are planning on visiting next month. And oh yeah, my grandfather already told us that he wants to take his boat out.
(When I can find a good picture of North Dakota of my youth I will add one. I know it’s in my house somewhere…)