As the Man of the Place and I mope around the house and swallow stuff that will make us feel better until this stupid virus is finished with us, I have been comforting myself with a bit of desktop travel.
The place I have been going to lately is the dear State of North Dakota. I find I can travel through most of the state on Google Street View.
I haven't been to North Dakota since about 1979 so there was bound to be change. I was ready for it.
I went to our old house, just outside Bismarck . . .well it used to be just outside Bismarck. It is most definitely in town now. The road in front of the house used to be a dirt road that the county would oil in the summer to keep the dust down. Can you imagine using oil in that manner now? Times have changed and that dirt road is now an express way. The fields around the house are now lovely houses, so I guess the gopher problem has been solved.
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Somethings have stayed the same though. The majesty of the Dakota plains is still there. There is still something spiritual to me about this landscape. I may have said this before, I feel we imprint on the first landscapes we see as children and I certainly feel it when I see North Dakota on a late summer day through this new option on Google.
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It's a bison! Right there on the side of the road, eating grass!!!
I have been quite homesick for wide prairies, choke cherries and garter snakes. I think it's the far horizons that I miss the most. Where you stand on a hill and the sky seems like a big blue dome because there is nothing to block your view for 360 degrees. I'm thankful that I can at least sneak a peek at these places without having to spend a small fortune to do it.
Perhaps it is my youth that I miss. The tanned shins getting scratched running through the sagebrush and under the cottonwood trees. I swear I can almost smell it.
I would love to see the state one more time, but I really don't know how feasible that will be. I weighed it up in my head . . . . move back or stay here . . . . I would miss Scotland far more if I moved back. There is also a family that has never known any home but this one. I've been here so long that my roots have become permanent. I'd probably not die if I were to leave, but I'd never be the same again and neither would they. I wouldn't consider inflicting that pain on them. That doesn't mean that from time to time, my eyes don't yearn to see some prairie (and naturally those dear folks I know who live there).
Hello North Dakota!
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