Before we discuss our visit to Bismarck, let’s review what we already know. We had driven to Las Vegas from Parks, where we had left our RV. I flew from Vegas to San Francisco where I visited my son Wil over the weekend. Barb flew to Bismarck on Aug. 31, arriving just in time to be with my 99 year old mother while my sister Zona went to Europe. I flew to Bismarck on September 4. (Barb later flew back to Vegas to help her father celebrate his 83rd birthday.)
So now that we are all caught up, let’s talk about our visit to North Dakota. Friends and neighbors of Zona, Jerry and Jeanne, were attentive and welcoming. We joined them a couple of times at a restaurant for dinner. They brought over fresh home-baked caramel rolls. They brought over sausages and frozen pheasant. They are both retired, but Jerry still putters at farming. Zona has a huge yard, and Jerry on September 10-12 brought over his swather and then hay baler and then pickup to gather the bales from Zona’s front yard.
While I was still in San Francisco, Mom and Barb drove out to Lake Isabel to see Jon and Cathy and their kids Kate & Cole. The apples were ready, and so they all picked apples to be made into cider.
In other miscellaneous news, I saw my dermatologist and escaped without any surgeries or freezings. Barb had her toe X-rayed and finally got assurances that it was healing and that she could abandon the boot.
On September 13, Barb and Mom and I drove south to a spot along the Missouri River that the locals call ‘Desert’ presumably because there is a large sandy area along the inside of a sweeping turn of the river. Its more formal name is “Kimball Bottoms OHV Area”.
On September 15 we got up early to drive Mom to a one-day religious meeting in Fargo. After dropping her off safely, we met Barb’s cousin Geri and her husband Denny for an early lunch. After lunch Denny excused himself to attend a football game of the North Dakota State Bison, who are having another wildly successful year. Geri and Barb and I then retired to an adjoining coffee shop where we spent a number of enjoyable hours until it was time to fetch Mom.
(On September 16 Barb flew to Vegas for her father’s birthday, returning on September 20. While Barb was gone, it fell to me to curl Mom’s hair every day.)
On September 21, childhood friends Lynne & Monica came to visit Barb. Our Norwegian friends will recognize those names; those two accompanied us to Spain in 2011 to help Lars Helge & Tove harvest their almonds, to be sure, but mostly to celebrate the birthdays of Barbara and Tove. Our blog of that unforgettable event, made when we had a different blog system, can be found here. (Use the ‘<‘ key to return to a former page in this old blog; some of the links are broken.)
Lynn’s husband Steve came with Lynne and shared a meal with us, but then had to return to Valley City. The girls spent the night. It is always interesting to stay quietly in a corner and watch and listen to these long-time friends reminisce. We also taught the girls how to play 3-to-13 with Barb, Mom and me. Of course, Mom shellacked us.
Barb’s brother Tim stopped in for a nice visit on his way from Carrington to watch his son Preston compete at the Jamestown Speedway. We later learned he took first place on the last night of the season.
Zona returned on Tuesday evening, September 25, pleased with her trip but bushed from the long flight back.
On September 27 Barb and I drove back down to the ‘Desert’ area, knowing that the Cottonwood trees were turning. Barb patiently waited in the car and read while I took an extended walk through the ATV park and along the river, toting my camera and tripod.
We flew back to Vegas on the 28th, and drove back down to Parks, AZ on September 30th. But our stay at Parks is a topic for a later post. Stay tuned, or take advantage of the new subscription option.