(My weekly column that appears in the Devils Lake Journal newspaper.)
Change can be good, but also stressful. I am no stranger to change, but it’s safe to say that the biggest change that has challenged me as an adult has been moving back to my hometown of Devils Lake, ND! Up until now the largest life change I experienced was moving from Denver to Washington, DC, some 20 years ago, when Denver was a far smaller city than it is now. I still remember a few things that first struck me when I moved to our nation’s capital all those years ago – the sheer increase in the volume of traffic compared to Denver, how fast and sometimes recklessly drivers drove and how some people seemed to be so rude, at least compared to friendly Midwest standards. Another thing that struck and shocked me was the homeless people on nearly every street in downtown DC. After awhile I sadly became at times almost immune to their presence, as did others. I’ll never forget having lunch outside one hot summer day with my co-workers in a DC park. A homeless man bundled head to toe in winter gear was pushing a shopping cart down the street and singing at the top of his lungs while brandishing a broom in the air. No one paid him the slightest bit of attention.
Needless to say the streets of Devils Lake aren’t dotted with homeless people, and as for the drivers, well I do question some driver’s actions every now and again. As for the people, for the most part I think the entire state of North Dakota contains overall some pretty friendly folks, although there is usually one cranky pants in any given pocket of people.
I can’t end this column without a little bit of talk about winter. A couple of Saturdays ago the temperature was in the 30s, maybe even close to 40. It made me positively giddy. I think I actually yelped. I was so filled with elation I wanted to do cartwheels down the slushy streets and sing at the top of my lungs. Once I calmed down I took a peek at the March calendar. The first day of spring is Wed., March 20 , so only 20 some days away. Not that I’m counting. Actually I think I will. It seems to me the first day of spring should be a state holiday here in North Dakota. Maybe I should start working on that.