Today in May, I had returned from Home of Economy and the Jack & Jill grocery story with an industrial strength raincoat and a few bags of groceries after moving in a truckload of furniture to my new third floor apartment in Watford City, North Dakota.
Eight months later, I'm thoroughly settled in, writing exciting news for the McKenzie County Farmer and awaiting spring and summer. I never imagined this town as it has realized itself to me since I moved here. In Fargo, all I ever heard of Watford City was the negatives about the energy industry: Drugs, crime, surging traffic and little housing.
Winter here has been comfortable for about a month with no real big snow events since the Christmas Day blizzard when 16 inches fell here.
I've been to Fargo five times since I moved here, but not since Tuesday, Dec. 27, when I returned from Christmas with my family. I'm hoping to visit my hometown again in mid-February, visit Itasca State Park and hobnob with friends, family and pets.
My dad visited Watford City for his birthday weekend a few days ago. It was great. We hiked the Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel, drove around Williston and went to karaoke night at D&M's Office in downtown Watford. Cooked a moose stew on Sunday morning too, and Dad's bird dog Dash joined in the fun too. This was Dad's third visit to Watford City since I moved here.
I can't wait for summer here again. All green with flowers and blue skies and those puffy clouds like cotton balls. Longer days too. I'm not a fan of pitch darkness at 6 p.m., but then again, I don't like light outside at 11 p.m. either.
As for next summer, I'm also planning my vacation with the paid time off I will have accumulated. I'm thinking Minnesota's North Shore and Voyageurs National Park. I definitely want to see Flathead Lake in Montana next summer too. June is only 17 weeks ago, so it's never too early to plan.
Of course, next summer I'd like to see Lake Metigoshe State Park, the Missouri River, Itasca and other places with flowers, leaves and water. Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch would be awesome too.
Eight months in Watford City mean it's four months until my one-year anniversary here. Hard to believe I was tracking wildflowers on graduation day last May and here I am overlooking a farm field from my apartment in Watford City. Things can change quickly.