Island and Ink

Small town livin’



It has come to my attention as to how many people are reading my column. And I think that is something I often forget or tell myself, that no one will bother to read this. That I’m just filling space in a paper and using it as a personal blog for my thoughts to be thrown down on a page.

The other day I had someone ask if that was me who writes in the paper. I gauged why they were asking – being the editor for a handful of years it was either a good thing or a bad thing people are asking you this question – and decided to proceed with telling them it was me.

The person then kindly let me know that it must be an old photo I’m using. Yes, this photo located in this box over here was taken in 2015. Eight years ago!

Something I can’t fathom. When I moved to Beulah, I did so to gain writing experience, spend more time in North Dakota and told myself I’d live here for a year and then move onto Bismarck. A year came and went rather quickly, and my one-year plan jumped to three years.

I thought well, since I’m staying longer, I might as well buy a house since the market – at that time – seemed decent enough. I was paying over $800 for an apartment that looked like someone was murdered on the living room floor.

Why not spend a little more and live in a house, something to call my own and make an investment in.

Years continued to pass, and friends would constantly ask when I was going to move to Bismarck. Eventually my response became “no.” No, I didn’t want to move to Bismarck. I wanted to stay in my peaceful pocket of North Dakota.

A place where everyone knows me, smiles, and waves, stop signs are rolling stops, blinkers are optional, the bartender or barista knows my order, the UPS driver knows where I work, my neighbor lends me power tools or helping hands and your presence is noticed. The space that you take up in a small town in noticed.

And I liked being more than a transactional experience with people in the town I lived in.

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