My Journey Along the Narrow Way

In 1992, back when Bella was 5 and Joey was 2, our family moved to Fargo, North Dakota. We were like fish out of water when we arrived. Let me explain…

First of all, I was born in Colorado, but we moved when I was four years old. After that, I grew up in Southern California and Alabama (back and forth pretty much). Two nice, warm states. I remembered the cold and snow from Colorado, but vaguely. My husband was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, as were our children. So they knew nothing about snow.

The trip driving up to Fargo was an experience in itself. We discovered somewhere around Tennessee that Bella got extremely car sick on long trips. Who knew? Let me tell you, it is NOT fun to clean vomit out of the backseat of a car, out of a basket of toys, and off of a little brother’s shoe on the side of an interstate with cars whizzing by and your husband dry heaving beside you. Just saying is all…

On Day 3 we finally pull into North Dakota. It was cold and blowing snow. Did I mention it was the first of November? Everyone else pretty much had either snow tires or chains. Also, they had nice warm parkas but not us. We had little measly thin Alabama coats and we were FREEZING.

So as we pull into to town, we go to Wal-Mart. I’m sure we looked hilarious running through the blizzard, with no snow gear on, in our tennis shoes, into Wal-Mart. An hour and a couple of hundred dollars later, we are fully outfitted with parkas, boots, scarves, gloves, hats, and snowsuits for the kids. Ahhhhh…we are finally warm.

Next, it’s on to the grocery store to get some provisions. Another hour and another hundred dollars later, we are fully loaded with groceries and ready to see our new apartment. After running by the real estate office, we are finally ready to get to “Home, Sweet Home.” Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t.

Here you had an Alabama boy driving the car…one who had learned to drive in the snow during the last day. And not very well, I might add. We turned onto our street and slid right on by the driveway. OK…let’s try this again. We drive around the block and promptly slide right by the driveway again. It took either three or four tries before we finally got into the driveway.

Our apartment was on the second floor so we decided not to carry all those groceries up the stairs but rather throw them up to the balcony. I bet you can guess whose brilliant idea that was. The kids and I go ahead up to the apartment and Bud unloads the car, throwing each tied bag up to me. It all went fairly well until he threw the milk. For some reason, I saw it coming and ducked. It promptly exploded as it hit the sliding glass door. I never did get all the milk off the door until the spring thaw…

Finally we were done with the groceries and the kids and I watched out of the part of the sliding glass door that wasn’t covered in ice milk as Bud parked the car and attempted to come on up to join us. I say attempted because he was walking across the parking lot and the next thing we saw was feet in the air and Bud on his back in the snow. Hilarious!

All I can say is the Clampetts came to Fargo that day!

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