Winter in North Dakota

I woke up this morning, and like most mornings, checked my calendar for the day, then the weather. This morning it was in the single digits. If you have not spent a winter in North Dakota, you should know that from November through January, average high temperatures hover below freezing (32 F). And sub-zero temps are common. Then add North Dakota’s greatest natural resource…wind. And this morning the temp felt like -16. As I poured my coffee and sat down to read, my thoughts went to how truly blessed I am. I have a home that is warm and dry. I have sufficient food to eat. I have clothes enough to choose what I want to wear, and the ND staple, a plethora of coats that take me from the cooler days in October through the deep freeze in mid winter and back again in comfort and warmth.

But how many people don’t?

I have been focusing my research lately on the homeless population in Grand Forks. In 2008 our community leaders wrote a plan to end homelessness for the “chronically homeless” within ten years. I read that plan. It is a well written document. But it is now the end of 2018. It didn’t work. Grand Forks has done a lot and made some great strides, but we aren’t there yet. Grand Forks Housing just opened the community’s first “Housing First” community. The local shelter has reorganized and has open beds almost every night. But we still have people who are homeless. We still have individuals and families… including children who do not have access to the basic necessities of life. We still have people who hungry. We still have work to do.

Interested in joining me? Keep following this post. There is more to be done. Winter is here. But together we can make a difference.

Begin…..again.

If anyone would have told me…

How many stories begin this way? It is usually followed by the story of some accomplishment that was so far outside the story teller’s previous plan or pattern that the new direction, dream or accomplishment seems almost miraculous. But I have never been on the verge of miraculous. I never wanted to do anything that brought fame. I just want to do my part to make the world, or at least my corner if it, a better place. So, instead I will begin this story with….

I’m sure glad I didn’t listen when…

  • My high school guidance counselor told me education would be a waste on me.
  • That having made the choices I have in my life, I would never be successful
  • That family history dictates a person’s future
  • That changing jobs and even more, career fields would destroy my opportunities
  • That its always better to play it safe.

Yes, I have heard all these things and more. And yet, here I am at a time in life when my peers are contemplating retirement and grandchildren. But me? Well, I am two thirds of the way through my Masters in Social Work, and contemplating launching one of the biggest adventures of my life.

I invite you to join me. It’s all going to be documented here!