In my previous life, the second weekend of December was filled with trips down town, hitting up a half a dozen malls, drooling over things I couldn’t afford, inevitably buying at least one thing I couldn’t afford, and getting glitter all.over.the.apartment. (just ask Danny, he loved that part).This December, I find myself in Watford City. No Target or Nordstrom Rack in sight. Not so many malls but plenty of glitter. We woke up the second Saturday of December, lazily looked at each other, pulled on some decent clothes and wandered out to see what may be going on. And like we’ve found thus far, this cute little town did not fail us.
First stop: Whippin Stitch. An old feed store turned antique shop/embroidery business, they had coffee, cookies, and wagon rides to celebrate the season.
This shop is adorable. I want to buy everything in it. Noticing inference of a shopping problem, anyone?
This is for real, people.
See Benj and me back there? He was set on diving head first out of that moving wagon, my arms are sore from wrastling him.
It was also a record breaking warm day which I was not complaining about.
Next Stop: Long X Visitors Center for a “Taste of North Dakota”. My bud Bev mentioned that they were having an event and we thought we’d check it out.
Let me tell you something that I find enlightening: Watford natives love Watford. They love it like a dear sister, a family member, close and precious to their hearts. The beautiful parts of their lives are woven here, up and down main street. When they tell me stories of things that happened here, of things that have changed, of their town welcoming us migrants in, they all get a similar look in their eye. I wonder if it is the same look in my eye when I tell a funny story of something whimsical that happened with my grandparents. Like, driving all over Palm Springs on Thanksgiving morning looking for a store open that sold my grandfather’s hairspray. The man could not enjoy his dinner until his hair was sprayed. When I think of that morning, I miss him and love him in equal parts. His hair always looked so perfect, he was classy like that. It was important to him. He is still here, in the air, and in the evolution of my family, that dignity. I think that may be the same way that Watford runs through the veins of her people. I don’t mean that Watford has passed away as a person does, but Watford has changed, grown, and those old-time priorities, whimsies, are still here. I can sense them even if I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly. The pride that says, “This is who we are and this is how we hold ourselves, because we are Watford”.
Ok, that was a big tangent, but my grandpa’s hairspray was what I was thinking about at the visitor’s center on Saturday. I talked to Jan the director of the Museum and Jennifer, a member of the board, and a couple of others. When they spoke of their Watford, there I saw that pride. I think that that is what is keeping this town grounded while the boom happens in and around her. I find it fascinating to be an observer.
After the visitor’s center we went home for nap time and ended the evening at a Christmas party for our church, the Mormon church.
The Mormons of Watford are a bit displaced at the moment. We lease an old high school out in Arnegard, complete with pictures of the class of 1927 and all remnants of their existence. We have really outgrown that building, though, and without a building of our own, troubles getting land, and more Mormons landing here every day, we are spinning in circles trying to figure out where to go. Our Christmas party was in the community room of my apartments, convenient for me!
Anyway, all in all, our Saturday was fun, interesting, and, mostly, free. Here here for Watford.