Good morning all. I just wanted to pop in for a quick hello and to let you know that after completing my call out to winter last night and shouting it to the world, all hell has indeed broke loose this A.M.
It is snowing.
So winter has indeed arrived as I type this sitting at a computer in my hometown after braving the thirty miles of ice with my neighbor trailing behind me creeping at 45 mph on the slick roads. It has begun, our battle with the winter.
Ahh, yes, I like to talk about the weather here, it’s in my nature, it’s non-controversial and I think it’s something that we all have in common. But besides that this morning I would also like to share a little piece of what’s happening out here in my hometown. Our Little Boomtown.
The impacts of the oil industry and activity in Western North Dakota has recently made headlines throughout the country. If you’re not from around here, you’ve undoubtedly caught wind of it. If you’re a former resident it’s captivated you. If you live among it you know it has the power to consume you. Regardless, we can all agree that it is indeed a story, this town of 1,200 expanding to over 6,000 + residents and growing. It is indeed a spectacle to see the oil semis and service trucks roll on the ribbons of highway that used to carry only school children and quiet rural commuters on their way to work at the banks and stores in town. Now, because of what we have discovered below the surface 10,000 feet, something we have known was there for 60 years and we can now get to, we have something amazing to offer here on the edge of the badlands to those who are up for a challenge, adventure, willing to work hard and sacrifice a life they knew.
Jobs and opportunity and challenges in what I have come to refer to as the “Wild Wild West.”
And love it our hate it it’s happening. We can have that discussion later. But all I know is that in a time in our country where people have lost their homes, their jobs and pieces of their lives that provided them comfort and security, it is out here on the prairie that people are looking for their hope.
And hope is the reason I am back here with husband. Hope that we can keep the family ranch in the family, hope that we can have a family of our own one day, hope that we can have a good life with good friends and the freedom for a little bit of adventure.
So as we count the out-of-state license plates or the headlights that pass us on our way out-of-town, as I answer the phone calls from people looking for employment and describe to them the type of winter that is settling in around here, I like to think about all those stories, all the memories, all the struggles and triumphs and roads that brought these people here, to the edge of the buttes so far from what they know, to live in apartments or hotel rooms, to build a new house or rough it out in a camper on the edge of town. It’s hard to imagine what they have sacrificed to find their place, to find their future, to find a better life…
So yes, my little hometown has become a boomtown, but it’s not scared. It’s been there before. And yes, I have to wait in line at the gas station and the post office, something that we are not used to. We are having growing pains and there are challenges here, so we must be on our best behavior. We must be a little more aware, we must ask a few more questions, listen more carefully, take a little more time to understand what is going on around us so we can make this place the best that it can be…
We must be patient and find in us our compassion.
Please visit the link below to hear our story on Bismarck’s KXMB news channel and get a sneak peek of my new song “Boomtown.”
Visit the Jessie Veeder Music Link for more performance dates.