It’s one of my favorite facts about myself to pull out at parties (okay..so I don’t go to many parties…), but I did, in fact, live in Fargo, North Dakota for about 3 and a half years. We moved there for a job I was offered. While there, the hub finished his Bachelor’s, we bought our first house, Bean (what we’ll call my son) was born and we have many happy (and cold) memories there.
And, Bacon is right, I still have a bit of an accent that pops up from time to time. And one of my favorite expressions of exasperation, uff da, wouldn’t be in my vocabulary if it wasn’t for that great city.
In some ways, Fargo is a lot of what you’d expect. It’s flat. Flat means windy. There’s just nothing to cut that wind that can howl through. It’s also cold. Very cold. Like, sometimes in December you get below 0 and don’t get above 0 again until February cold. Like, windchills approaching -40 degrees F cold. Like, people leave their cars running in the store parking lot cold. When we decided to move to Fargo, the first thing we did was decide to have a good attitude about the cold, which proved to be a wise decision. If you choose to hate the cold, you can make yourself miserable really fast.
There are a couple of my favorites Fargo “adages” that I’ll share. I recall when hub and I were house hunting, we were looking at one house and in the basement they had a little cross-stitched plaque that read: “You can only grow three things in Fargo: Older, Colder and Fatter.” Haha – still makes me chuckle out loud. (By the way, it is not true. The soil in the region is extremely fertile. The growing season is just very short. However, crops like sugar beets and corn are quite successful).
Another “adage” is that we liked to joke that we had three seasons in Fargo: Winter, Flood, and Construction. Because you only have a few months after the flooding recedes to fix the roads before it all freezes again.
You see, Fargo is on the Red River of the North which is also border of North Dakota and Minnesota. The Red River flows north, which causes all kinds of havoc as the southern snows thaw and back up as they try to flow northward. There are parks and roads in downtown Fargo that can be completely submerged during the spring months.
As [diet] soda junkies, one thing we learned to love right away was the swanky names of the gas station-marts. Which included: Loaf n’ Jug, Stop n’ Go, Kum n’ Go (you can’t make this stuff up), Cheetah Mart, and Stamart (pronounced Stay-Mart). We also regularly miss the thrift stores in Fargo. They were incredible. Here’s looking at you Dakota Boys.
But, overall, Fargo is a pretty great place full of super kind people and if it weren’t so doggone far from family we’d probably still be there. A little bit of me will always think of Fargo as home.
And, yes. You can go see the woodchipper from the movie Fargo in the neighboring town of Moorhead, MN. Fun fact: the movie was not actually filmed in Fargo.
So, Bacon. That means it’s your turn. What is your SUPER POWER.