Having just returned from a train trip to North Dakota I feel refreshed. The featured image I used in this entry shows that area of the country as a desolate wasteland which is the impression many people have of that beautiful state. Nothing could be farther from the truth. North Dakota is a vibrant, energetic land and the people are amazing. They are down to earth, friendly, and global in their thinking. It is a place that must be experienced to be understood.

Sundogs are colored spots of light that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals. They are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun.

Only in the upper central states have I seen the gorgeous Sundogs.

My sister Deb and her husband Rex picked me up at the train station in Devil’s Lake about 100 miles from my destination at 11:37 pm. I spent the first couple of days at their house where my brother Dennis is also living at this time. Dennis has been very ill and is convalescing. Right across the street is a large, open, park with walkways that are plowed clear after every snowstorm. At first we were able to get out and about. Later the weather turned cold, well below zero, and the world became icy so we spent lots of time playing cards any time of the day as the mood hit us. Deb and I teamed up against the guys. We were well matched with the guys winning over all by a couple of games. We had a great time.

Deb and Rex’s home
After sitting on the train a walk in the park felt great, even in the sub zero temperatures.
Deb kept us well fed
Rex helps with the laundry
Dennis is showing great improvement
Pitch was our card game of choice

Our brother Mike drove over from Wisconsin to spend time with us. He stayed at a hunting lodge two of my great nephews built to rent out as a very successful business. Jordan and Ryan are very generous allowing family to stay there at no cost anytime it is open from renters. One evening Mike prepared a wonderful meal inviting some of us to a pork and beef roast dinner and three kinds of potatoes.

Ryan & Jordan’s Hunting Lodge
The lodge is amazing

Leaving Deb and Rex I went over to spend a couple days with Donna, then returned to spend the last three days with the Graves again. While with Donna some of her family, including Mike, joined us for a soup and pizza dinner. Donna’s grandson Noah and two of his college football buddies joined us as well.

These guys were heading out for a coyote hunt.

Sunday after Mass Deb and Rex’s daughter Anita and her husband Brett invited us over for a soup and bread lunch. We had a great time and the hot soup was most delicious. There were two kinds, an Italian one I can’t pronounce and Grandpa Ralph’s hamburger soup, plus plenty of wonderful bread, followed by Brett’s delectable peanut butter cookies.

Gail Ann was able to join us as well.

Thank you everyone for your excellent Dakota hospitality. I had a wonderful time.


Thank you Dennis for treating us to dinner at the Pizza Ranch. Good food, Great company !
Congrat’s Mike on your successful fishing adventures on Jerc Lake.
Jipsi, the newest member of the Deb & Rex Graves family.
Indee, the newest member of the Anita & Brett Frey family.
Thanks Deb for the demo on how you make your beautiful quilt blocks.
It does get a bit windy in North Dakota.
My favorite quote at this time, author unknown, shared with me by Donna
I find great beauty in the starkness of winter.