From the Slang Dictionary:Noun: A (female) friend. (Originally underworld. Sometimes a term of address.) : Come here, sister. I gotta have a word with you.
My sisters are my best friends. (Click here and here) Who else knows you so well and still puts up with you? Not that they won't kick your butt and smack you upside the head from time to time when you need it. Not that I've ever needed it...no. Not me.
This summer I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with my sista, Susan in July and then a couple of days with my sista, Stacey in August. Susan and I live in the same big state, but we are 6 hours away from each other so sometimes the visits are few and far between. Stacey lives in North Dakota, a mere 28 hour drive from our home on the Oregon Coast. Riff and I went to Wyoming to celebrate his parents 50th anniversary in late August. Since we were that far, we decided to drive the extra 9 to North Dakota for a couple of days, and then, heck, why not drive through northern Montana and Glacier National Park on the way home? It's only a few hours out of the way and what's a few more hours of windshield time? I'll try to post more about the rest of the trip later, at random times, but this post is about my time with my sister, Stacey.
Stacey and Willie moved to North Dakota just about a year ago and this was our first trip. I've always thought of this country as just flat prairie land with not much to see in any direction. Not at all so for the area where my dear sister lives. Beautiful rolling hills with lots of trees and lots of blue blue water - ponds and lakes. Beautiful farmland. The lake right outside their front door takes your breathe away the first time you drop down the hill into their home place.
We only got to spend a couple of days, but Stacey and I chatted, giggled and down right laughed the time away. Their ranch came with everything that the previous owners (3 0r 4 generations of the same family) had either gathered or thrown away in the previous 100 or so years. The barns, the house, the silo's - all the outbuildings - were full of incredible priceless antiques as well as just plain garbage.
Stacey, Willie and Dawn have done an incredible job of cleaning everything out, and Stacey showed me a lot of the treasures they have found. Some incredible things. There is still one silo that is packed. A pickers dream.
("Kaw-liga was a wooden Indian standing by the door." He is also one of the many treasures that came along with the ranch. I think I love him.)
We started pulling a few things out, but the haphazard way it's all been thrown in there over the years is quite daunting. A momma mouse and her babies gave me a start when I popped open the money drawer of an antique cash register. Stacey and I hee-hawed over the squeal that I let out. Then we decided to go berry picking instead.
We rode four-wheelers to find the berries, stopping at the highest point of their land. You can't see the house from here, but you can see how large the lake is and keep an eye on a couple of Willie's fields.
Stacey is trying her hand at making Wild Plum Wine, so we initially went looking for plums, only to find a patch that weren't yet ripe, so we picked choke-cherries instead. They make increcible jams and jellies. Yummy! (Oh, did I mention that we like to eat a lot when we get together too?)
Wild Plums, not yet ripe for the pickin'.
A bit of sight-seeing was squeezed in as well. Here Riff and Willie check out the history of Lake Sacajawea.
At the fish hatchery, we learn that not a single trout is native to North Dakota waters. Every single trout that swims in the rivers and lakes in ND is hatched and raised right here. Who woulda thunk it? They also raise white sturgeon as well as several other species of fish. Quite interesing, indeed.
There is one fish however, that you will not find anywhere else but in Garrison, North Dakota. Are you ready to meet him? Here he comes.........
Wally, the World's Biggest Walleye.
Whew! What a long morning of sight-seeing! We even squeezed in a bit of shopping at a cute gift shop and an antique shop in Garrison and now it's time for a snack. Willie, being a generous guy, would like to offer you a taste of his ice cream. It is rude to eat in front of people, you know.
Back at the ranch it's time to get some work done. Do you think my tractor's sexy?
I haven't driven a tractor in years. Boy how things have changed.
Next time I'm swathing a field, whether it needs it or not!
Our time was too short, but we put all into it that we possibly could. I'm so glad that we went and got to see the beautiuful place where my sister lives. I know now why she loves it.
Until next time my dear sister....save some plum wine for me.