July 19, 2023

Just My Opinion - by Mary Kilen

Nothing Better Than Time With The Littles
Dale and I had the best time last weekend. We left on Thursday after work to head to Medora. We spent the evening and during the day on Friday by ourselves, wandering through some of our favorite stores and enjoying some great food.
Imagine my surprise, though, on Friday morning when one of the first vehicles I saw was Faye Borud’s. Just a few steps down the sidewalk and I spotted several Stanley residents. Reaching the Cowboy Hall of Fame, I looked and saw the Stanley Blue Jay bus that had brought Golden Age Club members to enjoy a trip to Medora.
Amanda, Zach and the kids got there on Friday around supper time. The evening included a trip to the playground, the jumper the littles called a “blob” and more before bedtime.
Saturday started early with breakfast and then a trip back to the playground. This time, Zach took Abel to play mini golf, while Dale and I signed up to take the zipline.
Dale and Carter went first. After a slight hiccup to start when Dale smacked his head, the two were off. As I watched them go backwards up the zipline and then come sailing back down, I was starting to wonder what I’d gotten myself into.
It was my turn with Jozie next. We got settled in and it started moving backwards. Jozie very wisely said, “Don’t look down, Nana”. I set my eyes on the horizon and before I knew it, we were headed back down. You’ll be proud to know that neither of us screamed in fear. We might have been laughing by the time we hit the bottom.
There was more playing on the playgrounds, a little shopping and more food before we went to have old-time photos taken. This was one of the few things that I really wanted to do. We haven’t taken family photos since Abel was a baby and now he’s six. Everyone decided to indulge me and I’m so glad they did. We got some great photos of all of us and also one of the three kids by themselves in the saloon scene.
With 5:30 musical tickets, we were trying to decide when we wanted to eat. It’s a little trickier with kids because they need to eat on fairly regular schedules. We settled on a late lunch/early supper at Little Missouri.
With a little time before we had to leave, we had a bit of a rest time before heading to the musical to top off our evening.
Sunday started with breakfast and some more shopping and time on the playgrounds before it was time for us all to head for home.
We packed a lot into that time, even if we didn’t get to do everything we wanted. The kids were really looking forward to the lazy river, but the combination of cooler weather and winds meant that will have to wait until next time. The smoky conditions shared by our neighbors to the north weren’t a big help either.
That being said, the weekend was everything Dale and I could have asked for. We decided that going early worked well in our favor. We got to do the few things we knew we wanted to do and then spend the rest of the time as a family. When Amanda was teasing us about doing “all of the fun things”, Dale said that we were just practicing so we would be ready when they got there.
It’s been a long time since Dale and I have been to Medora. There are lots of fun new changes, especially for kids. There are also some of those sentimental moments. While walking the first night, we came across the Elaine Andrist Wind Garden. Started in memory of his late wife by John Andrist, the garden now celebrates both of these wonderful souls. While many remember John from his time in the ND Legislator, for me he will always be the smiling face that was at our Greater Northwest Publishing meetings. Andrists were one of the founding publishers of the corporation, along with Dale’s parents.
Now we are getting ready for the kids to come for their summer visits. It’s been a strangely busy summer for all of us, so none of them have come to stay yet.
Carter will be coming on Thursday. He wasn’t sure at first about coming until he realized it would be during the State Fair. I’m sure his stay will mean at least two trips to the Fair for food, shopping and rides. He will head home likely around Tuesday or Wednesday.
Then on the weekend, Jozie will have her turn. She will stay here long enough to enjoy Summer Fest/Crazy Days. I’m pretty sure her stay will also include a trip for mani-pedis.
Abel will come last, but that’s okay. Without summer care in August, it will work best for Amanda to have him here during that time. We haven’t decided for sure, but I think that Abel’s special activity will include a trip to the Discovery Center in Minot.
We try to make sure that each of them have their own special experiences while they are with us. While they won’t each have a full week this year, they will have their own time with us, and we will make the most of the time we have. Time goes by so fast. Before we know it, they won’t be as excited about coming and spending time with us during the summer. We’re making memories because they will only be this age for now. That’s the same thing I said about the family photos in Medora.