My last day in North Dakota went super fast. My mom and I slept on my grandma's pull out couch (after going to sleep at 2 AM.. it was fun sneaking around with my mom in HER mom's house xD). We got up and my grandma made us breakfast (no caramel rolls... I was disappointed. My grandma makes the best caramel rolls in the world). Then we saw my cousin Loni for a bit (she's pregnant) and then dashed off to the mall.
We wanted to get a little shopping time in at Herberger's because we don't have that store back in Washington. It was serious power shopping (I got a lot of nice things and we were only there for a half hour) and even though I spent a little more money than I meant to, I justified it by saying the clothes are for London. So.. there.
Also I got a new purse! I have been using the same purse for 2 years straight now.
(I am going to pause here to say I'm at the airport, and I thought the lady next to me had been talking to me for the last two minutes but then she turned her head and she had a stupid bluetooth earpiece in. I HATE THOSE.)
Then we met my mom's best friend Abby for lunch and it was really nice to see her getting to chat with a friend she's known since high school about "all the stupid things they used to do" and "how great it was to see each other"... and then I started realizing that they have only gotten to see each other every few years or so for the past 20 years, and how horrible that would be if I didn't live near Eia or Liz any more and just had to catch up with them at a restaurant every three years... then Alex and I had a tiny argument about nothing in an email exchange and that in combination with thinking about how sad it is when people move away from their friends and family had me crying in the bathroom of the Ground Round for about 10 minutes. Just out of nowhere.
I think the crying was more from me not getting much sleep and having to leave everyone that afternoon (my flight left at 6:50 pm) but man. I have cried a lot on this trip.
I guess the biggest thing is that North Dakota means SO MUCH to me. I was born here, I spent summer vacations here... if you read through any writing I have ever done they are ALWAYS set in small towns like the ones my grandparents live in. These trips are always such a great escape from my normal life and I really do love my family and its history. But this trip was so different.
My grandpa is getting older and it's hard on him and my grandma. My aunts and uncles and my dad are probably going to talk them into selling the big house he and my grandma live in.. the one we've all been gathering in year after year. Once they don't live there anymore, we wont have any reason to go back to Linton.
A lot of my cousins (around my age) are pregnant. Or were pregnant and now have babies.
I wouldn't be surprised if our trips to North Dakota in the future are for funerals. I don't want to think about that.
It felt so different here this year. It feels like the end of an era or something.
I don't really know what the point of all this is. I'm only musing. It was just a very bittersweet trip. I'm a huge proponent of the things I love not changing and it feels like it's all changing very quickly.
Also, my grandparents are adorable and still very much in love even after all these years and with my grandpa's inability to take care of myself, and even though it is hard on my grandma (seeing her struggling made me want to cry too) I only hope some day I can be like them. I decided this weekend that someday, I want to be able to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. You don't see many of those anymore. I want one. They had one, a few years back.
I mean, even if I don't get married until I'm 30, I only have to live to 80 for that to happen. :)
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9 hours ago