North Dakota Roots

By Kim Rensch 

I can still remember the vibe in our house. It was a feeling of pure joy when my dad came home from work after he had accepted a job with an Air Force Base in North Dakota. For the four years that we lived in Virginia and then Georgia, my parents missed their home state, even the weather. The neighbors used to gawk out their windows as Dad pushed a snow shovel down the sidewalk on those rare days we saw a half inch of snow. No one else owned a snow shovel on our block, and they certainly weren’t crazy enough to go outside on such a cold day! When it came time for me to start kindergarten, my parents wanted nothing more than for me to be educated in a North Dakota school. So when my dad came home that day and told my mom we would be moving back home, Mom had no reservations. She mobilized her parents and sister to fly to Georgia and help with the move, and in no time, our caravan had traversed the 1400-mile stretch of road to Grand Forks. We arrived just in time for me to start kindergarten. For the first three months of my kindergarten career, we lived in a hotel room until my parents could find us a house to move into permanently. Having their daughters enrolled in a North Dakota school was important to my parents, and now teaching in North Dakota schools in important to me. We are fortunate to have the strong education system that we do.