by Erika Dyk
I don't remember the first day I met North Dakota as my home.
I was four.
I don't remember, but I remember the stories told of that time.
The stories. Stories of a bitterly cold winter, of my grandma driving the van while my mom was in the back trying to keep my 6-month-old brother warm, of my dad leaving the moving truck running while fueling for fear that it wouldn't start again if it stopped, of arriving in Bowman at my grandma's house on Christmas Eve.
My grandma's house. This North Dakota house that probably wasn't what my parents were thinking of when they were praying for a place to build a house in Idaho. This house that was to be my first North Dakota home because we had moved so quickly we didn't have a house of our own. This house that shared parts of my mom's childhood, that was to share parts of her children's lives as well. This house where I first met North Dakota as my home, once upon a fiercely cold Christmas Eve night.
I don't remember. I was only four. But that's why we tell the stories.