The best part of North Dakota culture I love to experience the most is our yearly trip to the western part of the state to see the Medora Musical and take part in the awesome pitchfork steak fondue meal.

Steaks dipped in hot grease vats on pitchforks, baked potato, baked beans, fruit and wonderful music. The scenery of the Badlands is so beautiful. Also, the fresh growth of perennials, being outdoors enjoying the warm climate, nature walks and the farmers planting crops, the new baby calves, baby kittens, ducklings and the spring robins.

There are over 1,100 cemeteries in North Dakota. I like to explore them, because of the history, genealogy, art and peacefulness.

Some grave markers indicate the names of veterans of war. Some may have graves exclusively of children. This often indicates a flu outbreak when there was no vaccination available.

health gaphics

For over 30 years, these are the steps I’ve taken to keep me healthy. I recommend them to many women I have the privilege to encourage in my walk of life. Give them a try.

Ten steps to stay healthy:
1. Same wake-up time – Set an alarm and wake up at the same time Monday through Friday, no matter your line of work or if you’re retired. You can sleep more on the weekend.

I would guess few, if any, of my teachers remember me. Painfully shy, I often wished I could be invisible in the classroom. I would only engage if forced. I studied hard and got good grades, but school stressed me out. Then I met Mrs. Wilson.

She was young, with a genuine smile and a contagious laugh. You could tell she felt teaching was the best job ever. She had a knack for making learning fun and interesting.

My favorite memory unique to growing up in North Dakota is my privilege of growing up in an unincorporated village called Blaisdell in Mountrail County. The population was about 75, and the village was about four square blocks. We had no paved streets, but there were about six street lights.

The small Catholic church was on a hill about two blocks east of Main Street. That was a wonderful location, because the east side of the hill was dimly lit at night by a couple of the street lights.

The best homemade gift are books I have given to each of my nine children. One has their school and 4-H news clippings and ribbons, another has many photos of themselves with siblings, friends or pets, another is a 102-page family cookbook and a fourth includes their parents’ medical history, along with their family trees and some family history. All are in three-ring binders and all pages are enclosed in plastic sheet protectors.

Since I am an octogenarian, I have had years of experience to maintain good mental health.

As a family, we have always had family devotions. Now, as empty nesters, my husband and I start our day with devotions and personal prayers. This helps us begin each day with positive thoughts. I have always been a person who sees my glass as half full, rather than half empty.