I grew up in North Dakota and every year I return to visit family. After being gone for so long, I appreciate the differences between ND and Illinois, my current home. For example, Illinois has the most beautiful trees,
whereas ND is sparsely forested.
It’s cold in ND with winter wind-chill temperatures often reaching more than 40 below zero.
In the summer, ND temps can reach 120 above. Illinois temperatures aren’t as extreme but the humidity is high, making hot summer days uncomfortable.
In my area, the suburbs run together so it’s nearly impossible to identify the boundaries from one town to the next. In North Dakota, each town has a unique identity because everything is miles apart. But the advantage? The traffic is usually light.
People are unbelievably friendly in ND and many still leave their doors unlocked – something that would never happen in my neighborhood, even though it’s safe.
Illinoisians have local phrases like “Da Bulls” and “Yous Guys” and people from the south side of Chicago have a recognizable accent. North Dakotans also have a distinctive accent sprinkled with colorful colloquialisms.
After spending many years of my life in ND, I still say Uff da (a Norwegian term of exasperation) and it remains one of my favorite words. Our dogs, who are Italian, are now being exposed to Scandinavian culture with their new water dish.
I haven’t heard them say Wuff da yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
May the farce be with you!