Before we officially moved, Jim and the boys spent approximately 2 weeks on the land, gathering information on contractors, contacting the local phone company to bring in a phone line, adding electricity, etc. Jim knew there was the distinct possibility the house would not be ready before the snow flew. Approximately 3 miles from our house was a retreat center on Lake Metigoshe, aptly called Metigoshe Ministries; Jim contacted their office to see if there would be a possibility of our family bunking in there until the basement was finished enough to move in.
Friends surprised us by driving up just a week after we moved up here, and stayed at Metigoshe Ministries. Part of their facility is an old church that was moved to the site, and bunk rooms were added for visitors to use at a very reasonable price.
I was still in a state of shock after having moved only a week previous to their visit, and was so thrilled they had brought enough food to feed our family as well. I hadn't brought much in the way of food with us, since I knew I had no place to store anything. (In one of my other posts, I explain how our outdoor refrigerator and freezer were storing tools, etc.) Part of my culture shock was also due to how expensive food was to purchase in our town's 2 small grocery stores; I could purchase a jar of unsweetened applesauce in Fargo on sale for 99 cents, and in Bottineau when it went "on sale" (and they rarely had unsweetened) it was at least 3 times that much. I was finding it very hard to cook anything for a reasonable price. Metigoshe Ministries not only had bunk rooms, but there was an area in their building called "Life and Growth" that had a full size stove, apartment size refrigerator, and living area. We ate out meals in that room, since it was very chilly outside. Anyway, our time with our friends gave us the opportunity to scope out where we could possibly live on a short term basis until the basement was roughed in.
Jim's folks came shortly after our friends had gone back to Fargo, and stayed for a little over a week. The night before they left to head back to New Hampshire was the coldest night we had experienced: 27 degrees! That is a bit chilly for living in a canvas pop-up camper. Jim decided it was time to do something about our living arrangement.
That morning, we jumped into our van and made a trip over to Metigoshe Ministries. We talked with the people in the office, and were told we were welcome to move into the Life and Growth Place. What a blessing it was to have a warm, dry place to stay! We were given two rooms, one for the boys and one for Jim and I. We knew any time someone wanted to stay in the rooms we occupied we would have to move upstairs to their actual bunk rooms.
It rained steadily that first night ... So much so that when I helped get our youngest ready for bed (we even had easy access to a shower!) we discovered the rain was running in from the ceiling. I found the lady who stays in an apartment on site, and she realized the worker who was reroofing had neglected to tarp the roof! As I was running around helping to mop up water and placing buckets in strategic areas, Jim was on the roof with the director, nailing on tarpaper. What a night! Of course, the boys thought it was great fun.
How great it was to be able to clean up and sleep in a nice bed, after working hard during the day on our basement. I made meals in the Life and Growth Place and then brought them out to Jim and the older boys. I tried to keep the area clean as much as possible, since there were quite a few people that would walk through there and even use the room. We cleaned up especially for Sundays, since a church also meets on the premises and Life and Growth was used for Sunday School.
During our stay my parents came from Minnesota to see us. It sure was nice to have a place to visit that wasn't out in the cold!
Our family has many fond memories from living at Metigoshe Ministries. Jim tells everyone we stayed there for 59 days and 128 loads of laundry! The staff truly went out of their way to help us out when we needed a place to stay. Not only that, but out of our time there we developed relationships. Our oldest son has a vacuuming job there and I am occasionally called upon to help out with cooking, cleaning or office work. The Lord truly blessed us with our friends at Metigoshe Ministries.