Our family has certainly run into a lot of interesting people lately.
A couple of days ago Jonathan and I traveled to town in the boys' pickup truck so we could purchase a large bag of grain. Jim had ordered the grain that morning, and it was supposed to be waiting for us.
Before we could get the grain we needed to open up the house we are watching for a friend so a man could install carpeting on some stairs, and also someone else could repair the dishwasher. After this the house should be ready for appraisal.
After talking to the carpet layer by phone, I had a hint that he was a real character. He must be French Canadian, as his last name implied. This guy came in wearing a black beanie, complete with a cross bone skull and lettering of "Sturgis." He was obviously a biker. What caught my attention was as he turned around I saw a braid that extended down to the middle of his back! I don't normally run into people like this, and certainly wouldn't have wanted to run into him in a dark alley at night, but he seemed decent enough. He even brought his son, who was apparently apprenticing in his dad's trade.
They got busy, and then the man arrived that was going to check out the dishwasher. He sported a gray haired braid, only not quite as long as the other guy's braid. We stayed to see what he thought of the dishwasher, and watched him take care of the rather simple problem.
It isn't just the hair styles that catch my attention, but the many people in the area that go about their lives without much thought of how the rest of the world lives. Up here in the hills we have quite a few people that basically just want to be left alone, to live as they choose. Maybe there are characters like this all over, but I've never seen as many in such a short time as I have up here. I sure would hate to be a census taker -- unless I knew the people and the area. Someone recently told me of a place where no one visited unless invited; if you did, you found the end of a gun barrel.
I remember walking a small town during the campaign season with our sons Jonathan and David, and how one lady was very rude and slammed the door in our faces. Shortly after that we saw a group of rough looking characters milling around an old pick-up truck. I took a deep breath, and David and I walked over to give them Jim's campaign brochure. Those men turned out to be the friendliest ones I had met all day. One even mentioned how he had met Jim a week or so ago at the stock car races.
I guess you can't judge a book by its cover, or people by the length of their hair.
However, I am hoping people in the area are not judging us as well. It has been stated that Jim and I may always be considered outsiders, but maybe our boys have a chance to become part of the locals. When we first moved here the gossip went around that we were Jehovah Witnesses from the east coast. I would be hard pressed to consider Fargo as being the east coast, and can't figure out how they ever thought we were Jehovah Witnesses!
This summer will be an interesting one. We are beginning to market our farm products, and we'll see how willing the local population will be to check us out.