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Jun. 21 2013

The Lefse Report

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 1 Comment

Dear readers: I owe you an apology. There are no pictures of lefse in this post. My mom bought us two packages of the stuff during our North Dakota visit and I fully intended to snap a few pics of it at my parents’ house, but got distracted because I was in the presence of, well, lefse. As such, I reached for the butter, sugar, and cinnamon rather than a camera. The same thing kept happening after we got back to Baltimore, and before I knew it, I was lefse-less and feeling the need to hit the gym a bit harder. If you’ve ever lived in an area where a favorite childhood treat wasn’t available, I’m sure you understand.

We did take non-lefse pictures during our trip, including this one of a house in an area hard-hit by the 2011 flood that ravaged the Minot area.

Flood house Minot

I’m not sure whether this home is currently occupied. We toured several areas affected by the flooding, and in all, some residences and businesses have been completely restored, while others are still undergoing renovation or have been abandoned. The house above is a few blocks from the elementary school my sister and I attended. The school appears to have been spared and looks much as it did several decades ago, but obviously, not all properties in the area were so lucky. I’m glad we moved when I was 15 and that my parents now live on a hill!

Despite the damage done by the flood, Minot appears to be thriving economically, thanks largely to the North Dakota oil boom. This prosperity hasn’t come without controversy, however, and some locals attribute societal changes ranging from high cost of living to an increased crime rate to the influx of oil workers.  We definitely noticed the former – Minot housing prices are comparable to those in Baltimore these days; ditto for the cost of a meal in a locally-owned restaurant. On the plus side, one can now hang out in a nice wine bar, get a respectable bagel, and enjoy very tasty Japanese food in Minot, so the town’s culinary scene has diversified considerably since I lived there.

Since my ethnic background is about 1/4 Norwegian – can’t you tell? I’m so tall and blond! – we made a pilgrimage to the Scandinavian Heritage Park, where I got a little camera-happy.

Stabbur (18th C. Norwegian storehouse)

This is a stabbur, or storehouse, of a type that would have been common in Norway during the 18th century. Check out the decorative carving on this building – I think it’s gorgeous!

Stabbur detail

I also took quite a few pictures of the Gol Stave church museum, which, as the name implies, isn’t used for regular services, but is apparently a popular location for weddings. We saw a bridal party on the park grounds during our visit and assumed they’d just tied the knot here.

Gol Stave church - by DN

Gol Stave church exterior - by DN

Gol Stave church altar

Gol Stave church roof - by DN

How about one more view of the church from downhill?

Gol Stave church from downhill

Oh, and remember the giant Dala horse from my previous post? Here I am standing next to it. I’m 5’3″ and wearing about 3″ wedge heels in this pic.

Dala horse & shrimpy DJ

All in all, we had a great time visiting with my parents and several old friends, but jobs and kitties awaited us here, so we flew back last Sunday evening, lefse in tow. Actually, it was in my carry-on, well wrapped in foil, which raised one TSA agent’s eyebrows. That package and my jewelry case (loaded down with vintage sterling, as usual) had to be gone over with great care. The joys of modern air travel!

 

 

 

 

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Dyana Neal

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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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