Friends, Sunshine and Work!

Celebrated Memorial Day in Webster yesterday. The Hagens (who I am living with) told me about the parade and program the town was having and I figured that I should go with them. The parade was small, but was great, it was a perfect picture of small town America. The boy scouts, girls scouts, and 4-H members walked in the parade, a fire truck, and a old Oliver tractor pulled a load of Veterans.

I also was able to see a familiar face on Memorial Day. My friend Tiffany who goes to school at North Dakota State was passing through and we had lunch at the local A&W. It was so nice to see someone I know, even if it was just for a short period of time.

Today was my first day of work in the field. I met my trainer and manager for breakfast at a local cafe and we discussed my projects for the summer. We then when and looked at some Channel vs. Pioneer tests plots that have been put in recently then around lunchtime I was told to go home. I was a little bummed after all I was expecting to put in a full day’s work. I went home and around 5:00 was asked to go and pick up some seed in Aberdeen which is about 50 miles away. I was thankful to have something to do.

The first 3 1/2 days I have been in South Dakota it has been very gloomy weather. Fog most of the day, rain, and wind blowing the rain sideways. I was beginning to wonder, “does this place ever have sunshine?” This afternoon my question was answered: yes! I was able to drive to Aberdeen and enjoy the beautiful scenery and was so thankful to see farmers out in the fields planting. They have had so much rain here recently the farmers are very behind on planting, corn should be in the ground by now, but a lot of it is not. They are getting there. The sun definitely brightened my day and I am glad to know the sun does shine here.

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What Have I Gotten Into?

Back in January I accepted an internship with Monsanto for this summer. I am working with one of their brands called Channel. It is found mainly in the Midwest. Honestly I had never heard of it until I was told that is who I am to work for.

A few weeks after I accepted I found out I was going to be in the Dakotas. (you can read all about that here It Might Just Be South Dakota) I am now in South Dakota, been here a little more than 24 hours now, and it has been an intersting 24 hours. It all started yesterday morning with a 4:30am trip to the Saint Louis Airport where I had been at Monsanto’s headquarters for the week being trained.


Oh the joys of airport lines, security and problems. I flew to Minneapolis and there boarded a Great Lakes Aviation flight to Watertown, South Dakota. Great Lakes Aviation must be short for Crop Dusters USA because the planes were all tiny. Don’t believe me? Smallest commercial plane I have ever flown on.
 When it came time to board, they called for the Watertown flight and me and ONE other man walked up. It was just the two of us on the flight. Yep 2 of us plus 2 pilots, no flight attendant, no bathroom, no free drink. I had checked in first so I was assigned the special seat. The back row had three seats and I was to sit in the middle one to try to distrubute the weight as evenly as possible. It was a loud, bumpy and extremely cold flight. I even broke out my leather work gloves out of my backpack.
It was that cold.
As we began our descent below the clouds I got my first look at my new location for the summer. Lots of fields and a lot of lakes.
We landed at the Watertown Airport, no gate you just get out on to the asphalt.
When we taxied up to the airport and I looked around and thought “What in the world have I done??” This was the first time during this process where I doubted what I was doing. I had came 1,400 miles to the middle of nowhere and it didn’t hit me until I got here. As we deplaned I figured it would be warmer than the plane ride…false. When I stepped off the plane I was almost knocked off my feet by a gust of wind. I was handed my bags then it was off to the parking lot to find my truck, which wasn’t hard. My boss had described it as the dirty silver Ford (which I have since washed). Found it!
I loaded up the truck and started trying to back out and realized the emergency brake was on (so I thought). I released it and nothing happened. Engaged the brake and released it again, still nothing. I then got out the manual and tried to figure out what the warning messages meant. Texted my boss who had been driving the truck prior to her getting a new one. Still Nothing. Called the local Ford dealership who said to bring it in, but how was I to get there?!? So finally I got desperate and called my trusty mechanic, my dad. He told me to do the same things I had been doing and it still didn’t work. So then I cried a little and scared my dad (afterall I’m sure he wanted me to call him from 1,400 miles away crying) anywho, we finally got it figured out with a little extra jiggling of the brake pedal. Thankfully the only major crisis so far. The truck works fine now. Whew!
I then drove to my church so I would know where it was for today, bought a few essentials then drove the 70ish miles from Watertown to Webster, South Dakota where I am residing for the summer. I am living at Lakeside Farm Bed and Breakfast with Mr. Glenn and Mrs. Joy, a sweet Norweign couple who are retired dairy farmers. Their place is beautiful!
I have tried making friends with their cats, with no avail.
I got to the house and Mr. Glenn asked me if I would be interested in going into town with them to a celebration at the Webster, Armory. I did. (what else would I have done?) It was very interesting, the city of Webster and the city of Dewangen in Germany has had a friendship for the last 10 years and there are 36 people from the city in Germany here in Webster visiting. So it was an evening full of singing, musical and dance performances. There was even a German Polka band the town had hired to come in and play.
There was a huge crowd for a town of 1,900 people on Memorial Day weekend.
It is still cold here today. The drive to church this morning was more difficult than I am used to. It was extremely foggy and so windy I had to hold the wheel firm to stay on the road plus heavy rains. Not a fun drive, but it was very encouraging to be with brethren. I only brought summer dresses and sandals for Sundays. Thankfully I brought a few cardigans, but I still looked like a spring chicken today and it was 50 degrees. I am still cold and have the heat cranked up still trying to thaw out.  So for the most part the summer is off to a good start, I am just ready to start work on Tuesday. I’m not sure what I have gotten myself into, but I can face the uncertainty by finding comfort in Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good”