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It is Thanksgiving week and I am still working to complete my word press site. Creating a site takes a lot more time than you anticipate and it is a constant challenge. Finding all the ways to alter the look of the site is a learning process in itself. I expected by adding themes all would be in place but I have learn found many things need to be altered and changed. I am trying to learn HTML5 and then CSS but never quite get to all of the “to do’s during the day.

I am in Indianapolis with my youngest son Tom and his family for the holiday. It is always a fun time as there are so many family members and friends in Indianapolis. The weather always leaves something to be desired this time of the year but warm family and friends helps one to endure the cold.

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Old Friends

There are those days and weeks when you struggle to get through and wish those old friends who mean so much to you lived closer.  I have some very special friends who I don’t get to see very often but the amazing thing is I feel so close to them.  One lives in Twisp, WA   and we exchange emails and usually Christmas Cards.  I know, however, if I went to visit today it would be as though no time had passed.  Oh yes, we are older and water has gone under the bridges but friendship remains strong.

Another friend is in Japan…imagine trying to visit her but email has made our communication easy  and powerful.  She is an amazing woman who lives an adventure everyday.

One lives in Bismarck, ND.  He and I go way back to Wahpeton and the Chahinkapa Park  Pool.  He checks up on me and keeps me up to date on his life, his son and his grandchild. He also reminds me of all the old fun times we had growing up.

Then there is my old true love who lives in Seattle.  Throughout the years we have managed to remain friends and I think our friendship is stronger now than ever.  I talked to him last year when we went on our Alaska cruise but didn’t get to see him.  We have great memories of stop signs, Libby, Montana and Lakewood, Colorado.  He has two sons as I do and we both have great families.  Through it all he remains a great friend and I always wonder how we wound up on opposite sides of the country.  Probably my doing as I never was happy in one place for too long.  All I know is the thought of this friendship makes me feel incredible and at peace.

Thank God for all the old friends in my life and the blessings that come with new friends.  My wish would be that my grandchildren will have friends in their life that are comparable to those I have had the pleasure to have enter mine.

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I have had many people ask why I use the name Chahinkapa.  It was a park where I grew up and it was beautiful.  I have many wonderful memories of spending time on the playground, at the zoo, and especially at the pool.  Many of my friends through the years will remember the good times at the pool and parkette.  The name Chahinkapa is a Sioux Indian word which  means “end of the woods” and I have always felt a bit on the edge of the end of the woods and on the edge of beginning of civilization. 

I am including a bit of Wahpeton History for those who remember Chahinkapa and for those who might be interested in how that part of the United States became settled.  My great grandfather Jake Lotzer owned the first wood and coal yard in Wahpeton. 

More than one hundred years after the Carver expedition, a Government surveying party passed through the Wahpeton area. J. W. Blanding, a member of the expedition was so impressed by the fertile river valley that he returned to his Wisconsin home determined to move his family and belongings to the Dakota Territory. Blanding so influenced other Wisconsin settlers that many of them arrived and homesteaded in the Wahpeton area before Blanding could return.
The first settler was Morgan T. Rich. His plow turned the first furrow of rich black bottomland in 1869. When other settlers arrived, they formed a tiny community and quite naturally named it Richville. An apt name considering its founder and the fertile quality of the soil.
In 1871, a Post Office was opened. At the same time, the town’s name was changed to “Chahinkapa” an Indian name meaning “the end of the woods.” Two years later, the county was organized and called Chahinkapa County. Later that year the county was renamed Richland County and the town of Chahinkapa renamed Wahpeton. Credit for suggesting the name Wahpeton is given to an early settler named William Cooper. Wahpeton is a contraction of the Indian name “Warpeotonwe” meaning “Leaf Village”.
Growth of the village of Wahpeton was quite slow during the first few years. But a flurry of activity was created in 1872 when the St. Paul and Pacific Railway (now the Great Northern) extended a line into Breckenridge, Minnesota, a tiny community just across the Bois de Sioux River. This created a booming business in flat boat building in both Breckenridge and Wahpeton. Flat boats could carry freight directly from the railroad down river to northern North Dakota and all the way to Winnipeg, Canada, via the Red River of the North, the waters of which eventually reach Hudson Bay.
At the same time, the railroad opened up the area to many more settlers. Germans, Bohemians, Scandinavians and native Americans moved to Richland County to file homesteads. Wahpeton was growing. And in 1874, Jacob Morvin and Joseph Sittarich opened the first retail store in the county. By 1876 the traffic between Wahpeton and Breckenridge had grown to where the local ferry could not handle it and a bridge was built across the Bois de Sioux River connecting the two towns.
Another flurry of growth was realized in 1880 when the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad crossed the river and pushed its tracks on toward the north-west. A few years later, in 1883, the population of Wahpeton was estimated to be as high as 1,400 people.
As the county seat, Wahpeton was the center of all activity. Here was the courthouse, the bank and the first flour mills. In 1889 the Red River Valley University was established later to become the North Dakota State School of Science.
As the century came to a close, Wahpeton had settled down into a hard-working agricultural community. Its frontier had, years before, passed further west.
In 1904 the United States Government established the Wahpeton Indian School (now called Circle of Nations School) for the education of Native American children from northern Minnesota, North Dakota and northern South Dakota.
Through the Twenties and Thirties, Wahpeton continued to grow, develop and to keep pace with the rest of the nation. It has been through this half of the Twentieth Century that the Red River Valley has earned its reputation as one of the richest agricultural belts in the nation.

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North Dakota

 This is definately typical of the North Dakota folks. 

After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, Scottish
  scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years
  and came to ‘the conclusion that their ancestors already had
  a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

  Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed,
  British scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after,
  headlines in the UK newspapers read:   “British archaeologists
  have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have
  concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech
  communications network a hundred years earlier than the Scots.”

  One week later, “The Times Record, a Valley City, North
  Dakota newspaper, reported the following:

  “After digging as deep as 30 meters in a corn field near Casselton,
  Ole Johnson, a self taught archeologist, reported that he found
  absolutely nothing.  Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years
  ago North Dakota had already gone wireless.”