Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Better Than Previously Reported

This past January, National Geographic ran an article about the sad decline of many towns in North Dakota. The accompanying photos were downright depressing: a dilapidated school, a neglected home, an abandoned church, etc. Well, after feeling sorry for the residents of the Peace Garden State, I was tickled pink to hear this recent, more cheerful report on
In less than a year, [Oscar] Stohler and his wife, Lorene, 82, have become millionaires from the production of one [oil] well on their land near Dunn Center, a mile or so from the sod home where Oscar grew up. A second well has begun producing on their property and another is being drilled --- all aimed at the Bakken shale formation, a rich deposit [of oil] that the U.S. Geological Survey calls the largest continuous oil accumulation it has ever assessed.

Landowners in western North Dakota have a much better chance of striking it rich from oil than they do playing the lottery, say the Stohlers. Some of their neighbors in the town of about 120, from bar tenders to Tupperware salespeople, have become “overnight millionaires” from oil royalty payments.
Fortunately, this new-found wealth doesn’t seem to be changing these folks:
[Mr. Stohler] still drives his old pickup [truck] and wears a mesh farm cap --- but it’s by choice.

- snip –

Lorene [Stohler] said the only thriftless purchase was an automatic sprinkler system for her flowers that surround the couple’s new home. And Oscar bought a $1000 ring for his wife to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
How sweet. I would say life in North Dakota is just fine.

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