Every Monday we welcome our daughter Kirsti to blog from her home in Western North Dakota's oil patch. Take it away Kirsti.
There are a number of unique aspects to the culture in an oil boom town. I used to take notice to these things, but the longer I live here the more normal they seem. Before I become even more jaded I decided to write a few of these things down. Here it goes.
You may live in an oil boom town if...
...you are able to play the out-of-state license plate challenge game (You know, the one where you try to find as many states as possible) in the parking lot of your local Wal-Mart store.
...every business has a boot scraper outside of its front entry.
...the grocery store has not one, but two GIANT Little Debbie snack displays. (Where else do people buy so many boxed baked goods???)
...ninety percent of the vehicles on the road are pickups. And ninety percent of said pickups have a white paint job. (Most companies buy white vehicles for their truck fleets. I kid you not. Everyone drives a white pickup. Everyone.)
...most stores sell at least some FR--flame resistant--clothing. (And not just the clothing stores. Our Ace Hardware store has a whole FR clothing section.)
...in the field across the street from your friend's beautiful new home in a beautiful new residential subdivision sits an oil well pump-jack.
...when you pass someone on the sidewalk talking on their cellphone, they are just as likely to be talking about energy-related issues as they are to be discussing their latest family news.
...most people in the community know what a "tool pusher" is and many people even have a friend who works as one. (Find the definition here.)
...you commonly use Greased Lightning cleaner when washing your husband's work clothes.
...some local businesses are forced to close their doors because of a short supply of labor. (We lost our dry cleaner, meat market and Bonanza restaurant because they couldn't keep enough employees.)
...most homes have at least one vehicle parked in front of them with mud-caked wheel-wells. (Sing it with me: Take me home, country roads...)
...your local hospital sets a new record for the number of babies born in their facility within a month at least three times a year.
...daycare is so sought after, you sign your unborn child up before you are out of your first trimester. (Many of my family and friends didn't even know I was pregnant when I initially contacted our daycare.)
...your morning commute usually includes stopping at a red light next to a van full of men in hard-hats. (Some construction crews transport their employees to and from their job sites and employee housing.)
I'm sure there are other idiosyncrasies I'm forgetting. But perhaps I'll save those for another installment.