Katie Pinke / Agweek Publisher
"How are you doing?" is a common daily question in the rural Upper Midwest culture I call home. It's like a greeting of hello. You hear it in our small towns, passing by in the grocery store or after church on Sunday. Most answers are "good" or "busy." And then we all go on about our days. We walk away not saying how we're really doing, whether it be full of positive news or a struggle we're facing.
WISHEK, N.D.—During a recent visit to California for my sister-in-law's wedding, a friend recommended we eat at The Slanted Door, a top-rated restaurant in San Francisco. We checked into our hotel and made our way to the restaurant after making a reservation using the Open Table app. Outside we waited for our table to be ready. Our daughter Elizabeth looked at the menu posted on a wall and asked, "Mom, grass-fed beef only? Is this really necessary?"
Instead of a sentimental Mother's Day column, I've decided to go the realistic route and broach a topic that is an everyday struggle for many of us. Many moms feel like they don't measure up thanks to the age-old comparison conundrum that's now fueled by society, blogs and social media. All you moms know what I'm talking about. No matter what kind of mother we are or aren't, we can't do enough. We aren't enough. In honor and celebration of Mother's Day, please stop comparing yourself. You are enough.
I'm not here to sell you anything. I've never sold anything through a pyramid-style direct sales business, neither did my mom or grandmothers. But direct sales businesses are not new to me. I remember my late Grandma Dorothy always having Avon products and a freezer full of Schwan's food. She wasn't much of a cook. As a widow, I imagine that her interaction with the Schwan's delivery driver or her local Avon representative, both who stopped by her small-town home, provided needed social interaction on quiet days.
I wasn't exposed to FFA until I was an adult and am always honored to have the opportunity to speak at FFA banquets and events. Recently, I spoke at the Rugby High School FFA banquet. About 70 percent of high schoolers in that district participate in agriculture education classes and FFA. I've watched them from afar and know they're one of the top chapters in North Dakota, the region and even the nation.
Since March is National Women's History Month, I've been reflecting on a few stories I've been told about a woman in our family lineage whose tenacity encourages me despite never knowing her.
In celebration of high school basketball tournament time, I am sharing my most read blog post about small town sports, originally published on March 1, 2014. It's shortened in length for this column. You can find the rest of the story with photos at: https://thepinkepost.areavoices.com/2014/03/01/outsiders-view-small-town... . After 25 games, our son and his Mustangs team ended their basketball season this past week. I was still thinking about basketball on a flight early the next morning and decided to download pictures of the tournament from my camera onto my computer.
Our son, a sophomore at the University of North Dakota studying civil engineering and playing football, was named to the 2017 Big Sky Conference Fall All-Academic Team. I think pop culture calls the fact I'm sharing this accomplishment a "mom brag." It takes a village to help one kid land on the all-academic team. I'm proud of the 48 student-athletes from UND who were recognized in cross country, football, soccer and volleyball. Seventeen of them are Hunter's teammates; three are his roommates.
While checking out at Target recently, the checker asked, "Oh, do you have a new house?" "No," I replied. "I'm just organizing at home a bit." She said, "Last year, I moved into a new house and used all of these drawer organizers you're buying as we moved in." "Well I have lived in my house for 10 years and have messy, unorganized drawers, so hopefully this helps," I said. My daughters laughed, and one said, "It's OK, Mom. Ten years ago, you were having babies and traveling all the time for work. You didn't have time to organize drawers!"
Our son played in his first season on the field for the University of North Dakota football team. I learned about what no one tells on recruiting visits.