Originally, when I thought of moving to North Dakota, I pictured the fun scenario of buying a cute little fixer-upper farm house. I would stun everyone with my hitherto unknown prowess of house repair and transform what was previously discounted and unwanted into a showpiece of cuteness. I even had a blog title picked out for my experiences..."Little House on the Prairie: 21st Century Edition".
But none of those plans worked out. See, there's something called the Williston Basin, a large geological something-or-other that includes parts of 3 Canadian provinces and 3 states. It also has a lot of oil in it that people start pumping at random times and thus create an oil boom.
When things aren't booming, there's not a whole lot going on otherwise. There's wonderful and important crop production, but that's not exactly the sort of thing that drives tourism. But with the oil boom, and the rest of the country's economy doing so poorly, one thing the Williston Basin has right now is JOBS. Lots of jobs.
Lots of people want those lots of jobs, but during the none-boom years, all those farmers are NOT building lots of houses. There is a finite number needed to support the regular population. This leads to an interesting little equation.
People(P) - Housing(H) = Housing Shortage (HS). Then we get into some of your higher math, which is P-H=HS + Winter = Brrrrrrr!
I looked and looked for some kind of rental, but came up empty over and over again. Finally it came to the point where I had to make a decision RIGHT NOW, so I rented a trailer space in a cute North Dakota town named Grenora. At the time I felt very sorry for myself, but I'm coming to be grateful for what I have as I read of those who can't even find a space to rent.
I still plan on looking very consistently for a house to rent, but barring that happy circumstance, I will be spending my first winter in North Dakota in a little travel trailer. With two hairy dogs. Who didn't want to go outside to go to the bathroom in California if it was raining!
My dad helped me look at a few trailers before we found one that was structurally sound for a price I could afford. We finally got one for $1400 and my wonderful Daddy has been spending the last couple of weeks working on incomprehensible things like lights, vents, wiring, and such. I contributed to the over-all effort by scraping the peeling paint from the roof and re-coating it with roof goo. My mom helped by being properly admiring, and the dogs helped by seasoning everything with a preliminary coating of dog hair.
And so, without further ado, I introduce the new Kahrs' family home.
The interior, including my spacious bathroom, where you have to step outside to change your mind.
I won't be cheated out of my remodeling fun after all, since I plan on doing a few small things the budget allows to update the look of my little house-box. But the main priority will be to winterize it so I don't freeze. And in North Dakota, that's not the hyperbole that it might be in other states. What fun it will all be!