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Life in North Dakota is unique, but it’s a place I’ve found peace, beauty, and honed the ability to intentionally see the good around me. (Photo: Amy Allender/The Dakotan) 
Life in North Dakota is unique, but it’s a place I’ve found peace, beauty, and honed the ability to intentionally see the good around me. (Photo: Amy Allender/The Dakotan) 

She's Not from Around Here

Amy Allender
 August 25, 2022
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“No sane person would choose to leave Florida to live in North Dakota." 

Amy.allender@mydakotan.com 

I read that quote in a news article a couple weeks ago. When my eyes ran across the words, I nearly spit out my coffee, choking back a laugh. 

The next day, friends came over for taco night and I told them about the quote. We all had a good laugh. It’s funny because it’s unbelievable that a Florida state representative would have the audacity to say something so negative about another state. It’s funny because we are all aware of North Dakota’s reputation for being a frigid wasteland. It’s funny because we all know the truth, the secret: life in North Dakota is amazing. 

Nearly everyone at taco night has moved to North Dakota from out of state. Everyone had chosen of their own volition to come here. To be fair, my husband and I originally came on military orders, but we requested to come back. Everyone has chosen to stay. 

Since then, I’ve said those words, originally spoken in response to a politically charged issue, many times. It’s become my favorite sarcastic saying, though usually I shorten it to, “No sane person would willingly live in North Dakota.” 

I can’t get these words out of my head. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that so many people find North Dakota so easy to despise. To a person who never tires of telling others about the abundantly lovely life to be found in the “Legendary” state, this quote is both haunting and hilarious. 

If I had to make a wager, I’d bet the man quoted in the article has never been here. 

North Dakota instantly conjures up images of snow and wind, but there are also lush patches of berries to pick, perfect summers, and a closeness of community that is hard to find elsewhere.” (Photo: Amy Allender/The Dakotan

Sometimes it can be so easy to perpetuate negativity. Living in North Dakota often reminds me of this; seeing this quote from the news reminds me of this. Drawing conclusions based on stereotypes, or assumptions comes naturally, quickly, even instinctively. Agreeing with a common negative opinion is often more comfortable than being contrary with an edifying, uplifting, or positive point of view. 

My goal is not to convince Floridians to move to North Dakota. I don’t mean to throw shade at the representative who thinks it would be crazy to move here, He loves his state, and that’s great. 

No, my words are for us—the Dakotans. Whether by force, choice, or birth, we all find ourselves living in a place others find easy to belittle and use as the butt of a joke. 

I want us to remember there is good everywhere. I want us to be people who speak kindly of where we live, taking pride in our place in this beautiful country. I want us to be people who express negativity with grace and seek out things that are praiseworthy—here and everywhere. 

Let’s be curious people, willing to understand what others find hard to like, ready to ease that burden, and encourage folks who transplant to Hot Dish Land. Let’s be ready to understand what others find endearing, and enjoyable—willing to let the contentment, or excitement of others soften the places we may be harboring negativity. Let’s laugh together because we are the insane ones, thriving and finding plenty of fun in a place outsiders claim has “nothing to do.” 

“No sane person would willingly live in North Dakota.” 

Yet, here we are. It’s funny because it isn’t true. 

We’re not crazy. We just know the truth. 

For more on how I spend my time soaking up Hot Dish fun, and practical tips for positive living, join me on Instagram (@amy_alleder) or Facebook (@amyallenderblog.) ips for positive living, join me on Instagram (@amy_alleder) or Facebook (@amyallenderblog.)

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