As much as I was dreading Monday for family and business reasons, I sooooo very much enjoyed it for other reasons. Monday was a wonderful day at the Capitol in Bismarck. It was a day of meeting new friends, getting better acquainted with current friends and reconnecting with old friends. Wow, how can something like that happen all at once? Well mostly it was because I attended a women’s event and let myself enjoy it even though I never really thought that I would.
Oh, I see that I have gone back to my boring old alliterative title stuff. Well, I will just have to go with it and try to make you see why I used it. First off I will give you a few negatives, but not because they were horrible, but to show you how minor they were and to use them as a contrast to the ultimate good found in the day.
So for me the day started a little too early. I haven’t done the up at 6 a.m. thing since, well not consistently since I left Mobridge in the rear view mirror. Up at 6 a.m. and on the road by just before 7 a.m. I so thought that the event registration started at 8 a.m. Well, it started at 8:30 with the welcome, etc. by 9 a.m. One complaint about the event that I heard others note was no confirmation or schedule in advance and several were confused about when to be there. Busing to the event was provided, so the people who rode knew when to board the bus, but there was no exact time for those who drove themselves.
Perhaps the highlight for me was the fact that I knew I would be seeing Jessica for the majority of the day. She even was nice enough to ask if I wanted to sit with her. Well, there apparently was a drawing for who got to sit with their representative. I, along with a few others at the event, was not asked to enter the drawing. Registration tables are so important. I can say that because I have organized events and that is where we paid super good attention.
I will take a brag minute here and be a mother for a change. Seeing Jessica was not really the highlight. It was seeing Jessica in her element that was the real highlight. I will include some photos here.
I was able to sit back and observe the Jessica that the rest of the world sees. I am so proud of what an amazing young woman she has become. The way she handles herself with all of the other elected officials that she serves with, and the way she addressed all of the women at the event was something. I, of course, sat in the back of the room as she stood up to speak, and I cried. That skwirmy little bundle that I tried to feed in the middle of the night that first week she was in our house has really grown up into something. The gangly and awkward seventh grader in a hand-me-down sweater on her school picture stood in front of us as a grown up woman and was as poised as anyone I have seen. I just hope she continues to allow her parents to come to her events and be part of it. I may have to update my wardrobe and hair style so as not to embarrass her in the future. Ha!
Well, I have to say, it was a great day at the capitol. I loved the boring committee meeting in the crowed area. I really liked the chance to go to the Governor’s Residence and meet Betsy Dalrymple and see the inside of the residence. I even enjoyed some of the time listening to the House of Representatives in session. I had been there before, so I knew what to expect, and it had a few high points. My favorite, though, was lunch. We were supposed to sit with our District, but I ended up with Jessica and there was no where left to sit. She took me along to the minority office and we ate there with three of the other reps, who couldn’t find a seat. It was great to see things on the inside. We even had a Girl Scout cookie for desert.
As I was leaving the capitol it hit me that this had been a real day for women. Some of the groups who did the sponsoring were really about getting more women involved in the process, and that is all good, but I also saw women who were just being themselves coming out to just be. Not to be a woman pushing a woman thing, but just to be a person looking to be in on the action. To be part of what is happening. I guess that I have always been that sort of woman. I just want to be along, not just as the woman, but along.
So, as I was driving out of the parking lot, I stopped to take the photo below. It is a statue of a woman, who really wasn’t a North Dakota native. She was from the Colorado area, but ended up in North Dakota. She also ended up going along on one of our country’s most important explorations. This is a statue of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman, who accompanied Lewis and Clark in their trek to the Pacific Ocean back in 1804-1806. Without her they likely would not have made it. I guess that is really what women are about. We are there and though we aren’t always there for women things, we make a difference. I hope that Jessica and the other women in the legislature keep at their jobs, not just for women, but for everyone. They make a great difference for all of us. And, my final photo is of the sunset as I was getting back to Linton. I imagine that Lewis and Clark and their group saw that same sort of sunset so many years ago. Hopefully it will be around for many future generations.