A new citizen approacheth!


Let me start off by letting you know up front that this is a repeat of a posting I did over at my friend Mark’s blog, The Idiot Speaketh. He was kind enough to let me hijack his blog for a little while tonight, and let me post this sight unseen.  I commented in my last post I thought so much of what Mark was doing that I wanted to give him an honorary North Dakota citizenship. Not just because he’s an all around great guy, but because he flat-out earned it. What I posted at Mark’s blog is as follows:

A few weeks ago, Mark did a most amazing thing. He rode his stationary bike 201 miles in only one day, and invited all of his many blog friends to make pledges in support of the flood recovery effort for my beautiful city of Minot, North Dakota. Not only did he pull off a personal best, but funds were indeed donated to the Red Cross on Minot’s behalf. It makes me tear up just thinking about the effort that Mark, and many others, went to…I thank you all on behalf of my community. (HUGS)

In my estimation, Mark is the embodiment of the word neighborliness. Here in North Dakota, being neighborly is important, because your survival just may depend upon your neighbors helping you out at some point. The climate can be harsh and deadly here on The High Plains, and folks up here just help each other out as a matter of course. Not because they have to, but because they can. He lives in Texas, which is on the other side of the country from North Dakota, and yet he is a good neighbor. A fabulous neighbor. Neighborlicious. That’s right, Mark…I made that word up just for you.

Mark’s reward for being outstanding in the neighborliness department doesn’t stop there. As promised, I have decided to make Mark an honorary North Dakota Citizen. As befitting any occasion where one gains citizenship to a new place, a little pomp and circumstance is in order.

After long thought about how a Statehood Citizenship Ceremony might go, I’ve determined that the symbols of the Great State of North Dakota should be incorporated. However, we’ll have to forgo the buffalo as it just wouldn’t cooperate and let Mark ride it into the Blogiverse Auditorium this evening. (Mark, my humble apologies about him having bucked you off and trod upon your toes!) Ahem…let’s get started, shall we?

ALL RISE!
(Mark enters, stage right, adorned in lei’s made of the Wild Prairie Rose, and escorted by a jubilant Western Meadowlark)

Here now, in the presence of the entire Blogiverse, all bear witness to Mark’s brave and unselfish deeds:

For initiating acts of Neighborliness from far across the country…

For behavior befitting a Native North Dakotan by coming to the aid of others, just because he could…

For having a “can do” attitude…

For exhibition of stamina, as demonstrated by riding the same distance in one day on a stationary bike (200+ miles), that would take almost four hours by car (like driving from Minot to Grand Forks)…

For having a heart the size of the sky over The High Plains, and as golden as the wheat fields that cover the rolling prairies of North Dakota…

And, for having a sense of humor so great as to make the most stoic farmer crack a smile…

(Whacking Mark about the head and shoulders with a shock of ripe wheat) I dub thee, Mark Pakulak, a true North Dakotan, with all of the rights an privileges wherein. You and your family will always be welcome here with open arms. I wish you joy, peace, and all the good things life has to offer you. May you never hunger, may you never thirst, and may the roads you travel always be clear of potholes.

As is befitting any event done properly in North Dakota, a pot luck will follow!

(uh…Mark…make sure to exit stage left. The buffalo is still behind the curtain on stage right, and he’s looking longingly at your toes…)

Advertisements

Neighborliness across borders


In the midst of adversity come the most amazing human actions.

The whole valley had to evacuate, and people had to move not only themselves, but all of their belongings. I’m proud to say that the whole community and the surrounding area stepped up and of the almost 12,000 people who were displaced, only about 300 had to go to a public shelter. That’s an amazing thing that shows what kind of place North Dakota is to live in. We are a pretty neighborly bunch of people…that being an understatement.

Now to the most important reason for my posting today. My friend, Mark, who writes the blog The Idiot Speaketh & Pedaleth, is riding his stationary bike 160+ miles today. His all time record is 160 in one day, and he’s looking to out-do that. I checked out his Facebook page just now, and already he has clocked in 90 miles, as of 11:44am Central time. The thing that makes this particular ride super extra special is that Mark has challenged all of his friends to pledge an amount of money per each mile he rides and donate it to the American Red Cross Mid-Dakota Chapter on behalf of the people in Minot who’ve been displaced by the flood.  So why is the title of this post Neighborliness Across Borders?  Because my buddy Mark lives in Texas, that’s why. Even though he lives all the way across the country from North Dakota, he’s stepping up and helping out as though he lived in the next town over. For this, I am giving Mark the high honor of dubbing him an Honorary North Dakotan. I’m working on a graphic for that Mark…

I had the privilege to meet Mark and his son earlier in June when they drove through on a Father/Son trip. It’s not very often you get to meet your blog friends in person, so this was a rare treat.  Also in attendance was my Sister-by-Choice, Brea, who writes the blog Brea’s Aire. The four of us met at Pizza Hut and had such a good time, we closed the place down. That’s right…we’re just that radical. Of course it helps that Brea brought the  BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE in the entire world, and bribed the Pizza Hut staff with it. By the time we left, they all had the glazed-over eyes of those who are rocking a major sugar high.  During the time we were at Pizza Hut, we discussed many things including how squirrels lay eggs in your attic when you aren’t looking, the crazy antics of Texas’s governor, and the international political ramifications of camels with deflated humps…amongst many other topics.  It was a most enlightening evening! After all was said and done, it was a fabulous time, and it was such a privilege to get to meet Mark and Tyler in person.

I’m not one to put my face on my blog, because I started this blog out wanting to be totally anonymous. However, as time goes on, I realize that anything I write here could be seen by anyone savvy enough to do their research, and quite frankly, my life just isn’t that interesting. So, to all the CIA operatives who have been trying so hard to find me, here I am with my friends Mark and Brea:

Just looking at this picture makes me feel more blessed than I can express. It’s my fondest wish for all who read this blog today that you find yourselves equally as blessed.

Oh…and for those at the CIA who have been frantically trying to find my whereabouts all these years, I’m the one in the blue shirt.