Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota
My German relatives are coming to visit the US in August. Wilhelm and Petra will arrive at the end of the month to spend some time in Luverne with my mother’s cousin Elmer and his wife, Eunice. The Germans have been here before. Petra speaks English fluently, and Wilhelm not at all. Wilhelm is very interested in US farming techniques, and farms the small farm he inherited from his father. He is a retired auto worker and farms as a hobby.
These relatives were very gracious to us on our trip, meeting us in the Bremen train station and taking us to dinner. Their 25 year old daughter drove us all over Verden and Nedden, showing us sights important in the history of my family. We have a standing invitation to stay with them if we are ever in Bremen again, and we intend to take them up on their offer. We sent them a Pendleton Wool blanket with Badlands motifs as a thank you gift.
Recent events in the US make me wonder what on earth they are thinking as they prepare for their trip. They plan to fly into New York, where they will be met by Elmer’s daughter, and she will fly back to Minneapolis with them. They will go to Luverne, and plan a trip to the Black Hills. I wish they had time to visit us, just three hours to the north of Rapid City. I would take them to the ND Badlands and the reservation husband works on to meet our native friends. I think Yellowstone would be a nice destination, as well as Glacier. I want them to see the vastness, the enormity of the sky here, the ocean of grass, maybe even a rodeo. I know some ranchers Wilhelm would find fascinating. They may even like Lawrence Welk’s home in Strasburg.
Our pastor spoke on Sunday about turning down the volume and finding some quiet sanity within ourselves, loving one another, and caring for the stranger. I hope that Petra and Wilhelm can see the good in us, and not think we are lunatics.
Where would you take foreign visitors to show them that we are not lunatics?”