Celebration of Local: A Place Called Home

Karen O’Leary

Karen O’Leary 

            “Did you say West Fargo, North Dakota?  Glad I don’t live in that frozen tundra, a half century behind the rest of the country.”  The Virginian rolled his eyes.

            All right, the scenario is a bit exaggerated, but people do have the tendency to think of the state as backwards in many ways.  I say it isn’t so.  We have iPods, cell phones, computers, and other modern gadgets that are wrought with their modern-day problems.

            We drive cars not horse drawn carriages.  In fact, few of my neighbors can afford a horse, board, and vet bills--not to mention a saddle and other riding gear.  Most are middle class families, many whom have been challenged in these economic times.

            Nestled along her bigger sister, Fargo, West Fargo has a population of about 36,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in North Dakota.  It is a 14.72 square mile (38.12 km2) community of mixed heritage tucked in the Red River Valley. West Fargo was founded in 1926.

            West Fargo citizens enjoy clean air and the freedom to step outside at midnight without fear of being mugged. Churches have expanded and added editions.  Work ethic and Midwestern values continue to flourish.  Many neighbors can cross yards without fences.

            Winters can get ugly with below zero temperatures and white-out blizzards.  Sunny California looks mighty tempting at times in mid-January.  Then, I remember spring is just around the corner with its green grass and flowers.  It gives me pause to smile.

            My husband and I started our lives as newlyweds here in 1983.  We raised two daughters in safety and security.  Our lifestyle is honest and comfortable.  God has blessed us with riches that cannot be measured with dollars.  I am grateful for this place we call home.

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, ND. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispershttp://whispersinthewind333.blogspot.com/ for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.


  1. Thanks for writing about your home, Karen. Glad to see that you are doing well!

  2. Dear mam, I am overwhelmed with your liquid prose. West Fargo comes alive with each word you spare. Piece is so lively with its physical contours and its inhabitants, churches, and the weather. So richly penned!


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