North Dakota Nice News of the Week | October 22, 2020

I will do absolutely positively anything if it means I get to wear a costume.  You could call me up and say, “Listen, Amanda, we need you to lead a polar plunge (nope) and then win a game of chess (good luck) and you’ll need to skip lunch (not a chance) but you’ll get to dress up like Carmen Sandiego.”  And I’d be out shopping for a trench coat and a “Chess for Dummies” book before you could press “End.”  If it were socially acceptable, I’d wear a costume to work meetings – a little Cinderella for the easy ones and an Evil Stepmother for those where I mean business.

As such, Halloween is obviously my jam.  I especially love group costumes.  In college, my best friend and I would spend months planning at least four different partner costumes so that we didn’t have to wear the same thing twice in a weekend (I went to school in Boston, a city that does not mess around when it comes to its month-long Halloween celebration).  After I got married, my good sport of a husband Kyle gamely continued the couple-and-family dress-up tradition until one day our kids got old enough to decide that one wanted to be Master Chief and the other wanted to be a lion and I didn’t have the mental aptitude to figure out a costume bridge between them.

And so, for a few years, Kyle and I spent our Halloweens dressed up as normal, human parents.  It sucked.

However,

My 20-year high school reunion was in 2018.  In preparation for the wash of nostalgia that I accurately guessed would overcome me, I (Kyle) dug into the storage shed and pulled out boxes of my childhood memorabilia.  Turns out, I really hoarded that stuff – especially clothes.  I was on the high school dance team (co-captain, if you want an autograph), and we had outfits for everything: pep rallies, outdoor football games, indoor football games, local basketball games, traveling basketball, practice, camp, you name it.  And, the grand dame of it all, my letterman jacket.

AND, wouldn’t you know it, Kyle had his letterman jacket, too.

I thought about those letter jackets for a long time – and when Halloween rolled around last year, I casually suggested to Kyle that we “dress up” in our old high school gear as a couple’s costume.  He had his on before I could say, “We can go make out in the car in my parents’ driveway afterwards.”

Here is what I wore: my jacket, Russell pants, football warm-up, a crop-top cheer t-shirt (this was a mistake), TWO scrunchies, and ruffle socks in my high school’s maroon and grey.

Kyle and I have been fortunate to have some great moments in our marriage (i.e. the arrival of our children), but last year’s Halloween costume was in the top 20.  First of all, it was the first time in Halloween memory that I wasn’t freezing the whole night.  Second of all, we got a lot of candy (and a little booze) from other parents who either felt badly for us or liked what we had going on.  Third of all, my jacket got to see the light of day without the related midlife crisis.

We’re going to wear our high school gear again this year, and we’d like to invite you to join us.  I can guarantee you’ll never be as comfortable or look as rad.  Send me a picture if you do.  Our photo from last year is above.

And speaking of rad, there’s a lot of nice news this week, including a garage pantry, some crafty girl scouts, and 200 letters to veterans.  Read on.


Grand Forks’ Marie Wiley has been writing kind messages on bags of popcorn for her regular Cenex customers. (Grand Forks Herald)

The Robinson family in Fargo has turned their garage into a community pantry for homeless (or nearly homeless) individuals to pick up clothes, furniture, and food. (KVRR)

Minot’s Niki Brose is giving away 200 bouquets, two at a time, for people to “Petal It Forward.” (KX Net)

Peggy Rixen-Kuntz is Dickinson’s most enthusiastic (and possibly oldest) tourism employee. (Dickinson Press)

Accepting a Challenge from the Grand Forks Public Library, Kinsey Schmidt, age 5, read 1,000 books before starting Kindergarten. (Grand Forks Herald)

Watford City Fifth Graders are selling pink t-shirts to raise money for the Bismarck Cancer Center. (KX Net)

Over 150 pieces by Professional, Amateur, and Student artists of all ages will be showcased at an exhibition November 13-15 in Dickinson. (Dickinson Press)

The Minot Fraternal Order of Police is looking for food donations for survivors of domestic violence. (KFYR TV)

North Dakota provides 80% of the country’s canola, so it’s awesome that this year’s harvest went really well. (Grand Forks Herald)

A group of Bismarck Girl Scouts fixed up doors and windows on little free pantries all over town to get them ready for new donations. (KX Net)

Matthew Geffert is new to Minot – he’s an airman at the base – and is making friends with the community by running every street in town. (KX Net)

Fargo’s Aiden Olson was born in a car, so it’s fitting that his baptism took place in the family’s garage. (Fargo Forum)

North Dakota now has five markers signifying the passage of the 19th amendment, allowing women to vote. (KVRR)

Students at Wilton Public School are writing letters to 200 veterans in honor of Veterans Day. (KFYR TV)

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at UND donated 6,400 pounds of food to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, crushing their record last year of 2,900 pounds. (Grand Forks Herald)

Congratulations to Minot’s Janae Ronning, the North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning’s Educator the Year! (Minot Daily News)

(Like the story above?  Check out last week’s tale of two grandpas.)

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