I realized looking over this blog I haven’t written much about the Minot, North Dakota years of 1998-2001.
The first lesson I learned from those years was God truly does work in mysterious ways. Six years before our move to Minot (from Fairbanks, Alaska — I know, moving from one crazy cold place to another is, well, crazy) I received a call from someone in the military asking me where I wanted to go. The Good Chaplain was coming on active duty. I remember saying something like, “Pease Air Force Base, but you’ve closed that so anywhere is okay — except Minot. I never want to go to Minot because you will stick us there and forget about us.”
Six years later, we requested Minot Air Force Base. We knew we were up for a move and the Good Chaplain was preparing his dream sheet. The dream sheet is where you can dream of all the lovely places you want to serve — Hawaii, Germany, Japan — and then the powers-that-be can laugh at you and send you to Kansas, or even Minot.
Anyway, we sat around the table trying to decide what to put on the dream sheet. We loved the small base atmosphere of Eielson and since the girls were going into 7th grade, we wanted a nice, close-knit community. Mrs. Staff Sergeant said, “What about Minot?” We knew people from there and they all described it as a small, close-knit base. We all looked at each other, shrugged and said, “Why not Minot?” The usual answer is “freezin’s the reason,” but we’d already done that in Fairbanks.
No one ever requested Minot before. The Good Chaplain received a phone call three days in a row from the assignments people checking to make sure we really wanted Minot.
“Sir, I see you put Minot first on your dream sheet. Did you mean to do that?”
“Sir, we are penciling you in for Minot, but wanted to double-check if you really meant to put Minot first on your sheet.”
“Sir, we’re sending you to Minot, but it’s not too late to change your mind.”
Yes, we really wanted Minot and so we got it and never regretted the decision. People who put down Minot were never stationed at Minot.
Has anyone thought you were crazy for requesting an assignment or falling in love with an unlikely place? Tell me your story in the comments section.