I can not tell you how hard it was to be away from family while I working in North Dakota.
I missed them horribly. I'm not sure how I kept the cute girlfriend she was not happy at all with this arrangement. As for my sanity while in North Dakota I will have to say I was about as blessed as I could be living with my North Dakota Family.
I saw a lot of guys come up to North Dakota because they needed work, but although the money was good they just couldn't stand being away from their families. Those types would be gone in a few months. A lot of the guys at our company were from California and some moved their families up to North Dakota. There is no comparison with the North Dakota winter and the Southern California winter. Those guys wives would last a few weeks of sub-zero temps and usually they would make it a living hell for that guy and they would all be back in Cali before spring.
Then there was the other side of the coin. Single guys that might want to find a girlfriend but there wasn't any to be had. Some of those guys didn't last long either.
Thank goodness for Text messaging. I was very busy almost everyday I was up there, but I could send a message to cute girlfriend, my kids, and my brother at spare moments to tell them I was thinking of them. With the Smart phones you can even do email easily from your phone and even send money to those that need it.
Cell service sucked bad when I first got there but with in 6 month of my arrival most of the carriers had put in new towers and there was 4G over most of the Bakken.
I would call my cute girlfriend every night before I closed my eyes and most mornings I would call her to say good morning and tell her I loved her. It was very hard on her being down there in Southern California all by herself. Her family was all up in Washington State and that Rat Bastard Boy Friend upped and left her so he could go play up in North Dakota.
I know it was very hard on her. I tried to spoil her as much as I could when I came down for a visit. Like last year I took her to stay at the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland. She had wanted to stay there since she saw it several years ago.
She was very happy I took her there, and we had a wonderful time. She was very happy that I spoiled her when I came down. Alas that did not solve the loneliness part.
One thing is for sure it did make us know how much we loved one another even though I was still a Rat Bastard for leaving her there alone.
I doubt if I would have been there more than a month if it wasn't for my Minot Family. I have a friend of mine from High School that I was living with. He has been a close friend, and brother for 35 years now, we are very close, so much so the cute girlfriend calls it a "bromance". I was the best man at his wedding. Back in High School his family welcomed me in as one of them when I was there. He and his wife have emulated that.
To round out my Minot Family was my friends daughter's family, her husband and their 3 wonderful children.
Children actually make my day, I love watching them grow and learn and interact with the world. These children were a great joy to me while I was with them, they helped me not be too homesick. I recently called up there to see how things are going and one of my little princesses got on the phone, her nickname is Penguin, she still can't do her K's yet, so my name is Dis instead of Kris. She told me it was time to come home, she is so cute.
Living with this family and in this situation was the most drama free living arrangements I have ever had. Living like this with most other people would be tenuous at best. I would ask if everything was ok sometimes because I was expecting drama. The answer was always "why would there be any". It was an honor being part of that family and I will miss that part of my North Dakota experience.
My advice to those who can stick it out and have strong relationships with their significant other, call them as many times a day as you can. To you spouses stuck at home, support them with all your heart it is tough as hell up there away from home