Most everyone in The Resort can relate to the thought that overtook Deb Jackson as she watched snow falling: “I’ve had enough winters. No more.” In Deb’s case, that thought came to her watching a snowstorm in Fargo one May afternoon, four years back. Yeah, May.
So before the next winter came around she accepted an invitation from Bob Olson to visit The Resort. That’s when she discovered the joys of winter in the desert. “I loved being outside. I couldn’t get enough of riding around in a golf cart in January.” At the same time, she was falling for one particular spot in the desert: “I was so impressed with The Resort — the facilities were great, and everything was so clean and organized. And I loved all the programs, especially the dances.” So Deb made winters with Bob at The Resort a regular occurrence. And this winter she’s not just another resident enjoying a sunny day on a golf cart; she’s the new Activities Assistant.
THE COLD YEARS
More on her job in a minute, but first let’s back up and fill in Deb’s life before The Resort. She was born in North Dakota but grew up in Sidney, Montana where her father worked in the oil fields and her mother in healthcare. Not being familiar with Sidney, I looked it up. It’s a one zip code town, with 6300 people. (I also learned that it’s big enough for a Christmas Parade of Lights. But if you’re thinking of attending, you should know that the website has a large announcement that amounts to this: For safety reasons, no longer will Santa or anyone else be allowed to throw candy to the crowd. Sigh. Even in a town of 6300 you have your bureaucrats.)
After school, Deb worked in healthcare and sales, and along the way had two kids, Jared and Mariah, and moved her family to Fargo. Of the jobs she had there, the one that she feels most strongly about is her time with Hospice of the Red River Valley, remarking, “It really wasn’t a job; it was a calling. Such work is an honor.”
She’s been in Fargo for the past 18 years, and her kids still live there, as does one of her passions: “Bison football.” That’s the North Dakota State Bisons, who, she pointed out, “have won six of the last seven National Titles in Division 1.”