My summer and fall travel largely consisted of traversing the great state of Minnesota. And that is Fine. By. Me. There is so much to see and discover: state parks, wayside stops, museums, lakes, rivers, friends, and family. And I want to go back to these places and people throughout the seasons to see how beautiful or lackluster they are. Seriously. I’m less vibrant and more cynical in the dead of winter. I STILL haven’t warmed up to it. There is still so much to understand about my home and people in Minnesota.
Last weekend, Lukas officiated a small, beautiful wedding in Bloomington. Because I wasn’t involved in the groom’s dinner/wedding prep, I was in charge of exploring (no kids on this trip). I don’t really like maps, (inhibiting) and I don’t own a smartphone with GPS (enabling). I knew I wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather and get some exercise after being in the car all day. I stumbled upon Lake Harriet and decided I needed a once around the lake. The scene was chock full of people of all ages, abilities, and intentions set to a backdrop of intense fall colors. Pretty sure the Minneapolis Tourism Board can put their feet up because the city is selling itself to tourists.
Once I got the trail courtesy part down, (who to yield to, when to assert one’s pedestrian self) I found my stride. After my walk, I stayed on the southside and let the sun set over a visit at my cousin’s home near Oxendale’s and the Nokomis Library.
Memories surged of my five years as a Minneapolis resident, (I was a Nordeaster), and the ups and downs of living in the city. I was down about the artistic and career frustrations of being a small fish in a big pond and then later feeling isolated by having a little baby in Minneapolis and watching my social life dwindle and fall away as my priorities changed.
But there are so many ups about Minnie. Firstly, I’m liberal. I want what’s best for you and me and want that replicated for all my brothers and sisters. And I felt those sentiments echoed via “Vote No” lawn signs on the southside. I’ve seen only two in Moorhead this fall.
And the neighborhood love. I miss that. Hardware stores, bar/restaurants, and childcare centers amongst single family homes and occurring every 10 blocks or so. That’s community.
But we CHOSE to leave. To buy a house in Moorhead, add another child to the mix, find our healthy selves, explore, learn, and make a life here. We’re better now. Wait. Not better. Different. We were welcomed with open arms and Moorhead’s been good to us and opportunity abounds. And our family is here. There is no denying that the reason my family thrives is due in large part to the support we’ve received from our family.
Yet there is a part of me that kicks and fusses over stability and routine. I’m highly adaptable and would have thrived with the nomadic tribes.
I know my family is home as long as we’re together so I don’t think a zip code matters too much in the end.
In the meantime, I’ll restlessly conflict and contradict myself and be “just visiting” as many places as I can.
And I’m taking my people with me.