I once knew a professor from Missouri. On the first day of classes he would say “The Midwest is a great place to be from, but after that there’s not much else to do there”. Coming from Minnesota I could relate. But I spent a couple of months this past summer in my childhood home and there are a few things that I do love about where I’m from:
- The sky. You can see the sky here every day. Even the clouds can be pretty amazing. Love the smog-free horizon.
- Air. A deep breath in Minnesota can tell you so much about the world around you. Smelling the different seasons is the best.
- Lakes. Minnesota has more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined. Going out on the water in the summer, be it in a speed boat or a floaty-raft is just about as good as it gets.
- Food. So many restaurants are reasonably priced and you can get a variety of cuisine from Thai to Turkish not too far from our tree-lined street in the suburbs.
- Sales. I never buy anything full priced in Minnesota. The second-hand stores have stylish items that I actually want to wear, the department stores have great sales if you wait for them, and coupons can save a bunch. Plus no sales tax on clothing.
- Animals. Almost all the families we know have cats or dogs, and the cow pasture across the street from our house reminds us where our food comes from (namely cute fuzzy animals).
- Festivals. Every county has a fair and every town has their days. All culminating in the Great Minnesota Get Together known as the State Fair. Farm animals, fried food on sticks and carving beauty queens faces in blocks of butter. ‘Nuff said.
- People. It takes some getting used to, but Minnesota Nice can actually grow on you until you too would cringe at the thought of bumping someone else’s cart in the supermarket.
- The average person in Minnesota can pronounce both “Hmong” and “Schroeder”, although “Malia” is still a bit tough for them.
- Public Restrooms. Every coffee shop has a restroom and you usually don’t need a key to open it, they just let you pee whenever you want.
So there you have it. Ten things that I love about Minnesota, which just happens to be the place that I’m from. If I had never left would I have the same appreciation for the ordinary that my travels have given me? Maybe, or maybe distance does make the heart grow fonder.