Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ode to Minnesota

Minnesota, Minnesota - We are south of Manitoba
We are east of North Dakota
We've got something really rare
It's fulfilling, entertaining
It's true culture you'll be gaining
- Ann Reed

Oh Minnesota. Home of Post-It notes, Bob Dylan, Cheerios, 10,000+ lakes, the Boundary Waters, MPR, the Mississippi River, the Mall of America (wait a minute, how did that get in there?), and . . . me.

 Just look at all that green on that map. That's a lot of national and state forest. No wonder people come here on vacation.

Minnesota, you've given me so much. Even if I didn't develop sweat glands thanks to you and growing up on the frosty shores of Lake Superior, you have given me the ability to stand still in -0F weather with my mittens off. Kudos on the cool education options and for making the woods feel like second nature.

Although I sometimes often wonder if I should try some place new, perhaps some place where the amenities are a little more tightly spaced, or where winter driving is kept at a minimum and where planting things that take 90 days to mature isn't a "gamble", I never do. No matter how far I travel from Minnesota's landlocked lands, I always find some reminder of my Minnesota roots -- whether it's riding in a cab in Ireland with Bob Dylan playing softly in the background or running to fetch Post-Its from a London office storeroom -- that warms my heart, that makes me want to return.

During high school, my brother spent a week in Chiapas, Mexico. On the return trip, he described the surge of pride and joy everyone in his travel group felt when they touched down on the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport tarmac.  This is our home. Minnesota pride is run deep in our veins. I identify more strongly with being a Minnesotan than I do with being an American, although that's partly because with both my accent and the cabin's location, I feel just a couple steps shy of being a Canadian.

Oh Minnesota, even if you make it a habit of threatening to shut down the state government because the governor and legislature can't reach a budget agreement, I still love you.

And no, I'm not just saying this because I thought ahead and already got my fishing license.

Government, scmovernment, right? I'm all set to enjoy to the best of Minnesota this summer, regardless of what's going on in that far off city of St. Paul.

You never were great at offering convenience and easy living, anyway Minnesota. And this penchant for government shutdowns? It's just one more quirk we'll have to learn to love about you. Through it all, you'll always be . . . the best.


7 comments:

  1. It sounds like a wonderful place, and reading your blog has made me want to visit even more. I'm from Georgia, and I can totally relate to thinking of yourself as a Minnesotan more than an American. I think of myself as a Southerner first and foremost, American second. Not that I'm not proud of being American; I can just identify better with the Southern part of my heritage.

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  2. Thanks for an inside peek of your world!

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  3. I'm still stuck on the fact that it's the home of Post It Notes! WOOT!! WOOT!!

    I LOVE post its! I swear, I could wallpaper my house in them!

    Nice post on your area...thanks for sharing!

    www.wishyoucouldblog.blogspot.com

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  4. I am 95% with you on this one- unfortunately I haven't developed the tolerance to cold yet (after 26 years should I just give up?) but every time I leave MN there's no place I want to return to more than Minnesoter. We've got it pretty great!

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  5. Wow, you make me proud of Minnesota--- and I have never been there!

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  6. I've always secretly wanted to be from Minnesota. I'm not kidding at all. My brother in law lived there for three years and the whole family RAVES about it.

    So where do I sign up?

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  7. I was born and raised in MN and yeah, I have the deepest pride for my state. I'm a ND resident now (handy because the ND state gov't is actually fairly responsible) but I still feel like a Minnesotan. Home is where your heart and mind feel the best, and the Midwest just does it for me.

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