52 Reasons I Love Living in Minnesota  

Posted by Denis Haack in , ,

1. It’s where my beloved Margie was born and raised.

2. Jesse Ventura.

3. Prairie Home Companion, where Garrison Keillor, one of America’s best storytellers, brings the grace of humor, faith, and hope each week on NPR.

4. The University of Minnesota, where I met my beloved.

5. Each spring, enjoying a piece of homemade fresh strawberry rhubarb pie, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

6. The thistle feeder hanging in the pine tree outside my office window in Toad Hall where gold finches gather each day to squabble and feed.

7. Firebrick Ale brewed at Schell Brewery, New Ulm, MN.

8. Brilliant fall colors on the trees—maple, birch, oak, mountain ash, poplar—reflected in the water of the Mississippi River.

9. Winter snowstorms after which people cross-country ski down the middle of city streets.

10. Northern lights.

11. Each autumn, enjoying a dish of homemade apple crisp, with a dollop of freshly whipped sweet cream.

12. Seeing “The Christmas Carol” performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

13. Bitterly cold evenings in winter when we light candles, brew Jasmine tea, turn on music, and read in the living room.

14. Being ordained a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.

15. Having the Minnesota Twins win the World Series without having fans riot. One sign was broken, true, when a fan head-butted it, but that’s about it. When a journalist asked the police chief why things were different than other large cities after winning the Series, he said simply, “Well, this is Minnesota.”

16. Winter nights so cold that the hot water circulating through the radiators in Toad Hall occasionally makes snapping sounds in the pipes.

17. Kirby Puckett.

18. The succession of Rochester L’Abri Fellowship Workers—Lloyd & Libby Davies, Ann Brown Ingraham, Greg & MaryJane Grooms, and Larry & Nancy Snyder—who have been dear friends, kindred spirits, and partners in the gospel.

19. Fishing with Greg Grooms in the lovely trout stream just outside Chatfield, MN.

20. Hearing Greg Brown perform live at Oak Center.

21. Toad Hall.

22. Family farms where we’re able to get to know the people who raise the organic, free range chickens, turkeys, beef, and pork which grace our table and fill our freezer.

23. Resting, hiking, and reading at a cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior.

24. Watching the lights of ore boats creep across the horizon at night from the cabin on Lake Superior.

25. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

26. Every Christmas is white.

27. It’s where I proposed to my beloved—and wonder of wonders, she said yes.

28. The rich black soil of southern MN farmland.

29. Three months spent studying with Francis Schaeffer in 1981 in Rochester.

30. Taking Community Ed classes with Margie to learn to waltz in preparation of my oldest daughter’s wedding reception.

31. Hearing wolves howl in the woods around our tents while camping as a family on a remote island in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

32. The gently rolling farmland—pasture land and fields of corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, oats, barley—which stretches out as far as the eye can see.

33. Deer hunting on the Canadian border with my son.

34. Smoked Lake Superior whitefish from Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse on Scenic Highway 61 in Knife River, MN eaten with a dab of cream cheese on a cracker.

35. The wedding of my youngest daughter held in the home of a friend, the room transformed by flowers, candles, and friends.

36. The screened-in Toad Hall back porch.

37. Our Toad Hall back yard, enclosed by hedges, complete with flowers, bird feeders, and birdbath.

38. Bob Dylan’s birthplace.

39. Fireflies punctuating the dark with flashes on summer evenings.

40. The purple house finches who nest each year in the hanging plants on Toad Hall’s front porch.

41. Award winning maple syrup purchased from Wild Country Maple Syrup deep in the Superior National Forest outside Lutsen, MN.

42. Stopping to watch a huge bull moose look at us, and then slowly move through the brush as we drive out of Wild Country Maple Syrup.

43. Driving through the countryside so we can watch the changing seasons in the annual cycle of farming (plowed soil, growing crops, harvest, and the winter rest under frost and snow).

44. Football fans (Minnesota Vikings) are guaranteed to learn humility.

45. Freshly fallen snow glistening like a myriad diamonds in bright sunlight.

46. Pipestone National Monument with all its rich cultural, historical, and spiritual importance for Native American peoples.

47. Living in Toad Hall for long enough (since 1981) that I finally know what it meant to have roots.

48. Being from a part of the country where the Scandinavian heritage means that “Could have been worse,” or “Not too bad” are considered compliments.

49. Ransom Fellowship.

50. Having enough snow some winters years ago that our children could build a snow ramp from the tip of the garage roof down into the back yard.

51. Each spring civil defense sirens warn of possible tornados so we can dash out onto the front porch with a camera.

52. It’s the place where my beloved and I have grown older, hopefully wiser, becoming closer, dearer friends.


This entry was posted at Wednesday, September 10, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


You forgot something: Minnesota, the original site of the Garden of Eden!

September 11, 2008 at 4:15 PM

53: my new assistant pastor and his darling wife

September 17, 2008 at 11:41 PM

Thanks Kelly. I don't know how I forgot that one!

September 19, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Knowing you for most of my life now-- how could that be!? --to read your reflections on Minnesota is its own grace. Line by line you open your heart, and allow all the rest of us to smile, as we take joy in your joys.

September 20, 2008 at 8:18 AM

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