Never in my life did I think Minnesota would be on my list of “places to potentially live.” This cold flat land was settled by hardened Nordic immigrants. It is a land of peculiarities including but not limited to single-serve pizza ovens, a phenomenon known as hot dish, “oh yah’s”, and an overwhelming sense of familiarity.
While we only receive a small taste of Minnesota over our one month stay (with the majority of it at work, and in one town) what we experience will stick with us, forever.
The majority of the folks we meet are unselectively genuine and downright nice, unlike the Southern nice we are used to that can seem all-too selective and shallow.
We are welcomed into folks’ every day lives and generously helped in our times of need and when we feel our most vulnerable. We are strangers here but feel as though we have always known this cold, flat farmland.
Thank you Rock, for helping Beth choose “the right” insulated coveralls and altering them to fit her short stature. Thank you too for introducing us to the fine folks at Johnson Oil, and for fixing my boots at no charge.
Thank you Johnson Oil, not only for fixing our beloved rig and at a reasonable and affordable price, but for doing it on a limited timeframe to get us back on the road. Thank you for rotating our tires as an added bonus and communicating with us so well!
Thank you Ricky and Gale for opening your home to us while our rig was in the shop, for feeding us and making us feel like family. Ricky thanks so much for the rides to and from work – sure as hell beat the motorcycle ride in the cold.
Thank you Elizabeth, for giving Beth and me rides to work, for being our friend and giving Beth (and me, but especially Beth) a much-needed boost in morale.
Thank you John and Tami of the Caribou Grill. Thank you for the refreshing beers, staying open late for us to celebrate the end of the harvest, and for allowing Beth and me to watch The Walking Dead on the TV above the bar with the volume cranked up. John, thank you for looking out for us and giving us a ride to our rig when a wind storm made us fear for our safety, and for offering me a job if we wanted to stay.
Thank you to the nice ladies at the Eagles Bar & Grill who gave us the low-down on the city layout on our first night, to the generous woman working at the laundromat who let us dry our clothes until the last minute before close, and the librarian who let us use the internet and print important documents even through we forgot to bring any money.
Thank you to the sheriff of Hallock for checking in on us at the campground when we were all alone, and giving us a heads up that our water would soon be cut off. Thank you for making sure we were safe and also letting us know about the showers at the pool – oh how wonderful those were!
Thank you to our foreman, David, for always cheering us up on the job site with your sunny disposition and for keeping us all safe and taken care of.
Thank you to the “candy man,” the truck driver who would always bring us sweets to keep us on our feet through those long hours of the night.
Thank you ladies of the Humboldt Scalehouse for bringing that unique midwestern treat of “hot dish” for us to all enjoy, and for always keeping the coffee pouring.
Thank you FÅR NºRTH Spirits, Cheri and Michael for opening your business to our curiosity, and for your conversation and time while imbibing your delicious spirits. Thank you for the incredible home-grown produce that we ate for many weeks and miles after.
Thank you, staff of the Kittson County Historical Center for literally opening your doors so that we could learn a bit about midwestern life, history and wildlife. Now we know what a weasel looks like!
Yet again we are reminded of the incredible generosity of strangers.
Thank you, Minnesota. We’ll be back.