When we decided to move to Minnesota, I didn’t have a lot to go on beyond vague notions of what it might be like. My college room-mate occasionally visited Minneapolis, and she always told me how cold it was. Because she was raised in Alabama and had one of those old-fashioned ear-flap bomber hats lined with real rabbit fur for Michigan weather, I didn’t take that warning very seriously. Ahem. Instead, the biggest frustration was that living in Minnesota would require even more driving to spend time with family in Michigan. The compensating consolation was the excellent water access, which was notably absent in Iowa. We often said, “It doesn’t have much of the Great Lakes, but it has a great number of lakes.”
Other than that, while Aaron got excited about researching Cassava and I started freaking out about moving for a temporary job and feeling so behind in life, I clung to the positive associations I had with Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion (because breaking into bluegrass songs and wry comedic sketches during regular life would be a dream come true for me), and Caribou Coffee. Now I admit I actually enjoy the specialty drinks at Starbucks better, but I appreciate the idea of Caribou’s celebration of pioneering and The Wild over Starbucks’ hip affluent consumer vibe. Folk music and antlers helped me get used to this idea, you could say.
Then, on a beautiful October afternoon, I waited in a coffee shop near St. Paul (neither Caribou nor Starbucks, and not particularly noteworthy either) while Aaron interviewed with his new team, and the sun beat warm through my window. After months of praying, with the “high” of recently selling the house fueling our sense of adventure, I wasn’t really waiting for a text from Aaron telling me how it went or if he had an answer. I knew moving was right even though it didn’t line up with any of the things I had wanted for years. We were doing it.
While I sat at that little coffee shop, God may or may not have spoken to me through an American Idol song. (When we get outside of scripture, I’m not really sure how that works always… It’s safer to avoid taking a firm stance.)
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Please pay no mind to the demons – they fill you with fear
Trouble might drag you down
When you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
I’m gonna make this place your home. – Philip Philips, Home
These are things I want to remember, because if I thought this story started a few weeks ago when we moved here, I’d be wildly disappointed to find I had missed my chance to cash in on the big (only) thought that comes to mind:
(It’s so cold in Minnesota that someone beat me to the punch and already published a book about it!)