Today makes one year since we relocated to Minnesota.
No longer can I say that we “just” moved here. We are officially Minnesotans. This past week we voted for the first time.
It was a long year.
When we arrived, Minnesota showered us with over a foot of snow within a couple weeks. And the rest of the winter was pretty much the same. Welcome to snow country, Minnesota said.
Our first apartment experience in over 29 years was memorable. Too memorable and we hope not to live in an apartment again. We enjoy our privacy and the quiet that a house affords us.
It took us 6 months to move into a house that was original, ie not a cookie-cutter. Our real estate agent, Bridget Crepeau, was an angel who was filled with enough patience to outlast our individual desires.
What have I learned about this state of Minnesota that everyone seems to be afraid of?
- gets lots of snow in the winter but they plow quickly so everyone who wants to be mobile can be mobile.
- has lots of sunshine! This is not a mood-depressing state.
- needs more diversity. With a population of 5.3 million (per the U.S. Census for 2010), white persons make up 85.3%.
- needs more restaurants with good ethnic foods.
- can be hard on a car. Too much snow driving can result in getting 2 alignments a year. And watch out for your car getting rusty if you don’t take care of it.
- is not cheaper than living in Seattle. Actually, I believe it’s more expensive. Seattle does not need snow tires (unless you go up in the mountains), snow plows, chain saws, etc.
- does not have very good fruits/vegetables. Most are mediocre and go “bad” quickly unless used right away.
- has churches but they seem spread apart (unless you’re Catholic).
- has a lot of people who love to hunt deer, pheasant, etc.
- has people who like to ice fish. Brrrrrr ….
- has lots of bugs in the spring/summer, especially mosquitoes.
- can be downright tropical if the humidity gets too high.
- neighborhoods are varied. From suburbs where all houses look the same to neighborhoods where deer, owl and hawk roam freely as if they live in the wild.
- people are really nice. Since most towns have a small-town feel, the people have small-town niceness. Thus — Minnesota nice!