Header photo of Lake Winona and bluffs via Wikimedia Commons
Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale
When Husband and I moved up to Minneapolis from Winona in 1985, it was with mixed feelings. We thought we had found “Home” in Winona, and we knew how much we were leaving behind in the small town. Minneapolis is where Husband had landed a good programming job, and we had his family and several friends in the Twin Cities. But we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to be permanent – we would return some day to Winona.
There are many reasons why this is finally going to happen, probably in mid-summer:
– For Husband, he’s realized that Winona is where his Tribe resides – people he’d met as he helped to start up the food co-op and the farmers’ market, from his apple-picking days at an orchard on the river, from living on the Hippie Farm above East Burns Valley… there were many colorful characters, several of whom are still around.
– My roots there are not as deep, but I formed a bond with local folk dancers, and parents in the preschool play group that Joel and I had joined. I fell in love with the beauty and the – movement is almost the right word – of the river. (…“you rolling old river, you changing old river…” Bill Stains) Our house was just a couple of blocks from the Mississippi, so we would often pull the wagon up on the levee to see it. I also love the fact that this town, slightly larger than Marshalltown IA (a little over 25,000 when I was growing up), had such a vibrant Alternative Community. Then there was the Culture available with three (now two) colleges, a boat house community…
– It turns out that my Tribe, I have come to realize, is mostly our Babooner “collective”, plus a few others. I am hoping this is a portable connection, though I imagine it will feel somewhat different not being right “in the center of things”. I figure I’ll be traveling up to the Cities at least monthly – will try to schedule it around Baboon events.
– I am also aware that, for both Michael and me, we are not as moored to this place as we once were, before our son Joel died in 2007. And Husband has lost several family members in recent years, either literally or figuratively – freeing us up even more. I am hoping that my mom will be amenable to moving there when the time is right, and we have done some research to that end.
– We have recently seen the power of the network of Winona people, since our best Winona friend Walken (who is experiencing the early stages of Parkinson’s) lost his wife Bernadette in December to pancreatic cancer. There is a food network that brought daily meals for weeks, and several people who provided rooms for his visiting in-laws. (Reminds me of how we Babooners have gathered to help each other at times.)
I have never said “No” to a move, and I have never been sorry. But as I think about leaving Mpls, it is with mixed feelings. No doubt I will miss a lot of things about this city – this is worthy of its own blog at some point.
But the bluffs are calling.
Have you ever had to leave a place before you felt you were ready to leave?