Hope’s Ride to Winona

Today’s post comes from Barbara in River Town

On a pleasant Wednesday evening in late June, with a “little” help from some nephews, Husband and I filled the front half of a 15-foot U-Haul truck with the remainder of our stuff at the old house in Robbinsdale, and slept one last time on the screen porch of that house (since most of the rest of the house was empty). On Thursday morning, we drove over to my mom’s senior residence and spent the morning loading the remaining U-Haul space with HER stuff. Then we all headed off – Husband in the truck, Mom and me in a full sedan – on an adventure to the Southeast, and we landed in Winona, Minnesota.

My mom, whose name is Hope, is 90 years old. She has put up with my moving her four different times since Dad died in 2006, and is nothing if not intrepid. This is the second time she’s come to a new residence “sight unseen” (either she really trusts me, or she just has no choice). At this point she doesn’t remember all of the places unless she is prompted with a photo. She is, in a word, amazing – and always ready for something new, some fresh adventure.

We were stymied on Highway 100 by construction for a frustrating while, then finally eased out of the city. Once we got past the stoplights along Hwy 55/52, and found the roller coaster hills of Hwy 50 between Hampton and Red Wing, we were sailing. She was enthralled by ALL the scenery – even planes overhead and the refinery at Rosemount. She especially loved seeing the patchwork fields; she noticed every pretty church steeple, the pink and yellow vetches along the sloping ditches, the farm houses, the Round Barn just south of Red Wing.

But once we had reached the Mississippi River, it was the bluffs that captivated her. They are totally blanketed right now with trees of the richest greens – it looks like you could reach out and squeeze them like a sponge. They reminded Mom of her native Sioux City, IA, also long a great river – the Missouri. She couldn’t take her eyes off them, and kept commenting on their beauty.

So imagine Hope’s delight when, a few hours after setting out, we got to her new apartment at St. Anne of Winona, and the view from her windows is… the bluffs of Winona.

What’s the best view you’ve had from a window in a place you’ve lived?

62 thoughts on “Hope’s Ride to Winona”

  1. My freshman year at Carleton I lived on the fourth floor on the back side of Goodhue on the far edge of the campus. Straight out my window, not even a stone throw, was the Arboreteum. Beautiful, wooded, undeveloped spot. I used to feed birds on the window ledge. Lovely year.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lake Superior out our living room picture window. Across to Wisconsin. Watched four full moon rises a year over the lake.
    Had a dorm window at the seventeenth floor that looked north 7 miles to downtown Chicago.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Nice story about Hope. The drive down the river is my second favorite in MN. Love the Driftless. Try the cafe in Lake City, The Chickadee I think it is called. Right on 61 in downtown.

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  4. Going to sit and drink coffee now: on my patio looking into woods and ravine and bird feeders 20 feet away is not too shabby. A deer walked out of the woods up to me yesterday morning.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Views out the windows of homes where I lived in Leadville CO, including Mt Elbert and Mt Massive to the west. The views out any of my windows the house I live in now (and have for 42 years)…trees, birds, pasture, horses, more trees…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I currently live “in town” in an apartment complex, and yet my view is surprisingly pleasant and natural. I look out a huge patio glass door on a sunlit glade in a conifer forest. In the foreground, just in front of my patio, is a pole that holds a seed bird feeder and a red glass hummingbird feeder. Birds use both of the feeders heavily. These birds amuse me, for the species are different than the birds I knew before moving to this area (juncos, fox sparrows, towhees, varied thrushes). A teen-aged rabbit lopes in daily to forage on seeds that the birds knock to the ground. People often walk dogs through the glade, and one old man walks a strange hairless cat on a leash (he calls it an “Egyptian rex” cat, also known as a “Sphinx cat”). Just beyond the glade, screened by fir trees, lies the swimming pool. I hear the swimmers churning and laughing in the water but don’t see them. At night I get a good view of the moon and stars of the evening sky. While my view isn’t as wild as the view out our cabin windows, it is natural and harmonious.

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  7. the house in eden prairie had a great view of the river valley. the one before that was a bandaid with neighbors on all sides but it was the house i grew up in and bought back form my folks. we had put up a fence and planted trees around the pool out back and it ws decent. before that a great duck pond and a golf course . i had a place in montana for a while that looked out at the crazy mountains where the indains used to sen their people to heal their minds. it was cleansing ot look at. current house is like living in a tree house. the back yard is decks and trees. cant beat it. we are in a neighborhood but feel like we are in the woods. very nice

    Liked by 2 people

      1. nope folks was in bloomington. it was a band good home to buy when my folks moved to leech lake and i went through a divorce. then to eden prairie

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  8. Lovely post. So glad your mom can be near you and she still finds delight in life.

    I enjoy the tangled fern and vine view out the kitchen window where the bird feeders are.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The drive from Red Wing to La Cross is one of my favorite drives in Minnesota. Those river bluffs are just gorgeous. So glad you’ve found a place for your mom to enjoy that view.

    Our house in Inver Grove Heights had a great view. Our living room, dining room, and deck overlooked an undulating hill that sloped down toward a small park at the back of our property. The hill was covered with all kinds of wildflowers and a few scattered apple trees. And to think that we traded that for a view of a big old ugly house with a yard full of dilapidated lawn furniture. Even the Virgin Mary in a bathtub flanked by a sleeping Mexican with a sombrero, doesn’t do much to redeem it.

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      1. I’m pretty sure I’ve told the story on the trail before, BiRT; here’s the short version. We were going to purchase a hobby farm in Frederic, WI. After we sold our house in IGH, Hans changed his mind about moving his business to Frederic, so we moved back to our old house in St. Paul.

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    1. i think the move form the startford wives burbs to the salt city can be a touch of reality and while i smile when i see mary enshrined by the bathtub in that part of st paul it must be a bit discouraging to have the pile of humanity and its refuse happening outside the window for all these years. you and hans are good neighbors and while your view may not be ideal your retirement looks pretty good. enjoy the sites even if you have to leave the yard to find them

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  10. There can be no other answer: My view of Crystal Bay. There can be no more enchanting place on earth. The pristine lawn, edged by giant hastas, ambles down to lakeshore. Flowers I’ve planted for the first time in many years. adorn the landscape beds. The double person lake swing makes for light conversation and just plain taking in the view. Many on this premier lake have roads or steep banks to access the lake, but mine goes straight out to the water. Having lived here now for 16 years. It cannot imagine living anywhere else. Just as my parents did for half a century before me.

    This is a healing piece of earth and something to show the very best that Minnesota is known for.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The house my family bought in California when I was nine had sliding glass doors in the living room that looked out across a field to Mount Diablo. The street we lived on was the last one on the edge of town, so there were no other houses in between. I suppose by now the town has expanded into that field.

    I recall the view was best, and a little spooky, at dusk.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the blog BiRT.
    And how fun to read about your Mom! My mom is 90 as well and while she’s moved a few times (the latest was ‘down the hall’ after Dad died) I’m glad to hear your mom was up for the adventure!

    I’ve talked before about the barn window being one of my favorite views.
    Across the pasture (‘the swamp’) and into the fields (‘the flat’) and across the neighbors pasture.

    From the living room we look across the yard to the trees. From the dining room windows and deck is out to the barn, cow yard, silos and the pasture ‘behind the barn’.
    We are in a valley so we can’t see much to the West. Kelly says she misses seeing the sunsets. Growing up near Fairmont (actually, near the little town of Ceylon) she enjoyed the sunsets.

    Vacation in Charleston, from the boat we stayed on at first, the view was the harbor and Arthur J Ravenel Jr bridge. And it was pretty nice. It happen to be Fathers Day weekend and the full moon rose up over the harbor too. It was a real nice view.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reminds me: in our barn at the top of the rear gable was a small four-pane window. Always filthy dirty.
      It had a shelf in front of it and a ladder leading up. The shelf was to give access to the rear pulleys for the hay carrier. Out the window through the dirt and fly specks I could overlook all of Knife River Valley spread below me and way up towards the forest. On the right was a high rock promontory. I used to sit up there and read, but at the age of about 12 I developed my life-long rhinitis problem, with hay as a big trigger.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Like Renee, I like the view out my back kitchen window. It’s probably more overgrown than it should be, but it’s also full of life and very green.

    Best view was probably during my student days in Decorah.

    That or the summer I lived in The Stone House outside Spring Green, WI while working at American Players Theatre, but then, I am convinced that that, like the summer I lived in an adobe in Santa Fe, is a figment of my imagination.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You can read about it on it’s webpage-just google up Brisbane House Arena, WI. As far as I can tell it is still owned by the same woman who owned it when I stayed there. It is her home.

        I think you might find her to be a kindred spirit.

        I confess I do not stay in touch with people, but if you pm me, I could tell you how to contact her.

        Just my feeling, but I suspect that might be a “thin place”. As I’ve said befor, my sense of “place” is pretty strong, which makes me long for some places and squirm in others. My understanding is that perfect pitch is something similar.

        Clyde, would be interested to hear more about what defines the Driftless region.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I miss the Back Yard views from Robbinsdale screen porch, but there are views here, too, just not out the back door, where there is an unfortunate white plastic fence. Won’t probably go away this summer, but…

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  15. Barb, what a blessing your mom’s move could be a delightful adventure. That says something wonderful about both of yoh and your relationship. My heartfelt congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I am afrId that if i really want to have a nice view, the windows must be washed. I have been remiss about that, so gazing out the window leads me to feel guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok. Now I am going to have to do mine.

        Back in the day, the s&h would do that side of the house when our late great neighbor called him over to do hers. Nothing fancy, but at least they got hosed down and the two of them had a great time. I would do the insides.

        Might do at least some of them today.

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  17. Good morning, baboon friends. Here on the left coast we are having moderately chilly weather. I had to change into my sweatsuit. That makes me one happy guy, for I thrill to cool mornings in summer.

    As a frustrated progressive, I often complain about actions our government has or has not taken. This country was founded on ideals that continue to thrill me, although I am always aware of how short we come of creating the sort of social and economic justice we could have. And yet from time to time I have to pull back from my criticisms and admit that I love this country and wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else.

    Of course, I say that while still believing this country could not elect He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named president! Were that to happen, I could not be so mellow about the imperfect society we have created. But the unthinkable is still just an awful possibility. Meanwhile the sun is shining,the birds are gorging on the seeds I put out for them, the coffee tastes great, and sweet music is pouring out of my speakers. It is a good day to be alive. Be well, friends. Happy Fourth of July!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. View from my -patio: chipping sparrow landed on suet, instantly replaced by house sparrow, instantly replaced by downy woodpecker, instantly replaced by red-bellied woodpecker. A pileated lives in my woods and now and then eats my suet. But alas, he did not come along.
    How am I spending day: some editing, some nursing care, some worrying, lots of pain, and later the fireworks.

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  19. We had a family get-together yesterday, so I have no particular plans for today. Just a to-do list from which I may be able to check off a few things. We’ll see.

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  20. After three days of prepping the deck, we stained the deck. Then we weeded garden beds. We will change out soaker hoses as the hot and sunny day progresses.

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  21. Son and Dil went to Omaha with their Westie for their 7th wedding anniversary to see the zoo. A doable dtive from Brookings, SD.

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  22. Nice story, BiRT. My wife’s mother used to love the country drives around Owatonna in her last few years. SE MN/NE IA/W WIS farms are easily among the most picturesque, well-kept farmsteads I’ve seen in my fairly extensive travels through the farm belt.

    If vacation abodes qualify, our best view was either something in Europe on one of our trips, or from the cabin we stayed in for a week in Johnston Canyon north of Banff, in Banff NP. Looked out the window up at Castle Mountain.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The view out the windows of my house today is pretty unremarkable. Inside, though, there are some pleasant views of snoozing cats, pineapple red curry simmering on the stove, and some pale green hydrangea blossoms in a mason jar.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 1 bottle Trader Joe’s Thai red curry sauce
        1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits
        2 bell peppers, seeded & diced – red and green look especially nice
        1 small diced onion
        shredded or diced chicken or pork, optional
        cooked rice
        Simmer the first five ingredients & serve over the rice.

        I have a friend who had a retirement party and sent me home with several large freezer bags full of pulled pork. I’ve been usng it up a little at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

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