What If?

Photo credit:  Manfred Richter

One of the lawns along my walking route got an aerated overnight.  As we walked by, I was struck how all the little sod pellets looked like goose droppings, although more brown than greenish.

There aren’t all that many geese where I grew up (suburbs of St. Louis) so I could not have made this comparison until after I moved here.   If I hadn’t come to Minnesota, I probably wouldn’t know be a single parent.  I don’t know if I would have finished my college degree.  And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t know what hot dish is.

Imagine you are still living in the city of your birth.  Tell me how your life would be different.


33 thoughts on “What If?”

  1. fargo is the leading per capita of copenhagen snooce. i’d be a brown spitting guy for sure. in fargo i would be a mover and shaker. it was a much smaller community and i always wondered as a little boy why my dad knew the president of the bank and the insurance company and the people the department store was named after. we went to the fargo country club and knew everyone at the restaurants elks and vfw’s and gas stations
    at detroit lakes the summer playground of detroit lakes we knew everyone at the cottages all around the area.
    i would be either dead or a member of aa because there is no middle ground in fargo
    i live fargo for a visit and today it is easier but the distance from civilization that was felt by fargo for so many years would have killed me. i could not do a town where concerts theater and art were so lame. maybe 4 hours to minneapolis was comfortable enough for some but it would not have been more than an outcry for departure to me
    cousins in fargo are all in a different mental place. god bless em. i couldn’t do it.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. RIse and Speculate about What If, Baboons,

    I was born in Nevada, (nu*va*du), Iowa, home of many family members to this day. Most of them now reside in the city cemetery which I visit around Memorial Day most years. My parents were farming at that time. If I still lived there I would probably be an unhappy farm wife, or maybe a farmer should I have survived all the storms that farming has endured over the years of my life. I could have been a good farmer if I could have managed the finances and managed the resources and farming methods involved in whatever I might have grown. But women, at that time, did NOT get to do such things freely. Not a woman’s place and all that. I am happy to say that now many women identify as farmers independently or consider themselves to farm jointly with their husbands.

    Sitting second chair as the farm wife probably would not have gone well for me.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. We are seriously considering moving to Luverne after I retire. Had I never left, I would have probably been a teacher like my mother, or else the librarian at the city library. If we move back I will still be Jake and Evie’s daughter, which isn’t such a bad thing. I have to make sure no one talks either of us into being on the school board or the city council.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. St, Louis Park? Meh. I would have tolerated it, although, in hindsight, the huge rise in population, congestion, traffic, and other big-city woes wouldn’t have been a big deal. As it was, living in a really small town, then Chicagoland, then a small town (Owatonna) has let me see that I don’t prefer big cities as much as I did growing up.

    I can only imagine what my work career would have been like. Probably would have settled in as a mediocre teacher or found some menial job just to pay the bills. Wife’s career might have been totally different too. Although she probably could have still eased into health insurance after leaving nursing as she did, although with another company.

    I’d probably be closer to my siblings too because they live in the Twin Cities. We’d see each other much more often than we do now.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I was born somewhere else but chose to be here. Then I lived somewhere else but came back here. If I lived somewhere else, I’d be trying to figure out how to come back here.

    But if I somehow lived somewhere else, I’d probably be more cynical about government, less optimistic and less committed to collective action.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Well, for starters I would be speaking Geordie instead of my version of Minnesota English. As you may recall, I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the northeastern part of England. Though I remember very little about it, and it undoubtedly has changed a lot since 1943, I’m having fun imagining how my life would be different if I were still there.

    I’d be living less than an hour’s drive from Scotland, and just a few miles from the North Sea. The idea of living close to the ocean appeals to me, I love big water. Newcastle is an old city with a lot of interesting history, which presumably I’d know more about if I lived there. I do know that remnants of Hadrian’s Wall are visible in certain parts of the city, and medieval streets and narrow alleys, which you can only navigate on foot, are still plentiful in certain sections of Newcastle.

    I’d have National Health Insurance instead of Medicare, and Boris Johnson and that whole Brexit fiasco to get my underwear in a bunch over, rather than DT and his horrible administration. But you know what, I have a feeling that I grow pretty well wherever I’m planted. My life would be different, that I’m sure of. Whether it would be better or worse, I don’t know.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. You all know I haven’t moved. But Kelly grew up near a Teeny little town called ‘Ceylon’ over by Fairmont. And when we go back to visit, even driving through Fairmont, we think how lucky we are not to live in that area. Like Jacque says, there aren’t a lot of options and farming is about it. There is an opera house in Fairmont and in fact years ago, knew a theater guy who had built shows in there years before that. But it’s not “opera” in the traditional sense.
    There simply are not as many options in that town as we have here.

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, how, for example, our son loved Chicago and now the Twin Cities. He’s a big city kind of guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I was born in Cedar Falls, IA, but only lived there for three months. My dad was finishing up his degree at (then) Iowa State Teachers College. It’s a small and pretty town on the Cedar River, but I don’t know much about it, having visited there only a few times. If I had grown up there, I would probably have been either a teacher, or somehow engaged with the University, or perhaps the library system.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maybe some of you are familiar with a farm on the East side of Hwy 52 just north of Coates – a nice looking place with two matching barns. My dad stopped there back in the 40’s or 50’s and asked if the guy would consider selling. Dad always liked the look of the place and I guess Grandpa hadn’t decided yet if he was willing to sell this place to Dad. Well, dad didn’t get that place, but my life sure would have been different if he had.

    Another ‘what if’; back in 1982 I applied for a job as a ‘steward’ on a cruise ship line. Convinced mom and dad I could go for 6 weeks over winter and dad and the farm wouldn’t miss me. (Seems like they were 6 week terms). Well the place called me in the middle of summer and I said no, I was looking at the winter term. They said sure and would call back.
    A few months later I hadn’t heard anything and I called them. There had been a hurricane and the office had been wrecked and they lost all their records. So I never did get to work on the cruise ship. But I imagine my life would have been different if that had happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. how would your life be different if your dad had bought the farm ben?

    ever think about moving now?

    i’ll bet it could be done ?


    1. Well that would be home (assuming I was even born) and not here and I like it here. Presumably wouldn’t have been involved with theater in Rochester and wouldn’t have been there to meet Kelly. And that’s reason enough.
      No desire to move anywhere else.

      Liked by 5 people

  11. I was born in St. Paul. The hospital in which I was born is only a few miles from where I live today. It is now lodging COVID-19 patients.

    When I was working in an office environment, whenever someone had a birthday, we’d have a little office get-together with treats, and at some point the group would sing Happy Birthday, but always the Casey Jones Happy Birthday song. It instantly separated the natives from the out-of-towners.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Discounting the butterfly effect, which can be neither calculated nor discounted, one small MN farming town is pretty much like another.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Well, Worthington is pretty close. Luverne is a good exemplar of a small farming town.


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