Sweet Home, Minnesota
Having attended so many events as a resident, a journalist, and a resident journalist in our little area of the world, southeast Minnesota, I have come to one inescapable conclusion: We are incredibly lucky to live here.
In summer you can find festivals galore, unique shops, things to do, and miles of beautiful green countryside, accessible by the ol’ gravel backroads.
You can often see the stars at night - certainly not the case everywhere.
Crickets and bullfrogs sing their summertime songs. There’s a riot of colorful flowers. And you don’t have to go far to see our wildlife kin: deer, wild turkey, raccoon, redtail hawks, deer, owls, bald eagles, coyote, fox and deer (they are everywhere this year), all part of the Circle of Life.
Gotta love Mother Nature.
There are bales of hay in the scenic rolling fields, the corn is high, and horses, cows, goats and sheep add to the old-world charm.
It’s High Summer. A lovely time and place in God’s Country. Visitors exclaim rightly about our beauty. Best of all, we have some of the nicest people on the planet. If you need help, you’ll get an outpouring of it here. We genuinely care: they raised more than $8,500 in the Wyatt’s Sunshine 5K Walk/Run this past spring in Kasson, which the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southeast Minnesota program can use to help others in need.
The world outside is hot and getting hotter - literally. Tempers are so easily. There’s a huge political and social rift in this great nation.
It’s obvious there is a general disconnect, perhaps because of the computer and smart phone phenomenons. So many folks are attached to their phone, virtually every waking moment. Sorry, no time for graciousness. Only time to text.
And yet ... How lucky we are. So many blessings. You can see them on the cool, sweet- smelling evenings, in a summer thunderstorm, and of course in the smiles of people at the Dodge County Fair, the Dodge County Relay for Life; National Night Out; Survivor Days in West Concord; Hog Fest in Claremont, and Festival in the Park in Kasson - good, smiley, generous, loving people, kids and adults enjoying life in beautiful, small-town Minnesota.
Small Midwest towns are often cliched in movies (if that bugs you, avoid watching movies like “Sleeping With The Enemy”), but it’s obvious those involved have never enjoyed what we have in “ yover country.”
If you were removed from it all - like Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey in the classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” - and had a chance to return and start anew, I bet you’d come right back here, and never again take it all for granted Statistics say 50 percent of Americans return to live in their hometowns. That seems about right. Most everyone comes home, eventually.
My sister has lived for years on the west coast. But every few years she comes “home” to visit. Or she will call, and I ask, “When are you coming home?” We take it for granted: of course this is home.
It’s been said before, many times, many ways, but it’s always good to review:
God has smiled on us. We are lucky, lucky, lucky.
It’s good to be home.