How long does it take to get from Iowa to Minnesota? For our family, the answer is over six years. Which is ironic when you consider we now live about two hours north of where we lived for eight years. 8-)
But. . .of course it was more complicated than that. When we moved to Iowa, I was twenty six years old with two very small boys and a baby on the way. When we moved to Iowa, I went from living an hour and a half from my parents to eight hours. When we moved to Iowa, I didn’t want to live there very long and resisted putting down roots. I eventually grew some roots in Iowa in spite of myself, but (long story short) they were yanked loose and we landed in Wyoming.
When we moved to Wyoming, I was thirty four years old with six kids aged almost eleven and under. When we moved to Iowa, I went from living one day’s drive from my parents to three days. When we moved to Wyoming, I was determined to make the best of it and make our forever home there. You can stop laughing now!! I’ve already spent plenty of time blogging about the reasons that didn’t work out as I had hoped, so I won’t go there now.
Anyhow, Minnesota. The state I have visited every year of my married life and never once thought “I’d like to live there.” Snow in the winter, mosquitoes in the summer. Liberal politics. Jello salads; or worse, salads with noodles. <gag> The Twin Cities. . .I am not a city girl, and some metro areas make me more panicky than others.
BUT here we are. And here (Lord willing) we’ll stay. I’m forty one years old now, with three teenagers and three little boys who aren’t so little any more. I wish we were closer to my parents than ten hours, but I can get there in a day. In the meanwhile I have friends minutes away rather than hours away. Losing all things familiar for several years–trees, green grass, farmland and white farm houses and big red barns, four seasons, trees, Midwestern friendliness, rain, local strawberries, trees, dressing up to go out–has changed my perspective. Regaining surroundings that are familiar even though the location is new is restoring my sense of balance and making it easier for me to deal with the stresses of every day life (three teenagers, anyone?). Happily we live in a more conservative corner of the state. I don’t have to deal with metro traffic, but the Cities are close enough for a day trip. And about that macaroni salad. . .well, I knew there had to be some hidden benefit to being gluten sensitive! ;)