Nana has tales to tell, and thoughts to share.

Posts tagged ‘Minnesota’

Hot, Hot, Hot


You get the idea.  It is a tad on the warm side today.    Hot, hot, hot.  Those who live in the Southwestern states would say, “Yah, but it’s a DRY heat.”  Don’t try to kid me.   Hot is Hot.  If I enjoyed hot weather I would move to Arizona.

Unfortunately it is not a ‘dry heat’ today.  It is MUGGY.  Which is worse.  If I enjoyed muggy heat, I’d move to Florida.

I am one of those who just melt as the mercury rises.  I’m as good as a wet dishrag.  An unmotivated wet dishrag.  I sit, I sweat, and I complain.  Lovely, huh?

I guess that is why it is a good thing  God blessed us with different types of climates; so us fuss-budgets could have a choice as to favored environments.  I have lived most of my life in the Midwest.  The northern Midwest.  I spent a pleasant time living in coastal Washington with its marine climate.  Not too hot, not too cold, it was just right.

Presently I live a shade north of the geographical enter of Minnesota.  I haven’t lived here long, but I have noticed that it is all about location, location, location.  All the bad weather stays south of us.  Big snow storm coming?  Southern Minnesota gets dumped on.  Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, heat waves?  All south of us.

I wish I could say that northern Minnesota is always this paradise.  Once every decade or so the temps do hit three digits.   But for us fragile melty types, a great deal of the time our environment suits us just fine.

Yah, it’s a hot one today; but tomorrow promises thunderstorms.  Which means southern Minnesota will get the thunderstorms, and we’ll get some rain with a drop to more tolerable temps.  I may be a bit testy today, but I know it won’t stay this way long.  Praise the Lord for different climates!


The Mountains Are Behind Us


I’ve mentioned a few times in past posts about our planned move to Minnesota.  Well, after weeks of planning, sorting, tossing, and packing… the move has been made.  It has  been one of those events you wish you could fast forward through.  I imagine the early pioneers traveling westward felt the same way when they saw the Rocky Mountains looming up before them.  They got to be crossed!

Well, the move was this last weekend.  I tried really hard to be as unconscience as possible while doing my share of the chore.  Friday, with the help of some old friends, we crammed the Penske truck full of our worldly treasures.  Saturday, with the help of my sister and brother-in-law, we drove eight hours to Minnesota.  Sunday, with the help of new church friends, all our worldly treasures were hauled up a long flight of stairs to our new apartment.  One fellow, carrying book box #18, suggested we buy a Kindle.

Monday, I came down with my grandson’s cold.

It’s a little more hassle unpacking when you’re sick.  But hey!  The move…the mountain… is behind me!

Praise the Lord.  We made it.

How to Drive Yourself Nuts


Okay.  I have mentioned it before, but several weeks ago, Hubby and I up and decided to move to Minnesota to be near our grandchildren.  We’re good at impulsive decision-making.  Well, maybe I should say we’re prone to making impulsive decisions.  We are also not ones to waste a lot of time once we made a decision.  The next weekend we drove to Minnesota to do some apartment shopping.  We found one we liked and applied for it.

I’ll admit, it has been harrowing just sitting around here, waiting to see if we passed the background check.  Finally, we got the good word.  We were accepted!  My immediate reaction was to start collecting boxes… lots and lots of boxes.

I think the wait was a good thing.  It gave us time to start thinking intelligently.  This moving business is no small step.  We moved from our big family home in the country to an apartment in town just two years ago, but that was a move of only one mile.  Our biggest challenge was downsizing.  Freecycle and an industrial dumpster took care of that little task. One stop at the post office took care of the address issues.  Everything else stayed the same.

But now, we’re moving to a different state.  The several hundred miles between here and there has raised a few more details that will need attention.

  • Only one trip, so everything has to fit into one truck.  More downsizing.
  • Better packing.  We can’t just throw things willy-nilly into the back of the car and zip on over to the apartment to unload.
  • Moving out-of-state means new license plates for the car.
  • A new state means we have to get new driver’s licenses.  Do I have to take another driving test?  (I may have to reconsider this move…)
  • We have to find new doctors.  Rats, we really like the ones we are with now.
  • Along with new doctors, we will need to find a new pharmacy.  What are the chances that we will find a nice, friendly, independently owned pharmacy that allows it’s customers to “put it on a charge account”, and phone in their need for a refill?
  • New insurance agents
  • New credit union
  • New cell phone coverage
  • New car mechanic
  • New vet for Mandy
  • New pet groomer for Mandy.
  • and on, and on, and on…

Hmmm… it does seem as though we have established a few roots in this area.  I guess it’s inevitable when you have lived in one place for 18 years.  There will be people and places that we will miss when we move.  But I am excited about sending down a few new roots in Minnesota!

The Waiting Game

Yesterday we went shopping.  Thoughts of moving to Minnesota have set visions of Arctic blizzards in the head of Papa Bear, and he has finally conceded that he needs a new winter coat.  After all, it is his job to take the dog out;  and if we move to the Arctic winters of Minnesnota, he wants to be ready.  I recall the same mindset years ago when we moved from temperate Seattle to wild Wisconsin.  Papa Bear remembered tales his mother had told about blinding blizzards on the prairie farm where she grew up.   Winter weather had him a bit nervous that first year.

That’s one way to get him into a nice looking, warm winter jacket.  No rips, holes,  smells, or blood stains from butchering turkeys.

Last weekend we went to visit the children in northern Minnesota, and scout out the apartment scene.  Strange, but apparently in a big touristy region, they don’t find the need for many apartments.  The pickings weren’t plentiful.  It seemed we had a choice between meth-lab neighbors, or high-rise high rent apartments.  Finally we were just driving aimlessly around the general area we were interested in.  The was one possibility left.  Online research had not been promising on this one, but we were getting discouraged.  We stopped to take a look.  And wouldn’t you know it, after showing us four different available apartments, the last one was the one that said ‘home’.  Oh! the manager forgot to mention – if we sign a year’s lease, we get a discount on the rent!

Wonderful, glorious, heaven-sent!

We just need to pass a thorough background check and have our application approved…

They seem a little paranoid in Minnesnota.

Maybe they are just fussy about who they let stay in their winter wonderland.

So, for a week we have been back, here at home, just sitting in limbo. Waiting.  Will we be accepted?  Should we start packing?  How much should we weed out, and leave behind?  Do I give notice at the station?  And what if they say ‘NO’?

I really hate this waiting in limbo.  Once again I know that God is giving me an opportunity to practice patience and trust.  Trust that the Lord will make things work for us according to His Good Measure.  And patience – because it will all come to pass in God’s Good Time.

At least we got Papa Bear ready for winter – where ever!

The Night Before…

The night before anything always seems to be filled with anticipation, stress, excitement, anxiety, hurrying, or waiting.  Here I sit, it’s the night before we leave on our trip to the northern parts of Minnesota.  The land of 10,000 lakes, lots of trees, 2 grandchildren, and  their new puppy.  Oh, and my daughter and son-in-law… we can’t forget them!  Yes, Nana and Bubba are coming to visit!

So, as I mentioned before, it’s “The Night Before…” and I am sitting here.  I just got home from my shift at the gas station, and I am tired and sore.  Like most folks when they come home from work.  I know we have a big trip tomorrow, and I should be packing, and organizing, and planning, and gathering, and whatever else one ought to do before a big trip; but I am too tired to move.  I’ll throw a few things in the duffel bag in the morning on our way out the door…  Hubby and I have gotten efficient enough that our toiletries are always bagged and ready to go.  Mandy the Service Dog has her own box of stuff that is always ready for a trip.  It just seems so easy to get ready!

It didn’t use to be like that.  Back when we had 4 little ones to pack for, and feed, and change, and entertain along the way – preparing for a trip was a major event!  And it took a lot of skill to get the car packed and ready to roll.  Oh, and the food and stuff to drink along the way!  We had to pack all that with us.  I remember the first cross-country trip our young family took from Washington State to Michigan.  Six of us.  In an AMC hatchback wagon.  We were planning three days on the road before the first relative stop in Minnesota.  We were so tuned into efficiency!  We bought our first set of insulated coffee mugs.  We packed a can of coffee, and our Black and Decker Coffee Maker with its stainless steel carafe.  We would stop at rest areas and take the coffee maker into the restrooms to make a fresh pot of coffee.  Got a lot of strange looks from folks as they staggered in at 3:00 AM and smelled our fresh brew!

Now, we make pit stops every hundred miles or so.  We stretch our legs, walk the dog, visit the rest rooms, buy fresh coffee, and  maybe a donut or two.  With age, we have learned not to sweat the small stuff.  (Not to mention it’s cheaper for just the two of us…)  Technology has taken a lot of worry out of traveling also.  Cell phones for communicating in emergencies, and the GPS to guide us on our way.

So, as Hubby stated earlier, “the GPS is programmed and I got clean socks… let’s go!”

After a good night’s sleep, Dear.

Minnesota here we come!


Finding Our Way

Our big event this weekend was to go shopping for a GPS.  We’re planning a trip to the northern woods of Minnesota in the near future, and we don’t quite know our way around all those lakes and trees.  Actually, it’s not the lakes and trees so much, as driving through the various big cities along the way.  When you have spent the last 18 years living in a little town where three cars in a row is considered rush hour traffic… well, metropolitan driving can be very unnerving.

Knowing zip about GPS qualifications, we decided to start at Best Buy and shop for information from the world’s most helpful and knowledgeable clerks.  We learned a lot about what kind of features we wanted – like ‘lane assistance’ for all that big city driving.  Then we got to play with the various models until we decided which one we liked.  At that point, one of world’s most helpful clerks came back to tell us they were ‘out of stock’.  Ho-hum.  Just our luck.

“Well, suggests I.  Why don’t we zip on over to Target and see what they have.”

A simple suggestion, but as it turns out, it was the flash of brilliance for the day.  Target had our favored brand, and, as I discovered, the upgraded model from the one we had picked out was on sale!  Gotta love those end cap clearance sales.  (The clerk, however, was no bargain.)

So, last night Hubby played with the GPS, getting everything downloaded from the computer, and learning how to operate the thing.  Today we took her for a test run to Wal-Mart.  My goodness, were we ever impressed!  I never in a million years realized that the world rotated and revolved around our car!  And Ms. GPS was so polite!  She never once told us we were going the wrong way, or were off track (like the gps on our former smart phone).  She simply immediately rerouted the map to get us back on course.  We made it to the store and home again with no mishaps, and our self esteem still intact.

Now, if the gas prices would just go down before we leave…