One year, one week, two days and eight hours ago… we moved. Also, results from our birthday poll!

It’s true. I’ve been a Minnesotan for over a year now, survived a winter even the natives are calling “brutal” and, in case you’re wondering, I’ve not yet adopted the dialect… dontcha know.

I’m working on a post where I’ll talk about all the things I’ve learned this last year: the differences between city folk and small town folk, what it’s like moving across the country, switching from a desert landscape to a snowy one, stuff like that there.

And by working on it, I mean I sometimes think about it. There may or may not be actual sentences written down.

In the meantime, below are some pictures of our recent trip with our kids. They came up for a visit and to escape Phoenix heat. We traveled over to Duluth for a few days as well as spent some time in the cities. (This is a true sign of Minnesotan: I now say things like, “We went to the cities.”)

Here’s a few from Duluth (click on an image to enlarge):

Note the big ship? When you see ships like that, you begin to realizeย just how big Lake Superior is.

Here’s the aerial bridge lowering once the ship passed through:

Gotta pity the poor cars who had to wait all that time for the bridge to come back down. It had to be at least 15 minutes from the time the bells first started ringing.

Speaking of which, they really don’t give you a lot of warning as to when the bridge is going to rise. On our last day there, we thought we’d walk across it.

Full disclosure: we had noticed a ship was coming but there was some debate on our part as to whether the bridge would have to rise for it or not. In any case, the walking light still showed “Walk” so we walked across.

It was at the halfway mark — and believe me, this is one long bridge — when the bells start sounding and a voice comes on telling us to “Get the hell off the bridge.”

Okay, so maybe he didn’t say those exact words. In any case, we got the hint and picked up our pace. Like, ran. We made it just in time before it started to rise.

Death comes to us all_2

Other than almost dying, it was a great trip. We toured a maritime museum, a whale back ship and a mansion, though I didn’t think to take pictures at any of them. I guess we were enjoying ourselves too much?

Though I got a picture of my ice cream:

curry caramel cashew and salted licorice

On the left is Salted Licorice, on the right is Curry Caramel Cashew. Sounds weird, right? Yet they were delicious. Daughter had a scoop of Honey Chamomile in a cup of espresso. (Calming and invigorating.)

So then we went to the cities and hung out mostly in downtown St. Paul. Son said it was kind of like New York City but without all the people.

That’s me getting friendly with F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Did you know he was from St. Paul? It’s true!)

Charles Schultz is from Minnesota as well, so the whole Peanuts gang is hanging out in Landmark Park. That’s Husband discussing philosophy with Linus and Sally.

I have one other photo I simply must show you. After we dropped the kids off at the airport, Husband and I stopped at an antique shop in Elk River.

Where I found this guy!

Froggy friend

Is he not the most glorious fella you’ve ever seen? I mean, he’s so charming holding the completely impractical planter I found at WalMart for five bucks.

Say, if any of you have any suggestions as to what I should name my froggy friend, let me know. Right now the leading contenders are Bowie, Elton, or Irving.

Alrighty, so now it’s time for the results of our poll. We really seemed to hit a nerve with this one. You people have some strong opinions on birthday parties for adults.

For a reminder, these were the questions:

poll questions

As it turns out, 40% of you find parties childish while 32% of you accept them only if you’re hammered.

Only one person — one person mind you! — threatened to end our friendship over this. I found this heartening. (No one chose the final question.)

There was also a write-in option. These were the responses:

Other answers

If we evaluate the overall intent, I think it’s safe to say none of these responses are in favor of parties. Though I want to pull out the final one:

I love to celebrate life, on any day. Blessed to be alive.

Yes!!!

That’s the ticket, friends. Rather than reserve one day out of the year where we honor each other, how about we celebrate every day?

Though maybe without the noisemakers and pointy hats. Ain’t no one in favor of those.

Birthday blues (1)

To all of you who took our poll — and waited so patiently for the results — thank you for playing.

Now go eat some cake and start celebrating life. ๐Ÿ™‚

happy

 

Author: CJ Hartwell

After spending most of her life in Phoenix, Arizona, CJ Hartwell moved to the middle of Minnesota. Is she nuts? Probably. For updates on her sanity, click on the link to follow by email.

27 thoughts on “One year, one week, two days and eight hours ago… we moved. Also, results from our birthday poll!”

  1. You had me at “Salted Licorice ice cream” (which I didn’t even know existed). All paragraphs following that photo were pretty much a blur. I suspect we black licorice lovers are few and far between!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha!
      The place was called Love Creamery and they let you taste as many flavors as you wanted. Never would have imagined licorice or curry making a good ice cream, but wow they were great!

      Like

  2. Love the frog – I would think Iggy would be a good name but like all the ones you came up with as well.

    It’s nice to know that there are those of us who get through less than pleasant experiences as long as there is alcohol involved. With all the healthy things in red wine, it makes me feel like I’m doing something very positive for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And I’m sure you know exactly where I lost it during this post: the photo with the “where I nearly DIED” scribble and the helpful little arrow. (The runner-up is you mooning over Scottie.)

    I think Froggy should have a poetic name, as he has such soulful eyes. (Or maybe he’s just registering the fact that there’s a dragonfly getting dangerously near his “no swabbing” zone…)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – youโ€™ve covered a lot of ground (or water) here! Duluth is awesome; if it werenโ€™t for the winters, โ€œit coulda been a contendah!โ€ Glad you didnโ€™t die there. I shall share my own near-death travel experience soon (maybe).

    Iggy is perfectly adorable. Salted licorice, yes. Curry anything, um, no.

    Now, Iโ€™m sorry I missed your birthday poll. I am thrilled – yes, THRILLED – to be alive every day. I do not expect anyone else to be equally enthused for me, but hopefully they are for themselves. We all have birthdays; we all have navels. Which should we celebrate, and why? We celebrate another trip around the sun each new year. Good enough for me (though I rarely celebrate that, either. Just sayinโ€™).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From everything we here, Duluth winters are fearsome to behold. We actually have it a bit easier where we are. North of us gets much more snow, south of us gets the tornadoes.

      I rather like the idea of a National I’ve Got a Navel Day. We should work on that – just imagine the decoration ideas we’d see on Pinterest! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We really need to see more of your artistic skills and direction, amongst my favourite things here. Happy you survived the Death Bridge. Love the Peanuts statues! I had a suggestion for your frog, so I’m gonna throw it out there anyway; Melanie. MELON-EY! I promise to not give up the day job. But I see Iggy has been christened with a truly honourable name. Looking forward to meeting Pop. Hope you find something soon ;).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Peanuts statues were great fun, as was a lovely little art thing with mini-hot air balloons. Sadly, my picture didn’t turn out so well on that one.

      Iggy is his name, but I will not cast aspersions on Melon-ey. Instead, I shall look for another amphibian worthy of the name. Maybe a salamander. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I would love to take a drive from Minnesota to the mouth of the river where it lets out into the Gulf of Mexico. And take the river road as much as possible… jc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And if you’re taking a reader poll, I too am a fan of black licorice and would absolutely try that ice cream – side by side with curry though is going a bit over the edge for me. Anyway, my husband is exactly opposite when it comes to black licorice. And due to it’s odoriferous quality in candy form, I haven’t had it in years for better or worse.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, what a trip that would be! I think you’d get a year’s worth of blog posts out of it!
      I just looked at images of the head waters in Lake Itasca. It’s only a couple hours north of where I live. Think a weekend excursion is called for, yes? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. What an interesting life you lead – you actually don’t need birthdays as you seem to be celebrating life every day – whihc is as it should be, as others have suggested.

    Nope, nope, nope – icecream should never have curry – never I say. Icecream is made for all things fluffy and yummy tasting – not stinky curry.

    Glad the death bridge lost it’s touch and you escaped being crushed – good for all i think! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on a year of new life experiences – I’ve loved reading about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ya, it’s been a long time so I don’t really ‘member, but isn’t it pronounced Dulute? Maybe dat’s only if you’ve come over from workin’ on da range. (I’m not sure the iron mines are still running, who knows?)

    Is “Kermit” too obvious for a frog?

    I must have missed the birthday poll. I’m ok with them, although I’d just as soon skip the birthday song and cut to the eating and drinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kermit is way too obvious, yet I’m troubled I didn’t think of it. Is that the first sign? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I meant to offer an apology to those who missed the poll – I didn’t realize I set it to shut down after one week, and here I waited two weeks to give the results. Oops!
      In any case, your comments have been noted. ๐ŸŽ‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I probably missed it because it was crazyville there for a while. I’m still in catch-up mode – only one week behind on blog reading (with some skipping) instead of the three I started at.

        Liked by 1 person

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