As of about an hour ago, I have officially lived in Minnesota for 5 years. (I tend to have these grand, life-changing moments happen on memorable dates, but that’s another post.) December 1, 2001 I woke up at Dad’s house in Illinois after having spent the day before loading my UHaul up and driving it from Detroit to his house (with his help, of course), my car in tow. We hopped back on the road and drove to Eden Prairie, arrived at the church-that-remains-nameless, met a youth group full of kids that helped unload stuff into my office, then into my temporary housing, and finally into my storage unit. Then we called Alison, went out to eat at Chevy’s (because, having only lived in Minnesota for 2 hours, the best I could do was find the Eden Prairie mall), and started the slow process of assimilating myself to a new life. The next day was Sunday, whereupon I woke up and went to my new church for the first time, was warmly greeted by all, and ate a lot of Twinkies, among other things. I was also gifted a feather boa (in honor of our then-governor Jesse Ventura), a book “How To Speak Minnesotan” and a Twins baseball cap. The baseball cap is the only thing I have left, since the others were either given back (boa) or away to Goodwill because they reminded me of that church.
It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve seen anyone from that church – during the bus strike of 2004, I saw the church secretary at a concert, and I have actually healed from what they put me through (it helped that both pastors moved out of state). I don’t regret the decision to move here or to take the job, because that’s the way life goes. It got me to Minnesota, including paying my moving expenses, and, despite the cold weather that presently looms, I like living here. My life is here now. It has long since felt like home, and Michigan only felt that way for the brief time after I acclimated myself but before the sh*t hit the fan.