Being a Midwesterner means sometimes defending one’s residence to people who aren’t from the Midwest.
I remember a conversation one morning at a San Diego bed-and-breakfast with a California couple. When I told them we were from Minnesota, they exclaimed, “Minnesota! Who would ever want to live there? You must be crazy!”
As Californians, they apparently thought they knew Minnesota to be a vast wasteland near the Canadian border where it’s always winter and residents rarely emerge from their igloos.
It’s cold in Minnesota, and winter is long, and that bitter season is one of the reasons I’m now a Minnesota transplant living two states south.
But it’s not so bad that only crazy people live there (only some of the people who live there are crazy).
Living in Illinois now, I sometimes take heat for the state’s political machine and its perenially losing baseball team (don’t get your panties in a bunch, White Sox fans, I’m referring to the Cubs).
For the record: Despite its history of criminal governors and high interstate highway tolls, Illinois is not filled with a bunch of rubes and it’s a nice place to live.
I now can defend Iowa with its corn fields and early primaries also.
Dubuque, Iowa, is a beautiful place to visit. The postcard perfect city on the Mississippi River is filled with nice people, good food and absolutely stunning vistas. I now can say I see the love in this place.
This morning’s walk along the river revealed a pretty little bonus, too, on the muddy shores of the water sparkling in the morning sun:
Do you see the love, too?