Because Minnesota is all about Change. And saying Yes.

We just finished our annual pilgrimage to the bank’s coins to cash machine. Each year, we save up our loose change for one big day at the MN State Fair.

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It all seems appropriate, in a state that embraces change and says Yes. Greg and I can spend all day saying “Yes” to whatever purchase, without affecting the monthly budget.

Matt and Caroline on the case.
Matt and Caroline on the case.

Consider:

St. Paul was originally “Pig’s Eye.” (change is good!)

Our home state is home to many firsts: 

Indoor shopping mall, skyways, facility to host 3 major sports events (the dumpy Dome!), urban sculpture garden, open heart surgery, stapler, water skiis, roller blades, snowmobilies, Children’s dept. in a public library, toaster, armored cars  (if you find a common theme, let me know)

and many inventions:

Scotch tape, Wheaties, HMOs, bundt pan, Aveda products, Green Giant veggies

We say Yes, too:

to independents as governors (ok, so maybe change isn’t always good)

Muslims as congresspeople

Democrats

Volunteer infantry (Gettysburg!)

Gay marriage

So as we prepare for a day at The Great Minnesota Gettogether, I’m grateful to live in a state that embraces change and says Yes. Not a bad way to live a full, rich life!

 

 

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New faces at The Old Barn

The Old Barn is one of our family’s Top Three favorite campgrounds. (I’ve blogged about it before.) Our annual Kind Family Reunion is one of our fave times of year.

We combined the two! We had 15 people at The Old Barn, ages 19 months to 69 1/2. Most of our clan had not been there before.

It’s a great spot because everyone gets to do what they want — and there are things everyone can do together.

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The golfers golfed.
The golfers golfed.
Great golf specials on Wednesdays and Mondays. So our boys golfed LOTS.
Great golf specials on Wednesdays and Mondays. So our boys golfed LOTS.
The girls can use the golf cart to get to the river.
The girls used the golf cart to get to the river.
The tubers can tube.
The tubers tubed.

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The crazy people can jump off cliffs. This was not Elizabeth-approved but man did it look fun.
The crazy people jumped off cliffs. This was not Elizabeth-approved but man did it look fun.
Crazy people can also jump off rope swing. Also not approved. Also looked like amazing fun.
Crazy people also jumped off a rope swing. Also not approved. Also looked like amazing fun.
And we all biked! Destination: Pie shop in Whalan.
And we all biked! Start: Lanesboro. Destination: Pie shop in Whalan.
Me, sis Kris, bro Dave and his wife Amy. Just a little bridge break on our bike ride.
Me, sis Kris, bro Dave and his wife Amy. Just a little bridge break on our bike ride.
Caroline and cousin Allie shared the pedaling.
Caroline and cousin Allie shared the pedaling.
Matt and Cousin Justin, road warriors on a not tuned up ride.
Matt and Cousin Justin, road warriors on a not tuned up ride.
The Reward. Sour cream raisin pie with a mountain of meringue.
The Reward. Sour cream raisin pie with a mountain of meringue.
Justin, Allie, Grandma and Matt, mmmmm.
Justin, Allie, Grandma and Mmmmmmatt.
Cara, Eric, Howie, Kristina, Grandpa, double mmmmm.
Cara, Eric, Howie, Kristina, Grandpa, double mmmmm.

Wait. We have to bike BACK to Lanesboro?

There’s a (root)beer waiting when you roll in.

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Back at the campground, lots of time to swim, picnic together and play football.

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What a Vikings fan and a Packers fan can do...
What a Vikings fan and a Packers fan can do…

Most of all, we just loved being together.

All my parents' grandkids.
All my parents’ grandkids.

Four of those kidlets above have birthdays within one month of each other. So we celebrated!

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We had a Talent Show.

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The eventual champions for a beautiful acapella performance.
The eventual champions, who won hardware and bragging rights for their beautiful acapella performance.

And as we packed up on Sunday, images of happy campers…

old barn kind fam

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Why Minnesotans are their best selves in early August

It’s a watershed moment in beautiful Minnesota: The first 2 weeks of August.

The MN State Fair is set to start, school days are a distant memory and not yet on the horizon. Most summer youth sports have wrapped up, and there’s time off before fall action begins.

At this moment, in this state — Minnesotans are their very best selves.

Our annual flowers are flourishing … even though we’re dead-heading the damn petunias twice a day.

We’re eating fresh sweet corn and BLT’s for every meal … and the ridiculous zucchini harvest hasn’t peaked yet.

Our sunburns have faded to tans. It’s acceptable to wear white shorts … even the elders look acceptable in faded 1987 World Series muscle tees.

Thanks to all our lakes and rivers, we’ve been in, on and next to water a lot … we’re dreaming about when we’ll get to skate on it.

The sting is gone: Our Twins are who they are … and Target Field is still a sweet spot.

The Vikes look to win the Super Bowl … training in ‘Kato has big promise.

We know the sneaky side roads to avoid construction … and drives behind a snow plow look inviting.

‘Haven’t worn Uggs for a few weeks … hear the new colors will look good on us.

We’re accustomed to the mingled scents of sunscreen and bug repellent.

A perfect combination of optimism and realism. That’s Minnesotans. And right now, we are our best selves.