Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 24, 2014

Is this far enough south?

Jun 27, 2014

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

This past winter I made a promise.

It wasn’t a new promise but a repeat of promises made many winters. During one of those days of frigid temperatures, snow up to the knees and a biting wind, I promised never to complain about how hot and humid it would get next summer.

The promise hasn’t been broken, nor were similar promises I made in years past. I used to think I lived for summer and I still probably do so that’s why I pledged not to complain…no matter how hot and humid it becomes.

Now winter is another story. I hate winters and am grateful that I found Renee, a woman who hates winter as much as I do. I am just hoping since she is moving south, she doesn’t lose her dislike for winter.

Our winters are not like those in the Twin Cities, we rarely get snow in May (Minneapolis had six inches this year in May). I am fearful that she might actually start liking winter and not agree with me that the only good thing about winter is sitting by the fireplace and related pleasantries.

As a kid, I remember wanting to live in a large city. Montreal and Detroit are two that I eyed. That, of course, before I learned that Montreal was in another country.

It looks like I never will get there and that probably is a good thing. During my frequent visits to the Twin Cities, I get a taste of what I missed with the term missed being used loosely.

The major things I am missing are the traffic, the inconvenience of having to drive at least 20 minutes if I want to go to the grocery store, not knowing your neighbors, road rage and having to have your dwelling double locked at night.

Sure, the income level is higher in the cities. It has to be. With monthly rent or mortgage payments in four figures, higher insurance premiums, utilities, cable, child care and Internet…Well, you get the picture.

I try at all costs to avoid rush hour during my visits to the city and thus far, have succeeded. Although I have driven through the cities many times BR (before Renee), I hand her the keys now, not to avoid driving but because she is a lifetime resident of Minneapolis. She knows where she’s going, I don’t.

She wants out of the city. I can’t blame her. I would want to leave, too, if my daily commute from a northeast suburb to work in a southwest suburb took 60-90 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That isn’t exactly my idea of waking up gracefully or winding down peacefully.

So, Renee, is going to become an Iowan. She says she yearns for the small-town life after living forever in the city. I can see the jealousy in her eyes when I tell her I met two vehicles during my morning drive to work.

Another reason is that Mt. Pleasant is south of Minneapolis. The winters can’t be as harsh, she asks. No, they aren’t, although the past winter was harsh anywhere you lived.

I didn’t argue when she said she wanted to come to Iowa, although I never would have asked her to do so. I can understand her reasoning. I, too, don’t want to live any farther north and I am nearly 275 miles south of the cities.

So is this far enough south? The answer will come this winter and in future winters. I do know this though — the winters are going to be much more pleasurable.

 

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