Going Home

Minnesota has a lot of things I don’t miss – mosquitos, deer ticks and the ubiquitous threat of Lyme disease, the oppressive humidity. 90 degree temperatures. However, I can overlook those things because there are more reasons to be fond of the state. I’ll be thinking of them as I fly out of Seattle and into Minneapolis tomorrow.

Little people

1. Being called Auntie Jojo. Nothing beats waking up on your sister’s couch to two snickering little people, whispering and daring each other to poke you as though you’re a sleeping animal. You offer a fake snore to rouse their curiosity, and suddenly there’s a knee in your gut and a tiny face in yours begging for attention. “Get UP, Auntie Jojo!” DSCN3907-1 2. Thunderstorms. Unless you’ve lived in the Midwest, you can’t imagine the sky before a storm – heaving turquoise, warped grey clouds, and the air hanging heavy with anticipation. As a child, you can barely breathe. A crash of thunder on the heels of the first lightning strike provokes a blast of wind from the southwest. Your favorite cottonwood doubles over upon impact.  Hail clobbers the windows, forcing you inside. You hide. Pray in a corner of the basement that it’s not a tornado. But afterwards – that’s when the magic happens. Gold spills hot across the horizon and the breeze skims the waters of Lake Minnewaska, offering an apology for her brief, but violent, harangue.  All is forgiven. DSCN3946-1 3. Taking photos with my youngest brother. We’ve torn up rural routes all across Pope County in search of subject matter, escaped swarms of blood-thirsty mosquitos and evaded Lyme disease. He even let me photograph his wedding! I edited out no less than 50 mosquitos in the photo below…

_DSC0454bw

Of course, there are so many other things I love about going home – breakfast with my dad at the Gingerbread Café, where you can still have a meal and coffee for under $10. My grandma’s stories about how she met grandpa. My mom’s cookies.

Pretending that I’m still a kid and the whole world is still before me.

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Comments

10 comments on “Going Home”
  1. Have a great trip Jolene! The thunder storms are what I miss the most about living in the Midwest! I do NOT miss the mosquitoes, or the heat… or a bunch of things, honestly, but the summer storms and lightening bugs… oh, that I miss! Enjoy, aunt Jojo! Wonderful, wonderful photos in this post!!

    1. Only one brief thunderstorm this time, Dawn. I was looking forward to some dramatic skies and weather. Unfortunately, it was mostly just heat.

  2. Jolene…loved this! You made me homesick for my family in the Midwest…and brought back many memories.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. It had been two years since I’d visited, and I was homesick again before I even left.

    1. Thanks for the Irish blessings, Andrea!

      1. andrea says:

        **MANY HUGS**

  3. Pam says:

    All beautiful reasons to go home. Don’t forget to count to 120! Have a fab time. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back.

    1. Ha. I counted to 120 twice on the way there, once on the way back. Somehow, flying first class made me feel less nervous.

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