I don’t like Minnesota. I never have. It has always been understood growing up that Minnesotans are stuck up, rich, and have no sales tax. That they are as weird, annoying, and numerous as the mosquitoes that inhabit their state. Also, Minnesota is similar to New York in the respect that when people think of New York, they think of the City and maybe Albany or Rochester. Everything else is ‘upstate.’ In the same way, when people think of Minnesota, they think of the cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and maybe Duluth or Rochester. Everything else is ‘Wisconsin.’ (They also both have Rochesters.) Because of this, the farmers of SD tend to think of Minnesotans as pansy city slickers. The exception being the far north. In the far northern wilderness live the trappers and mushers (dog sled folk). They are usually looked up to for knowing how to survive in the harsh climate. In turn most Minnesotans (read: city people) look down on us South Dakotans as hicks that give the Midwest a bad name. Now I must point out that this is not the view of every person, just a general rivalry. It’s kind of like Virginians making fun of West Virginia being inbred hillbillies. Not everyone thinks that, but it’s just kind of a stigma. But you throw a South Dakotan and a Minnesotan together in one room on the East Coast and they get along just fine. I’ve decided the only redeeming factors of Minnesota are Jericho, Gary Paulsen, the Mayo, and Prairie Home Companion.
Despite my malice for the loony bin state, my adventures have been fairly amiable. The people at the Mayo have been (for the most part) wonderful. The people at the hotel are awesome, workers and residents. Most of my venturing out of the hotel has involved the Mayo or the finding of food. But I didn’t have any tests this weekend, so Bob and I grew a bit brave and went to the mall. Our first stop was Barnes & Noble. Oh the joy that is books. I searched the store top to bottom for Chesterton, hoping that I could find something that wasn’t in my local library. (My library’s Chesterton selection is pathetic! I’ve gotten spoiled by the Christendom library.) They didn’t have anything by him. Not a one. So I got David Copperfield, The Count of Monte Cristo (or Crisco as Bob calls it), and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Last night I read Hans the Hedgehog and giggled remembering Dane’s performance at the literary night last year. We then ventured to Bath & Body Works for ‘expensive girl stuff’ as Teddy calls it. Today we ventured to a Franciscan convent for Sunday Mass. At least I think that’s what it was. The sign said convent, and it’s Sunday, and I’m pretty sure the pamphlet said Mass. It was worse than some of the places we saw on the nun run. The outside was a beautiful old Spanish mission. But inside it was I love the 70’s with a vengeance. The procession included ‘sisters’ in kakis and sweaters, or suits, or dresses. Though there was one really old nun in a full black habit. (Props to her.) They never said ‘Lord’ or ‘He’ and the priest omitted the Creed. *Growling* He also started out his homily with four verses of ‘If you’re chilly and you know it.’ Oh the homily, it made me want to cry. He didn’t say anything about the Easter of faith or ‘poor Michael Schiavo’ like that one priest did. But he did talk about getting to know the ‘so-called terrorists’ so we can love them and end the violence. He said that if we got to know their story, we’d understand why they do the things they do. Bob told me later that she was praying for that priests soul. I said I’d just been trying not to scream. That is so not God’s way! After that we ate at Chipotle’s. Memories of this summer came flooding back as I walked in the door. I had that massive burrito that Ben loves so much. Good times.
Well that’s all the news here from Lake Wobegon where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking and the children are above-average.