Approaching downtown Minneapolis. Growing up on a southwestern Minnesota dairy and crop farm, I would travel with my parents and siblings once a year to visit relatives in Minneapolis. We got off at the 46th Street exit. Thankfully lanes have been added since then. But I don’t understand that sign on the left: “RATE TO DOWNTOWN $ AT 42ND.” Whenever I see these signs entering the Cities, I wonder.
I CAN’T RECALL THE LAST TIME I’ve been in downtown Minneapolis. But it’s been more than 30 years since I’ve walked in the heart of the city and I have no intention of visiting anytime soon.
The I94/35W split near downtown Minneapolis.
The big city is not for me. Give me wide open space and sky and fields and farms and small towns.
Give me horizontal, not vertical.
Minneapolis presents a photogenic skyline as my husband and I bypass the downtown on our way to visit family in the metro.
Give me alfalfa or soybeans or a cornfield, not concrete and asphalt parking lots and buildings so tall I need to visually strain my eyes to see their tops.
I need to breathe, to see the horizon, to touch the earth.
Oh, you might advise me that I am missing out on cultural and unique dining experiences and whatever else the big city offers. Maybe. But I’ve found my own happiness in “outstate Minnesota,” as the geographical region outside the metro is termed. That moniker, even though I sometimes use it, seems to diminish the importance of anything outside the Twin Cities area.
I am thankful, however, that we don’t all like living in the same place. If that was the situation, there would be no rural, only metro. Or only rural and no cities. That, of course, is oversimplifying, but you get my point. We all crave different environments. That is a good thing.
The curving interstate and speeds of some vehicles can give the illusion of being on a racetrack.
I will always prefer a country gravel road over the racetrack craziness, or gridlock, depending, of a Twin Cities area interstate.
A gravel road just north of Lamberton in southwestern Minnesota. File photo.
But that’s me, deeply rooted in rural Minnesota.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling