15 August 2010

128 miles from hope.

This weekend my husband and I celebrated two years of married bliss (insert a sweet *awww* here) in a quaint little city in Minnesota called Northfield.  If you haven't had the pleasure of touring Northfield, I highly suggest it; it was a short trip and could easily be done in one day if you live around here.  It is filled with just plain charm.  The main street's historic buildings are restored and revived to their fullest potential, even the buildings waiting for the perfect person with the perfect idea fit right in next to its filled neighbor.  Those empty buildings had cute little puppy-dog eyes just waiting for a loving owner.   Little gift shops, clothing stores for men and women, antiques, taverns and coffee shops lined the welcoming sidewalks and inspiring river walk.  We walked Northfield's main street about twenty times trying to take it all in. We had coffee, we had food and we had beers, all between shopping and our self-guided walking tour.  I'm hoping to describe Windom with these same words someday. 

When dusk arrived we decided to sit on one of the many outdoor patios available in this city of 17,000 and we shared a pitcher.  The patio was behind a neat little pub and of course there was live music, just a little jam band playing familiar tunes under a white tarp and rope lights.  The tables around us seemed to know eachother.  I felt at home by their genuine greetings and common intentions for a carefree night.  The lightning in the distance didn't stop them from dancing under the small amount of stars still left to be seen by the crawling clouds and city lights.  I thought to myself how wonderful it was to see such simple things like atmosphere and music make for such a good time. I didn't feel like I was only a short 128 miles from home, it felt like a different world. 

Attached to the historic hotel where we laid our heads on Saturday night, The Archer House, was a cute Scandinavian store full of remnants of our proud roots.  I asked the cashier in that store about a picture I noticed hanging on the wall above the Norweigan gnomes and modern Scandinavian printed runners.  It was a painting of the Northfield Train Depot.  "Is that train depot still here?" I asked.  Her initial reply was a sigh followed by "yes." She began to tell me how the city and people of Northfield have been trying to obtain the depot in order for it to be restored.  With no such luck of getting the owner, the railroad, to budge on allowing the Northfield citizens to touch it, Northfied started a save the depot organization.  She said with such passion, "we want to do something with it, anything, an information station, even a public restroom, we just don't want to see it go to waste." I was in awe.  I thought it was the neatest thing that she said "the city and people of Northfield..."  I couldn't help but think to replace the word "Northfield" in that statement with "Windom" and it's many charms.  The city and people of Windom don't want to see it go to waste.  Is it possible?  It was possible for Northfield, Minnesota, which give me such high hopes for my own community.  Well, I told her how much I had enjoyed Northfield and that we would definately be back.

While driving home, my head was filled with ideas and inspirations from the night we had spent in Northfield.  I think my husband was tired of hearing the words "Finding Windom" by this time, but he was a good sport and we bounced ideas off eachother even though we were supposed to "be away" for the weekend.  So here I sit, back in Windom, and approximately 128 miles away from hope.

1 comment:

  1. MARI is at it again, spreading the excitement of our community, thankyou for the beautiful flowers! and being a inspiration!