18 August 2013

lets plan on not planning.

I have always appreciated the quote, "we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Growing up in Windom, I was always dreaming of places beyond the fields of corn and beans. The open horizon of Southwest Minnesota was the doorway leading to the  big world out there, and I was going to experience as much of it as I could.  Windom was going to be the dust in my trails.  I was going to someday have stories upon stories of the places I had seen and the people I had met, the memories I had made. I got a taste for travel at a young age with my dad's family living in Denmark, I made my first trip over seas when I was 8.  I continued to travel throughout high school. I couldn't wait to graduate and burst through that metaphorical doorway tempting me in that beautiful horizon. The irony in this short story is that my life has become the exact opposite of what I had planned, it is better.  

The past few weeks, well, years, since River City Eatery has opened, I have come to the realization that one can dream, have aspirations, plans, whatever it may be that gives us a purpose to  greet each day with ambition, but to also remember these things are not rules to live by.  These past few weeks I have realized that I may not be the one traveling like I thought I would be, I'm here in Windom.  I'm at River City Eatery everyday watching others create memories together inside a place I had once only dreamed of.  

I love watching friendships evolve among my employees, although I hate to call them employees, because they all have become my friends, who am I kidding, they have become family, and also have a genuine love for the Eatery which I appreciate beyond words. I will miss some of them as they continue on their own personal journeys.

My parents just recently took a trip to Denmark to visit family and friends.  It was unbelievable to hear from my parents after their return that Finding Windom and River City Eatery have an audience in Denmark who are dedicated to reading these posts, as few and far between as they are.  To my Danish audience, your support and genuine interest in Windom and River City Eatery is incredibly inspiring and only makes me want keep my head held high and any of my doubts far away beyond the horizon I once thought was waiting for me.  Thank you.  You must also know Denmark is flowing through my veins that lead straight to my heart, just like Windom.  

This past weekend one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Tom Begich, played at the Eatery. One of many amazing artists that have left their melodies and inspirational lyrics in the walls of the Eatery.  More memories made and stories shared around a table of good food, good drinks, good friends and good conversation.  But now he is traveling on the wide open road, disappearing down the roads surrounded by fields and farms, which will soon change into a less familiar landscape for me, just like a lot of our talented musicians who play at the Eatery.  All while my surroundings will remain the same walls again the next day.

Today, a man proposed to a woman he loved in River City Eatery.  They went on their first date at River City Eatery.  And tonight, months after their first date, he knelt down on those old orange and white tiles with a diamond ring in front of the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with at River City Eatery. Their new journey will begin tonight, and it started in downtown Windom at River City Eatery.  I never imagined how much this place would change my life and the ones who share it with me.

These are only a couple of the stories that make me smile while I sit among my very comfortable home that I'm blessed to come home to every night with my husband and son.  You see, what I have realized is that I may not be the one traveling right now like I thought I would be, I'm not the one meeting the locals or exploring new things beyond the dust of gravel roads, but River City Eatery is becoming the memories and stories for other travelers.  This is the life I never imagined, but I'm so glad its happened and that I have opened my eyes and heart to understanding it, accepting it, and loving it for what it is. 

Happy times,


  1. Mari, It's so nice to see you writing again. I hope you keep it up because you write with so much passion.It's great to see. Gregg.

  2. Loved reading this! My sister in law and her friend stopped in there back in the spring. She called me while she was there and said they had heard of it in Maple Grove and had to stop on their way through. I was excited to tell them I knew you a long time ago! I am looking forward to visiting when I'm there next.