24 October 2008

Friday Five: Movin' On Up!

This week's Friday Five comes from Singing Owl:
My daughter, her husband, and their toddler, Trinity Ann, are moving from Minneapolis, Minnesota to our place. It's a long story, but the short version is that they will be loading a Ryder truck on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon we will unload it into a storage unit in our town. They will move themselves, their two cats and their BIG dog into our place. Yes, there will be issues, but this Friday Five isn't really about that. (Prayers for jobs for them and patience for all of us are most welcome, however.) This post is about locations. My husband has lived at 64 addresses in his life so far (16 with me) and he suggested the topic since we have moving trucks on our minds.
Therefore, tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?
If you have lived in less than five places, you can tell us about a fantasy location.
Okay, so here goes with my five favorite places:
1. Lincoln, Nebraska.
I lived in Lincoln for seven years; outside of my parents' farm, the longest I've lived anywhere in my life. Lincoln is a city of approximately 300,000 these days, a bit less, perhaps, but it's just the right size for me: big enough to have just about anything you need, small enough to maintain a sense of community. Also, it's the home of: my alma mater, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Cornhusker football; my favorite coffeehouse, The Mill; the best prime rib in the country at Misty's Steakhouse; and much, much more, including several friends who stayed in Lincoln after graduation or moved back. Great town, great people, we're hoping to move there someday (but not in a hurry, thanks!)

2. Wakefield, Nebraska.
My hometown. The Baseball Capital of Nebraska. Home to the two-time defending Class C-2 Football Champion Wakefield Trojans. Home to one of the largest egg production complexes in the world, formerly known as the Milton G. Waldbaum Egg Company. Home to my family's church for four generations, Salem Lutheran Church. Home to the Little Red Hen Community Theatre, one of the best community theatres in a town of 1,400 in the country, IMHO. Again, great town, great people - even my wife likes coming back to this small farming community in beautiful, somewhat hilly northeastern Nebraska (and you all thought Nebraska was flat? Pshaw - that's just the interstate!).

3. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
Commonly known as "The Cities" to those who actually live there, it's a wonderful metropolitan area that is underrated in terms of music and artistic venues. I had the privilege of befriending a trumpet player in the Minnesota Orchestra due to some Nebraska ties, and for three years I had comps to the Orchestra for just about any show I wanted. Kris and I took in the Orchestra on one of our first dates - obviously it was impressive! For someone interested in arts and culture, I think it might be even better than Chicago on the whole: the Guthrie Theater, two very accomplished orchestras, several art galleries, a good jazz scene headlined by the Dakota, the University of Minnesota, and many other items that I never got the chance to peruse in three years living there. And as many of us like to say, it's Minnesota, where the Lutherans are dense! (You decide which interpretation to take on that one...)

4. Ames, Iowa.
We've lived here in Ames for almost eleven months now, and we like it very much. It's like Lincoln distilled down just a bit: 55,000 people, with many of the same amenities in a geographically smaller area. Parks and recreation here are outstanding, as are the public schools and the Iowa State University campus. Opportunities abound for family functions, and we've got most of the stores anyone could need, with more shopping opportunities 45 minutes south in Des Moines and its suburbs. It's a perfect location for us as a family: we're 4 hours from my hometown, 4 hours from Kristin's sister in the Cities, and 45 minutes from the airport where friends and family can fly in for a visit. And we're not too far from Lincoln, either. Look for this one to climb the ranks the longer we stay here.

5. Barrett, Minnesota.
We loved much about our 4 1/2 years in Barrett. It's 30 miles west of Alexandria, on the southern edge of Minnesota's "Lake Country." Barrett is a town of 350 wrapped around 500-acre Barrett Lake, and in the fall it's about as picturesque as you could want:

In addition to being a beautiful small town, Barrett is home to West Central Area Schools, a consolidated area school system that is one of the best rural systems I've ever seen. We would have been very happy if Ainsley and Alanna had gone to school at WCA. Our former congregation, Peace Lutheran Church, is the only church in town and takes its "parish" responsibilities seriously, contributing much to the community throughout the year. I would also be remiss if I failed to mention Prairie Wind Players, the best community theater in Minnesota pound-for-pound. There is no reason a town of 350 should be able to produce the quality productions one can find at PWP, but 25 years of dedicated work has produced some stunning work. I had the privilege to appear in several plays in my time in Barrett, and I enjoyed each exerience immensely.

That's the "Movin' On Up" edition of this week's Friday Five!

1 comment:

  1. Community theaters certainly are one of the important amenities for my family too! Enjoyed your play.