Monday, December 21, 2009

Thanksgiving - Part 3 - Minnesota

From WV we headed back west and since we were closer than we'd probably ever be we decided to "swing by" and see our dear friends in Minnesota on the way home. We called them first, of course, to see if it would be OK. The spontaneousness of it all made the visit extra fun for all of us. They live in a 100 year old house with their five great kids and gangley 6 month old Boxer puppy. (This is the great old house from which I got my lumps of coal mentioned in my riveting post about my rock collection.)

We had a really nice couple of days with them. A light snow was falling when we arrived and it snowed the whole next day. They live in St. Peter, a town of about 10,000 that I just love. The highway runs right through town, becoming their quaint mainstreet. There are huge old trees lining the streets, cute old houses,

and beautiful old stone churches.

This church is an example of the "Kasota Stone" I mentioned in that over-the-top exciting post about my rock collection.)

There are several really nice shops along the main street and some nice gallery shops in town as well. There is a beautiful park at the end of their street, complete with a charming gazebo. St. Peter is just totally cute and quaint while also being "hip." If not for the grey, icy, blizzardy winters...and the awful, hot, muggy, humid summers, I think I could totally live there! If not for those 9 months of the year. That's all.

Our friends' house is full of wonderful old architectural details. Giant windows with beautiful oak trim,

staircase posts with one of my favorite detail designs (those little carved balls in a line)

a diamond paned leaded glass window in their dining room, and gorgeous antique (possibly original) hardware on most of the interior doors

We went shopping around town for a little while and I found some very nice alpaca wool mittens, gloves and hats in the food co-op where they had bought some really yummy chewy artisan bread. I bought a pair of fingerless mittens that I just love. I'll have to show you someday. For now, here's a photo I took from the co-op sidewalk with a view of the river bridge, some Christmas trees for sale, and a bike.

It is definitely a snow town. While I like to respect everyone's privacy by not posting their photos on my blog, I think the one here is OK, don't you? Adorable!

And here's another tell tale sign that this home belongs to a large family living in a snow town. I love it!

You just can't help having such a space in your house when you live in a snow town. It just has to be.

We had a wonderful time with our friends. We packed a lot of fun stuff into just a couple days. We went to a Wed. night Lutheran church service where the kids' attend school; two of them sang a song with the choir. We went to the school and had lunch with the kids one day, went to visit the hardwood flooring show room owned by our friends, went shopping, went on some job calls, had some music/guitar lessons for the kids, and had wonderful cozy conversations around the meals we shared.

I even toured a million dollar home of which they did the floors. Wow, was it magnificent! It got dark around 4:30 and with the snow storm it seemed to come even earlier. That darkening, snowy sky as we drove country roads to this mansion were so dramatic for me, they left a powerful impression on me. I loved it. Inside the house, we looked out onto a snow laden lake in the back: bare trees, sky darkened by a combination of an increasing snow storm and the oncoming night, the snowy expanse of the lake stretching out from just beyond the house.

When I think of all of our visits on this trip - in Indiana, West Virginia, and Minnesota - I just can't stop using words like cozy and warm. That's how it all felt to me. Our times with people were short, just a couple days each, but they were so perfect to warm and cozy, close, intimate. It was all so great.

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