It might sound crazy, but we've got the homesick bug. We miss that brutal Minnesota winter. It's weird, being away for a while and the things you remember when you think about home. Like swearing out loud when you have to run out in your boots and pajamas to start your car fifteen minutes early for work, or those times you realize that scraping your car windows is the biggest workout you've had in weeks. Even so, we think most people who live in the North Country agree, even though we complain about cold we all secretly love the weather extremes and all that comes with it. We even love talking about the weather, I bet everyone talked about it at least once today.
There's a common theme forming as we travel around.. "Where are you from? Canada?" Well, it's a fair guess but when we say we're from the states and more specifically Minnesota, the response is usually the same.. "Damn, it's cold there isn't it?" Oh yes, it is. And when we check the temperature in Duluth and do the conversion to celsius to put it into perspective, there's usually a moment of silence followed by an interrogation of why we'd be stupid enough to live there. But really, we feel proud that we have enough grit to stick it out through multiple days in a row when the temperature doesn't break zero. We couldn't imagine it any other way.
We've had another realization while abroad. We talk about where we're from way too much. When we're sitting with a group having a conversation, usually one of us will blurt out (before even realizing what's happening) a sentence that starts with, "Oh that reminds me of where we're from," or, "Back where we live..." And we can see the boredom start to set in and feel the kicks under the table from each other signaling to change topics quick before we lose them. People start to get the, "Well if you like where you're from so much why don't you just go there?" look on their face. But we can't help it, we love talking about Duluth and everything that makes it such an amazing place to live. Almost everything we see here reminds us of Duluth in some way. Which confirms it, Duluth really does have it all.
Most people who visit Duluth make their way north during the summertime or early fall to see the leaves change. And rightfully so. Who wouldn't want to take a drive up the north shore on a crisp September morning and count the ships coming while drooling over the autumn leaves? Or take a barefoot walk along the beach at Park Point looking for sea glass? People who live in Duluth know, the long winters endured pay off to be able to rock climb, mountain bike, trail run (to name a few) in one of America's best outdoor cities. Even when it's warm we seek out the cold. Lake Superior never allows us let our guard down and is the perfect remedy for those few days during the summer where we can't seem to take enough layers off.
Those who live in Duluth also know there is a list of activities just as long waiting to be tackled during those sometimes never-ending winter months. Even though some days it feels like pulling teeth to get outside and spend an afternoon skating or getting out on your cross country skis for a loop or two, we can admit, the winter blues start to fade away when you can reward yourself for being so brave with a healthy glass of a local brew. That's what makes a true Duluthian.
So to all of our friends and neighbors who have settled into that inevitable "funk" that's common for this time of year, remember... despite the days when we swear we're staying in bed until the temperature is above our age, and when we need to send personal apology letters to at least three people for the things we said when it was below zero, there is a reason we call Duluth our home. There are many beautiful reasons we choose the northern life for ourselves.
Because there aren't many places where you can do almost any outdoor sport with a view that never gets old. A place where you can watch the seasons change and rotate your outdoor gear in the garage accordingly. A place where almost everyone who lives there knows what a good thing they have going, and are committed to keeping it that way.
As much as we value our opportunity to travel and have new experiences, it makes our hearts full to know we have such an incredible place to come home to.
Duluth, we love you. See you soon.