I first visited Minnesota in April of 1979 to provide some consulting on the renovation of the Minnesota State Theatre – a one month deal. I heard many jokes from friends that I’d meet a cute blond Swede and they’d never see me again. Hah! Me? Never.  

Well, they did see me again. And I brought my cute blond Swede (actually Swedish and a bit of Norwegian) down to Alabama with me… to visit.

Little did I know what I was in for by staying in Minnesota. That first spring was clearly the nicest in Minnesota’s history as was the summer that followed (bait & switch?). I completely and totally fell in love with Minnesota. And with one cute blonde Swede. I still love both, even the winters.

Minnesota and Alabama are incredibly different in many ways, besides the weather. Minnesota has been my home for about 40 years, 2/3 of my life. This blog is about these two wonderful places, their differences and similarities.


The House

We built our current house 31 years ago. We thought we’d only be here for 5 or 10 years max but the house, gardens and a growing bunch of wonderful neighbors said otherwise. After a decade of looking at lake lots (Minnesota has a few) and house plans we are building. 

A key element for us is being able to walk or ride our bicycles every day to eat, shop for groceries and other errands. Yes, a Blue Zones thing. We found an ideal place – a wonderful lake lot about 2 miles from a village with a protected bikeway that runs by our front yard to the village center. It’s been our lake cabin for 7 years and will soon be our home. We’ve put hundreds of miles on our Dutch Workcycles bicycles riding to places in the village and will hopefully put on thousands of more miles.

I hadn’t really intended to blog much about it but seem so far to be doing so. We’ll see how things go.

The Dream Team:

Builder: Rick Hendel – Hendel Homes

Designer / Architect: Jeff Murphy & T J Majdecki – Murphy & Co

Interior: Marita Simmons & Krysta Gibbons – Kipling House

Landscape: Scott Ritter – Topo