To Be an Emigrant

We searched online (the Internet) for job postings within my husband’s company that would locate us north of I-94. Living in Red Wing, Minnesota, was nice, but my husband was ready for a job change, and we wanted to live where it was colder (Yes, colder! We really did!). We were tired of traveling through the Twin Cities to visit his family, to get the family cabin, and to see lakes and trees. A smaller town appealed to us.

There were several choices, including Wadena, Fergus Falls, and Little Falls. “Where is Little Falls?” my husband asked. After I printed out the map and the research I had done about the town, we decided a trip was in order.

I had driven through Little Falls once in the late-70’s when I lived in St. Cloud. This time, however, Highway 10 skirted the town, and we had to deliberately drive into town.

Little Falls certainly had the Lake Wobegon feel to it. (That’s from the Prairie Home Companion series by Garrison Keillor: “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” ) The traffic was minimal, the houses looked cozy, there were parks and historical sites. Downtown had small businesses, restaurants, banks and a bakery. And the population was only 8,000!

It was October 2005 when we visited. The air was chilly and the trees were in fall colors. We stopped to see a realtor, and took a tour of the town.

The day before Christmas Eve, we moved into our home, just six blocks from downtown. It was really cold and there was six inches of snow on the ground.

K. Olsen

Date of Essay: November 14, 2011

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