The past two weekends I have been entertaining out-of-town guests. It’s something I enjoy doing because I love to cook, drink, eat, dance and meander, all of which I have a free pass to do when friends are in town. (I can’t do laundry — I have company!) Add that to the fact that I love showing people around Minneapolis, and it makes for ridiculous fun.
The thing is these are new friends. And they aren’t from another state; they’re from another country: Sweden. I’m not a competitive sort on many levels, but when it comes to my home I’m pretty damn proud. My city can definitely kick your city’s ass. But that’s when it comes from the U.S. You’re from Europe? Your city is 1000 years old? Suddenly I feel like I do when people start talking wine — way out of my league.
But Minneapolis took care of it for me. One of my new favorite local bands, Just.Live, happened to have a gig last weekend. (They don’t play in town often these days.) It suddenly became spring in late November making it easy for me to show off the sculpture garden and the great walks around the lakes. Did you know the Foshay Tower has an observation deck? There may not be mountains in Minneapolis, but that was the next best thing. And I love how easy it is to wander into a bar in Northeast with absolutely no plan and end up heading to see Alex Rossi and company at a venue even I’ve never been to.
So now it’s Sunday and it snowed. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect way to spend the weekend and my friend doesn’t want to leave. I gotta say I don’t blame her. Minneapolis makes life pretty effortless. It’s no wonder I ended staying here for seven years.
When I paint this into larger brushstrokes I see how real relationships are effortless as well. I’m not saying there aren’t times when you want to call it quits with friends or family (Minneapolis winters are no picnic), but when it’s good it happens without trying. You don’t have to speak. You can read and paint without a worry what the other is doing, just enjoying each other’s presence. Just comfortable.