Thanksgiving Memories – A Visit to Small Town Minnesota


As a baby boomer, I have seen many Thanksgivings come and go. This is one of the more positive ones of them that I remember fondly.

Back in my 30’s I was engaged to a man who in his extended family, had a sister that I had met. This sister moved alone to Minnesota. She had a very strong faith. At the time I was dealing with thoughts and feelings to break off my engagement. She was going to come back to Missouri for the Thanksgiving Holiday and asked me to fly up to visit her and she would drive us back to Missouri.

I bought a plane ticket and off I went on another journey of life. It was wonderful! I had never been to that part of the United States and found the people and country side there so peaceful and serene.

Her home was so warm and filled with country charm. As you entered the door of her little modest house, there was a little cubby-hole with slip on slippers in it. I asked, “What is this?” She let me know about the winter seasons in Minnesota. People were used to the snow storms and when they visited a home this was a place to take off their boots to dry. Little clean slippers were there for guest to wear while their boots dried.

Later I attended a church function with her. Again this was another heartwarming experience. Also the church had the little cubby for the boots. The people were so warm and friendly. It was a perfect picture of small town love. The minister, who had a beautiful Canadian accent, smiled at his church family and said,” Ahh, what a beautiful Thanksgiving this is. I just saw the first deer tracks in the snow out on the parking lot. Ahhh, what a beautiful winter this is going to be.”

I had so much to learn from these people who lived so humbly and shared so simply. Some of them looked at me like I was a rock star coming from the Big city and that I was not. They shared with me so much but treated me with total respect and gave freely of their love.

When it was time to get in the car and return to the city life, I had an inner peace that words cannot describe. I did not want to leave those folks and their way of life but I had to return home. I will never forget this experience of truth and caring values that those folks gave to from their heart. Through them the spirit spoke to me.

I returned home. I broke off the engagement. It was not meant to be. My heart was at peace with the decision. I will always be grateful for the experience of being with the people in Minnesota in that small town and sharing the meaning in their way of what Real, Honest, Heartfelt Love is ALL about! Today I share my story so that it may touch your heart with a smile.

By Ann Hearn
Retirement communities in Minnesota and best small towns in Minnesota

Advantages Of Living in a Small Town

This week I had some minor oral surgery.  When I got to the Drs. office there was no one that could be there to take me home.  With luck I did find someone.  As a child I lived in a small town and people were always helping out each other.  I miss that feeling sometimes.

So I am making a list of a few things other positive advantages of living in a small town, just to remind myself and share with you.

  1. Most people know each other and when someone needs help it is easier to find.
  2. Families seem to be closer.
  3. The pace is much slower
  4. Church is a major activity
  5. Small group gathering such as hometown picnics and celebrations bring people of all ages closer together
  6. People are there during times of need such as death even if they are not immediate family
  7. Relatives from the city like to visit their relatives in a small town as a peaceful get away
  8. Crime is usually less
  9. Gardening, fishing and other activities such as this are enjoyed
  10. One can walk to the store, parks, church and such just for pleasure or exercise
  11. People share what they grow in their gardens and enjoy sharing their canning recipes
  12. When you go to the town store you actually see neighbors that you know and are on a first name basis with the butcher
  13. Usually if there is a town Dr. and one is sick the Dr. will always see that person
  14. Banks and insurance people know you on a first name basis
  15. There is gossip but some times that is not all bad because people pay closer attention to doing the right thing
  16. The elderly usually have a feeling of closeness in a small town
  17. Housing is usually less expensive
  18. It is a big town deal when there is a birth of a child even if that child is not family
  19. People usually speak and say howdy even if they don’t know you
  20. In the summer you can feel more at ease with leaving your windows and doors open to allow for fresh air
  21. The air just smells better
  22. The birds seem to sing louder
  23. You can actually look at the stars, sunrise and sunset from your own front or backyard
  24. The simple things in life are more satisfying
  25. All in all most small town people are close and friendly

So this is just a few of the positives of small town living that I remember from my childhood when I lived in a small town.  Do have live in a small town or have memories of living in a small town?  If so, scroll to the bottom of the page and comment to let me know.

Ann posts as WorkingBoomer on SmallTownRetirement and on BoomerPlaces.com where she shares her memories and boomer stores.  Check out WorkingBoomer’s Boomer Stories and life as a working boomer.