Moving Day

Once again I move. Things will look different, be different. The landscape and the people will change. Life will change. I will miss the old and hope the new is a great adventure. One thing for sure, with rare exception, all of us will re-locate in our lifetime.

I have moved eleven times, four with my parents and seven with my wife, and as time progressed, with wife and children. We have lived in the Twin Cities area, including St. Louis Park, Edina, Medina, South Minneapolis, Maple Plain and Minnetonka Beach. We lived in rural Easton (Southern Minnesota); rural Ashby (Western Minnesota); and rural Foreston (North Central Minnesota). We have also assisted our four children with moves to college and then to their first, second or third home. In the process we accumulated every piece of moving equipment known to man including trailers and a flat-bed truck. All of the equipment has received a brisk work-out.

So why would anyone in their right mind move so much? In my case, I come from a lumber and construction family. We move for two reasons – to follow the work opportunities and to capitalize on the sale of the home we have built or extensively remodeled. The strategy is that after four or five moves, your home and property will be paid for – no more mortgage! But with building recessions and economic downturns, we were obliged to add two moves to achieve that goal.

Our last change took us from Ashby in Western Minnesota to Foreston in Central Minnesota. It was my wife’s turn to pick the location (my last turn took us to the fabulous waterfowl hunting of Ottertail County), and she chose to be closer to family. We took out a map and stuck a pin in the center, transecting three out of four of our children’s home locations. The pin fell upon rural Foreston, so here we are. I must admit that I miss the duck-hunting but revel in the proximity to our seven grandkids. Oddly, my wife doesn’t at all miss the duck hunting.

So what have I learned from all of this trans-migration? The people in Minnesota are great – no matter where you go. There really is a “Minnesota Nice”. If you think the winters are bad in northern or western Minnesota, you have never experienced the flat plains of Southern Minnesota. It snows so much and blows so hard that most of the eagles are bald. The fishing and hunting in western Minnesota is beyond belief. An interesting thing happens, though. When you are so close to all of that natural abundance, you grow to take it for granted. When I was young, we used to drive four hours one way to duck hunt by Fergus Falls. But when we lived next to Ashby’s famous waterfowl mecca, Lake Christina, we would find ourselves inside by the fireplace playing checkers. I used to think that the wildest drivers lived in New Orleans or Los Angeles, but now my pick would be St. Cloud (I live in Foreston and commute 30 miles every day to St. Cloud). They have raised driving to an exhilarating contact sport – akin to bumper cars! I am never disappointed with the adrenalin rush of my commute. It probably keeps me heart healthy – kind of like working out in the gym. So far, I have been able to keep at least one inch away from my fellow commuters. You have to stay alert, though – kind of like a fighter pilot.

Well, the movers are here so I have to end this. Today’s move is a rather small one, we are moving our offices from one place to another in the same building. Piece of cake. But it’s still another move.

 

Energy tip of the month: It’s a matter of degrees. Every time you turn on a switch, plug something in, turn up the thermostat, or use the water it is costing you money. The trick is to be conscious of the resources that you are using. When not in use, turn things off or unplug them. (Even when turned off, many appliances are drawing a “phantom load”, using electricity in the stand-by mode). Use a strip plug for your office equipment, and turn off the strip plug when not using the computer, printer, fax machine, etc. If you are not going to be home, turn down your thermostat in the winter. When you are home, wear a sweater or use a blanket, and turn down the thermostat to 65 degrees. Use ceiling fans to move the heat down to where the people are (hot air pools at the ceiling). Take shorter showers; wash your dishes in the dishwasher and in cold water. Washing by hand wastes lots of hot water, energy, and your money. Get your home weatherized. Get a clean & tune of your furnace, and change the furnace filter every month. It’s a matter of degrees, so make good choices and keep your money in your wallet!

Tri-CAP Blog for November 2018

By Stephen Bjorklund