Thursday, October 20, 2016

Valley of the Green Giant

Did you know there really is such a thing as the Valley of the Green Giant?  There's even a sign to prove it (although the trees now block much of it).  My father grew up there, in Le Sueur.

The Green Giant, restaurant front, Addam's Family?
Last weekend was his 60th high school reunion.  Sixty.  Wow.  So my parents planned a trip to Minnesota, where we lived for many years before coming to Massachusetts.  I had intended to visit the area for ages, but never quite got myself on a plane.  I was overwhelmed with the what I'd want to do and who I'd want to see, so it was easier to just stay home.  Kinda sad.

My mother said:  come with us.  Well, that seemed reasonable.  My sister came too; it was the first time all four of us were in the state together in 17 years.  I spent much of the weekend with my friends (high school, childhood and an ex-coworker) and visiting old neighbors (along with a tour of our old house!).  We picked the perfect weekend - the temperature was unseasonably warm and the trees were close to full color.

On Saturday my sister and I spent the day with family.

Twenty-two of us descended on the Henderson RoadHaus for breakfast.  The morning flew by catching up with cousins and reacquainting myself with Dad's brother and sisters.  Awesome!  It took a while for some names and faces to click, but it was great seeing everyone.  Happy chaos.

My sister was organized and arranged to spend time with our uncle and aunt while Dad attended his reunion.  What a whirlwind afternoon.  We got up close and personal to a combine harvesting soybeans.  (It may not look like much, but that combine was a massive piece of equipment!)  Then we checked out bee hives, a barn in the process of being remodeled; learned about some of the farm equipment and where the beans and corn were stored after harvesting.  We zipped around in the side-by-side through woods and across fields. 

We squeezed three of us in that side-by-side; the huge combine; barn remodeling
Then there was a trip to town:  saw my grandfather's old restaurant, two of the houses where my dad grew up and the Addams Family-esque house of my uncle's firm.  I love old houses like that.  So much character!

Views from my uncle's house
We listened to some entertaining stories of my uncle and aunt's travels and traded stories of daily life.  Soon Mom called to say the reunion was over.  My dad was quite pleased - half the existing graduating class showed up.  Sounded like it was a good time.  My sister and I certainly had a terrific day!


  1. glad you went! What an experience. I got behind a combine on the road once, and there was no where to go so we drove combine speed...

  2. Sounds like a great trip! Sometimes short and chockablock full is the perfect way to go :)


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