I’ve never really considered myself a “city girl.” To be honest, I don’t think my mom would have allowed it.
A native herself of International Falls, a part of my mom always missed the northern way of life after creating one in the Twin Cities and needless to say it benefitted my upbringing, with constant trips to visit my grandparents in the borderland five hours away.
I could fish with the best of them one weekend, baiting my own hook and filleting my own walleye (on the occasion they were actually biting), and be out shopping at any of the surrounding suburban malls the following.
It was the best of both worlds; A little bit country and a little bit rock’n’roll.
But it was a world housed in the Twin Cities, not in a northern town, always making me more city than I was aware of until my move up to Brainerd.
I’ll be the first to admit my hesitation when offered the reporting gig up here. “A move up north... to Brainerd?” I would question to myself and my mom, who was already packing my bags and boxing up my things like any parent eager to take back their home.
It was an area — other than a handful of summer visits when I was younger — that I was unfamiliar with and an area I had never even thought to consider in taking the next step in my career.
“You will be fine. Brainerd is a great area and you are going to love living up north. It’s more fun than a city life,” said my reassuring mom with a grin bigger than the Cheshire Cat’s in “Alice and Wonderland.” She was the kind of woman that had always itched to get back up north and in a way, my move up from the cities to Brainerd further proved her point that a life in a northern town is the only one. She had won the battle in country vs. city.
Now, two months in, I am happy to report that as usual mother knows best and I have fallen in love with the community that I now call home. Sure the shopping trips are few and far between, only increasing my fishing trips and it’s nice to see more trees than highways when exploring from town to town but it’s still a home with plenty of city life to offer, too.
Because just like me, Brainerd is a little bit country and a little bit rock’n’roll.
JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or firstname.lastname@example.org.