Thursday, September 06, 2007

And I Love Minneapolis Too

Our history with Minneapolis goes back to late winter of 1990; that's when we were first there, visiting family and thinking of starting a family of our own. We came back to the Twin Cities later that summer, on our way to Wisconsin, and we were totally smitten. We saw greenbelts, bike paths, lakes, rivers, trees, nature and art, and the opportunity to be near another branch of our family tree. It seemed ideal, which is why we jumped at the chance to move there in the fall. What a sudden decision, what a huge change, what a dramatic move! We made Minnesota our home for 13 months... even through the historic snowstorm of '91! Our first son was born there. He was strolled around lakes on frozen paths. He waited out 2 tornadoes. He attended Lake Harriet Church, rode boats on the Mississippi, and even danced the polka at Nye's Polonaise. It was a good start. It was an interesting experience and we like going back and visiting memorable places.

The trouble is, when we go back to our favorite spots my mind gets mooshy and my heart flutters. I start to look for open houses and wonder how bad were those winters really? Oh dear. Then I close my eyes and try to visualize grey everything, subfreezing carseats, lutefisk, and other culture shocks. That helps, but there are so many temptations, and I think there are at least 20 reasons to love Minneapolis in just one neighborhood. Linden Hills. Lake Harriet. Upton Avenue S. Great Harvest Bakery. The Linden Hills Co-op and Linden Hills Natural Home. We love Creative Kidstuff... one of those toy stores that inspires playtime in anyone.

And be still my heart: Wild Rumpus!

"What's the Rumpus?"
The Rumpus is a book store, a gateway to the place where creativity and commerce meet, and where a lot of imaginations have run wild. It's where the wild things are, so let the wild rumpus begin!

Wild Rumpus is my ideal stop for amusement and to suppose that someday I might find all of my favorite things together in my own home or shop, or in my barn, on a houseboat, in my treehouse...

Look for places to curl up and get familiar with a new book.

Expect to be surprised by the little purple door and all the curious corners and nooks that reveal special secrets and delightful sights, like birds, frogs, rats, cats, and look out!

Please, be very careful where you step.

She's a new employee at the Rumpus, and she gets around. You have no idea how emotional this makes me.

There is a little cabin in the middle of the store, where the lights are dim and inside are the rats and lots of scary books. All over the cabin are the letters and art work of visitors to Wild Rumpus... the store is full of evidence that it is a treasured part of a wonderful community.

I met Tomie De Paola the last time we were there. I can see why authors and illustrators would like to go to Wild Rumpus. It would be a delight to see your work and passion displayed and honored in such a cheerful and loving place.

Yes, I can make wishes and daydream all day. I suppose if you have allergies you have to settle for Barnes and Noble, and I am sorry if that's the case. As for me, I will be where the wild things are, running with chickens, curled up with a good book, eating onion rye bread, sipping carrot-apple-ginger-lime juice from the Co-op. Sigh. Deep, deep sigh.

Then, after exploring, isn't it a blessing to be invited home with old friends? Yes, it is. Siah and Marie and Lily had us over for a really delicious dinner, and we played in their garden and plucked blossoms from the basil, sampled tomatoes and cucumbers. I am so glad we can travel and reconnect with people and places... sometimes it feels like no time has passed at all, so easy and natural is the laughter and familiarity.

Of course time is passing, which is why Lily is so much taller and ready to conquer high school, and shopping!

Marie and Siah's home is as warm and welcoming as they are... oh, there goes my mooshy mind and fluttery heart!


Marisa said...

That book shop is NUTS! I cannot believe those critters just run around. That's pretty cool. My son would go nuts for that.

Anna Banana said...

OMG! Let's paint furniture!

Mama Spark said...

What a FAB book shop!! I love the cats and the chicken!!

Tracy said...

OOOOOHHHHH--Next time you go to Wild Rumpus--I wanna go too! ;o) What a fun place...And that cat looks so much like our Charlie--spooky. Everyone has a twin somewhere! Such a treat to see all the fun you've had, and family & friends. Happy Weekend to you & yours ((HUGS))

Sabine said...

What a fabulous bookshop!! The bookshop in our village is very sterile and empty, I love books so much, and you are never inspired to buy a book there. How sad is that?
About my photo-mosaic, I took all the pictures from other Flickr members, and made the mosaic here:
Be careful, very addictive occupation! There are so much inspirational things on Flickr!

Jennifer said...

You made me laugh out loud with "lutefisk" -- one little word, so much emotion! I think what's really best, in the end, to have places in our hearts that we yearn for, where we have roots, where we know a part of ourselves that we don't know when we're anyplace else, and yet not live in these places. To have them to visit and treasure and love and idealize and to make us look at "home" with a fresh perspective when we return.

Tarie said...

Wild Rumpus = Heaven. I want to go to that bookstore!!! I think I do understand how the chickens/chicks made you emotional. :) You have given me an idea... of opening a place like that here in the Philippines... *puts on thinking cap*

Anonymous said...

I'm also a California resident, although making plans to - cross my fingers - make the move to Minneapolis in the next two years. Places like the Wild Rumpus (and Creative Kidstuff, and the lakes, and Sebastian Joe's ice cream, and Great Harvest cookies on a cold day, and...) help make the cold winters bearable. Thanks for sharing the photos.