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It's Celeste Turn column: Somewhere better than Minnesota?

The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

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Celeste Edenloff

Someday, I plan to move out of Minnesota. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, especially with winter fast approaching.

Minnesota winter, with its harsh temperatures, wicked winds, treacherous icy roads and mounds of snow, sometimes higher than my vehicle, is not my fav. Oh, don’t get me wrong, a frosty, snowy, sunshine filled day can be pretty. For a day or two. But then I am over it.

I am definitely not my mother’s daughter when it comes to winter.

Oh my, how my mom loved winter. She would get giddy at the first mention of any snow predicted in the forecast. Her face would light up as the ground would begin to glisten from the flakes falling from the sky.

I even remember a time, not too long before she passed away, when she stood outside, fresh flakes falling all around her, with her head held high, eyes closed and her tongue stretched out as far as it would go trying to lap up every flake she could. She was in her element. Winter was definitely her favorite time of year.

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It is definitely not mine.

I do not thrive in the winter. I get grouchy, ornery and spend most of the time wishing for warmer, sunshiner days filled with blue skies, green trees and colorful flowers.

And luckily, my husband feels the same. We both are not the biggest fans of winter and we know at some point we will move. We just don’t know when – or where.

Because if we don’t live in Minnesota, where would we move to? What city, town, state would we live in? How does one actually decide where they want to live if not based on a job or where their family lives?

This last weekend, we spent a lot of time talking about where we want to live, not necessarily where we want to retire, but where we want to live.

We even started doing some online research. And I even found online quizzes that were supposed to help us narrow down the search based on just a few questions. They didn’t, but it was still kind of fun.

The United States is so expansive and there are so many factors to take into consideration – population, weather, overall climate, cost of living, housing market, politics, economy, crime rate, healthcare, recreational activities and so much more.

We did narrow down some factors. For instance, we would like somewhere not too big, but not too small with a population between 20,000 and 75,000. A metro area shouldn’t be more than two hours away.

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We want it to be warmer in the winter than Minnesota and not too much hotter than Minnesota in the summer. In the winter, temperatures shouldn’t be below 30 or maybe even 40 degrees and in the summer, it shouldn’t be above 95 degrees. There definitely needs to be more sunshiny days than cloudy days and not too much rain or any other precipitation for that matter.

And of course, as avid runners, we want places to run. And places to bike, hike, walk and enjoy nature.

As we kept researching, it became more and more overwhelming as there are so many places to choose from. Seriously, how do people decide where they want to live?

I did find a really cool website, bestplaces.net, that provides a plethora of information about a specific town/city that was very helpful. And I think we at least narrowed it down to a few different states.

But deciding where you want to live, where you want to spend the rest of your life isn’t an easy task. There are so many deciding factors.

And while I don’t believe there is such a thing as a perfect place to live, I do know for me, at least, there has to be somewhere that’s less snowy and cold than Minnesota.

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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