This Minnesota country has turned out to be fascinating. The history around here is much older that I had imagined. Mimi's home was built in the year 1880! It's foundation is build of field stone taken from the local area after clearing for farming. I can not imagine how difficult it must have been in those years. Minnesota had just become a state in 1858. Mostly Norwegians had settled the area because the weather was close to what they were used to. Another reason was because the land was being sold by the government for $1.25 per acre! Good deal, huh? The land is still a pretty good deal at about $3,500 an acre. Not like Arizona! The Norwegians were good farmers and excellent fishermen. The city of Duluth quickly became a metropolitan area because of their fishing skills and the abundance of fish found in Lake Superior. The farms began to rapidly spread westward making farms that are now considered the bread basket of our country
. The corn fields are so continuous that one feels as though he is driving through a sea of green complete with wind and rolling waves! It used to be that most of the corn would go for food. Now, they use most of the corn to create millions of gallons of Ethanol for fuel additives. You'll find ethanol processing plants ever so many miles. Soy bean is the next most favorite crop. Of course, soy bean is used to make hundreds of products now. The corn along with the soy bean seems to be about a 10 to 1 ration. For every 10 fields of corn, one will find some soy bean. It must be a good combination for rich ground control. I sound like a history teacher, don't I? :-) I just find the area so calm and peaceful-especially the area surrounding Mimi's home. There's a tradition here that asks all home owners to display a large, grassy area around every house. No matter if anyone see's the home or not! It is an unspoken desire to decorate their home with a green carpet that gives every home a feeling of welcome. It's a nice thing. Everyone has a ridding lawn mower here! Much like the South in lot's of ways. Just without the Southern draw of "youall" or "youins". Nothing wrong with that either! It just comes with the different people who settled each area. My times here has become a moment of rest. I strung myself out pretty thin. By the time I reached this area my body was screaming for a moment of rest. We're planning some day trips to other areas with will take us VERY close to Canada. The future pictures will be just as fascinating. Hope you enjoy!