Minnesota Minutes

It seemed that as soon as I landed in California, it was only seconds later I was lifted off its turf and then brought back to earth (or water, rather) in the land-o-lakes.

Touchdown goes to Minnesota. Skol Vikings!

Yeah, my pride goes deep. Many a blog has already been dedicated to my adoration for my home state, especially to the Eden of the Prairies:) There’s nothing like returning to familiar territory filled with lanes of memories and friendly faces at every stoplight. It’s a big town with a small town feel.

If my week in California went fast, my week in Minnesota only went faster. Taking advantage of the waning minutes of daylight and dusk, again I recognized how much of a gift this short homestay was for both parties.

For the ones I left behind, my hope is that your encounter with me brought you greater understanding of how my life in Turkey is comprised of more fulfillment and purpose and joy than I could have imagined. Know that your support for me is supporting something so much bigger– I feel your prayers every day and I thank you with bottomless gratitude!

For the returnee, I was still pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Waking up in my family’s home, eating American food, hearing English everywhere I go… it was all so familiar yet so foreign. Then, walking out my sliding door into a yard beautifully arranged with flowers and plant compilations by my most creative mother, the only sounds being that of birds chirping, it was as if I had stepped into my own private park!

The moments of peace and quiet I experience in Istanbul are one-in-a-million, so this was the biggest culture shock yet biggest cultural treasure I felt when re-entering America. Driving down open roads with no other cars on them, tall trees forming sidelines and curving to form overhead bridges… I caught myself too many times with my eyes on the massive sky above me instead of the road in front of me!

However, being squished in the backseat between my two baby brothers who now look like they should be my big brothers was also a bit of a culture shock…

As well as the convenient conversations I could have with my parents instead of the process of figuring out skype dates between opposite time zones…

And actually feeling engulfing hugs instead of written messages ending in X’s and O’s…

And getting to run…

OR walk around my favorite lakes EVERY DAY with my favorite people and sometimes with my favorite iced caribou coffee in tote…

It was all surreal. But at the same time, it was all So Real.

I wanted to make every minute last for as long as I could.

So, for 24 hours of them, I kidnapped my mom and we took a quick escape out to the cabin.

Right as we pulled up to the door, the clouds burst open and gave us the concert of a lifetime. Sitting at a candlelit table, we stared out the panorama windows to take it all in; rain pelted percussions on the tin roof of the farmhouse next door, streaks lit up the sky, mirrored by the lake’s dancing surface, giant booms shook through the entire house, vibrating our very seats!

Bravo, Minnesota. Bravo.

Although my minutes with you were far from enough, thank you for the memories you keep adding to the already-full heart of this Minnesota girl:)

I love you and I miss you already. And don’t you worry, I’ll be back–if only to see another booming rockshow…


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