How far did you roam? I ended up 88 miles from where I grew up. College took me to the faraway locale known as Fargo, N.D., then on to Grand Forks and Hillsboro. But in 2004 we moved back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and have been here ever since.
In 2008, Pew Research reported that in the Midwest, nearly half of adults say they have spent their entire lives in their hometown. In comparison, fewer than one-third of people in Western states still live in their hometown.
We are creatures of habit and comfort. It’s no surprise half of us live where we grew up. With a large number of people now able to work from home due to the pandemic, how we work and where we work is changing. Those who yearned to come back home to rural America, but were faced with the dilemma of having a job in a big city, now suddenly don’t have to choose. Working from home has allowed people to now live where they want — regardless of where their job is located.
People are on the move. With low interest rates, houses go on the market and sell in no time. According to Redfin, home prices in Minnesota were up 9.5 percent year-over-year in March. The number of homes sold rose 5.7 percent while the number of homes for sale fell 51.4 percent. It is definitely a seller’s market out there. It will be interesting to see whether housing demands in rural Minnesota continue to pick up as the job landscape evolves.
Stories from our homes where we grew up are some of my kids’ favorites to hear. When my husband and I share tales from our youth with our children, they marvel at the “archaic” ways we used to live. Like how we each grew up with kitchen phones sporting incredibly, ridiculously-long cords which stretched to just about every one of the rooms. I clearly remember when cordless phones were introduced and how my brother and I wanted my parents to get one so we could take the phone anywhere in the house and not have to worry about how far that cord stretched.
Around that same time, my mom took a girls trip to New York City. She did some shopping on Canal Street which was infamous for knock-off purses and other “great deals.” While perusing the items she and my aunts found cordless phones for an amazing bargain. They each bought one — still in the boxes. I remember my mom proudly showing us the box when she got back from the trip.
Initially, joy ensued when she opened it, but the smile quickly faded from her face. The “new” phone had other people’s numbers written on the back of it, some hair attached to the receiver and was dreadfully dirty. My mom suddenly realized that the phone may have had a questionable past. We never used that phone. My parents decided getting one at Target was a better, cleaner option. That crazy phone started our family’s foray into the world of cordless communication.
Kids these days will never know what it’s like to trip on a phone cord; or have your mom bring home a cordless phone which may have unknowingly been stolen goods. Times have changed and as the saying goes, the only constant is change.
Those memories of home though, they are yours forever. Whether you still live right where you grew up or thousands of miles away, there really is no place like home.
Kristin Kveno is the staff writer of The Land. She may be reached at kkveno@TheLandOnline.com.