Minnesota Goodbye

*tl;dr: Absence makes the heart grow fonder and I’ve come down with my first big case of homesickness since moving to Colorado from Minnesota three years ago. So I took a jokey Minnesota cliche and made it into a sad song.

**satcv: You know that feeling you get, how, after you moved away from your small town to the big city up the road, got a job, learned to ride public transportation, bought a house, started a family, then moved back to your small town when the second baby was on the way so your small children could grow up in the same town as their grandparents, then after seven years back in that small town you got the urge for adventure and packed it all up and moved out west and drank in the sunshine and craft beer and hiked the mountains, bought a house, got a dog, and then three years later started feeling a bit lonely in paradise and then your kid (after riding on his uncle’s pontoon boat in Ohio) started obsessing about getting a boat, and then somehow while you and your beloved were drinking mojitos on the front porch and your kids were jumping on the trampoline and your boat-loving kid was going on and on about boats, you started reminiscing about your days owning a sailboat and taking it out on Lake Minnetonka and the Apostle Islands, and then somehow (you can’t recall exactly how) the conversation morphed into the big dreamy idea to buy a houseboat and live on the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, and now even though the houseboat idea is quite enough to get you dreaming, you’re finding that the living-back-in-the-big-city-in-Minnesota idea has not stopped working on you, and you miss your family terribly – all of whom live in that understated state of winter and mosquitoes (and brilliant cultural landmarks and rivers and lakes and the Boundary Waters and fireflies and friends you miss and family you love) – yeah, you know that feeling?

Well, that’s what my song for week 37 of #songaweek2016 is about. And in writing this blog post, I discovered I’m not the first to make a song called Minnesota Goodbye. Oh, hey, that reminds me of another blog post . . .

*too long; didn’t read

**sitting around the campfire version

Anyhoo, here’s the song:

the yellow truck filled up its belly
and now we’re on the road
and the rain starts on the windshield
across the plains we’re making good time
running for the west
we’ll sleep tonight in a halfway hotel

i’m going away, the mountains are calling me
going away, and your river rolls on
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

here the sun shines nearly every day
winter’s just a cool breeze
and the canyons open deep spaces in my heart
your prairies never sang so loud
your big woods kept their distance
and your lakes just held their peace

the years have passed in golden moments
here in paradise
but I wish you all were here
and now your river has been whispering
in my dreams of late
or maybe the mountains are helping me to hear

I’m so far away, the mountains will always call
so far away, but now your river calls back
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

no river, no mountain, no golden sun paradise
can hold me like the people who love me

we’re so far away, and mountains keep calling us
so far away, and rivers call back
we’ll never be better at saying these
Minnesota goodbyes


  1. LOOOOVVE your written blog intro! (AND this song.) And thinking back to our few goodbyes… 1st day of gradeschool, leaving you in California for college, leaving our house after the ceremony on your wedding day and, of course, move to CO three years ago on my 43rd wedding anniversary. You are in my heart ALWAYS, My Dear.
    Love, Dad

  2. Jules…
    IF you can convince the family to move back to pretty biker friendly, diversity central, no poisonous critters cuz it’s too darn cold Minnesota, I got a ’73 catalina 22 you can have for free! You don’t have to keep it, just sell it and get what suits your fancy. We never named it after all. I’m ready to buy a smaller, easier to haul, easier to rig boat, (probably a Montgomery 17) and keep it close so I can go on whim. Less is more…

    But when it comes to ideas, let’s not think small. Maybe we can start a club of MN adventurer’s to practice on Michigan and Superior, and in the winter months trailer down to the Keys and explore the Bahamas!

    • aww, Uncle Chris! This sounds lovely. I’d love to dust off that Catalina this summer and take the kids out in it at least once! (gotta start somewhere right?!)

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