On Minnesota and the North February 18 2015

Dear Minnesota,

It has come to our attention that you are considering a change. You no longer feel connected to the states that you have been lumped in with in this region we call the Midwest. What do you possibly have in common with Ohio and Indiana and Illinois? You are thinking about breaking off on your own, to forge a new path and establish a new region, the North.

You are different. You are the North. You speak a little differently, drawing out your vowels and peppering conversation with the occasional "dontcha know". You have more wheat fields than corn fields. Your forests are full of pine trees and stay green all year long, unlike our deciduous trees that lose their leaves at the first hint of winter. Your moose make our deer look wimpy.

You are the same. You are the Midwest. You are humble. You do not brag and you do not disparage. You welcome visitors with open arms and kind smiles. You know what it is like to be ignored.

You are different but you are the same. Your hotdish is our casserole. Minnesota Nice is Hoosier Hospitality. We all enjoy a Friday night fish fry. We all prefer lakes to oceans, walleye to snapper. We all attend the state fair and eat too much fried food. 

Minnesota, you are the North and you are the Midwest. They are not mutually exclusive. Now is not the time to break away from your brethren. Now is the time to embrace what we have in common and to celebrate the foibles that make each little area of our mishmashed region unique. Now is the time to show those in the rest of the country that they should fly over us at their own loss. Minnesota, you can be the North, but you can also be the Midwest.


The Midwest