Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


When I moved to Rochester, MN, I was finishing up my job in Connecticut and starting a new one in Minnesota plus moving so I was a little pressed for time. I looked at two apartments to rent and both were just horrible. The realtor guy said there weren't any more rentals but he knew of a condo for sale.

I spent maybe 10 minutes in it and then hired an inspector to make sure it was worth the purchase and bought it. Or, rather, mortgaged it. $60,000. It was pretty big - maybe 2,000 square feet. And ugly. And had a double wall oven which was a great place to store my shoes - eye level, with lights inside and racks.

There was a massive outside area - like a porch that someone had closed in. I had the movers put all the boxes out there. I unpacked the basics and never even touched 80% of the boxes. My life in Rochester had very little down time.

When I did have time off, I spent it online - dial up electronic bulletin boards. I met a lot of wonderful people who helped me learn more and more about computers but also about stuff going on in and around Rochester.

I only spent 18 months in Rochester but I managed two winters and I loved them both. The snow was amazing and beautiful. And it lasted forever and much of it never got dirty. You'd drive down the roads with big white pillows of snow on each side. The air was always so crisp and clean. It was amazing.

It did get a might chilly. It was (and, I suspect still is) quite common to see electrical plugs coming out the front grill of cars and electrical outlets in some parking places. This was NOT in place of gas. It was simply to keep your car from freezing and never driving again.

The IBM plant had this huge parking lot with nowhere to plug in. It was not uncommon to trudge out to your car in the parking lot and not have it start. IBM ran a service on days when it was below zero (and there were many). Auto mechanics equipped with what you needed to get going drove up and down the parking lot rows. If your car didn't start, you just needed to raise you hood and they would come find you.

Some days you'd leave the building and look down the rows and see lots of hood up. They called it Alligator Alley. Amazing. And... so cool. Fortunately, this was before they made you go outside to smoke.

The snow lasted until nearly July 4. It always amazed me that it was hot enough outside to wear shorts and t-shirts and there was still snow on the ground. But the very minute it melted, it went from beautiful and crisp and clean and wonderful to horrible and hot and humid and omg the bugs. I've always hated mosquitoes and they have always loved me. In Minnesota they are the size of 747's and I swear you can hear a crunch when they bits you. It was just horrible. It was only for a couple of months but they were miserable months. The Minnesotans thought they were great months but not me. Ugh. I was deeply grateful that I only had to suffer through one Minnesota summer.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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