our welcome to Rochester

Marian Parsonsa slice of life115 Comments

I received an e-mail from my great uncle a few days ago.  He was letting me know that he couldn’t wait for part four of our moving story.  I laughed when I read it, because there isn’t a part four!  That’s it.  Jeff got the job, we got the house, and we’re moving to Minnesota.

But really, he knew there was a part four before I did.  The story wasn’t quite resolved.  We were still in Pennsylvania and there were still pieces of the puzzle that hadn’t fallen into place…like, where would we stay while we were waiting to close on our house?  Beyond a trip to Jeff’s parent’s house, we hadn’t traveled with a dog before and that definitely factored into where we could hang our hats temporarily.

I looked into hotels, but they required that pets be kept in a kennel if the owners leave the room.  It’s understandable, so housekeeping doesn’t have to deal with a strange animal that may or may not be friendly.  But when I imagined having to crate Sebastian in an unfamiliar hotel room every time we needed to run an errand, I hated the idea.  I’m sure he would’ve been just fine, but I was hoping to find an alternative.

Airbnb seemed like the best option.  I had done a little research in advance, but I hadn’t typed in specific dates.  Now that the trip was a reality, I looked it up again and typed in specific dates.  The options were limited and non of them very appealing.  We could’ve stayed in a Star Trek “man cave” basement or a cabin without running water.  Mmmm.  Okay.  It’s only temporary and I supposed I would take sleeping under Star Ship Enterprise sheets over not having a flushing toilet.

Then, a third opportunity presented itself.  One of my blog readers, who is also a member of the church that hired Jeff, reached out.  They were going on vacation and we were welcome to stay in their home.  She described it as “nothing much”, but we could bring Sebastian, we would be close to the church, and they had a pool that would provide great entertainment for the boys and relaxation for us.  And they had running water.  Usually, I would ask Jeff before accepting an offer to stay in a complete stranger’s home for several days, but I didn’t.  I said yes immediately.  Thankfully, Jeff agreed that it was a no-brainer.

With the cars loaded to the hilt, we left for Minnesota early Thursday morning.  Well, early for me.  Jeff initially forgot I was driving, too, since we had to bring both of our cars with us, and suggested we leave at 5:00 am.  My mom burst out a laugh and said, “I guess you’re planning on towing the van for the first four hours, because there is no way you’re getting Marian up and driving at 5:00!”

I could manage 7:00, though.  And I did.

The first leg of the trip would be to Bloomington, IL.  We decided to take a slightly longer, southern route to avoid Chicago and see more of the rural “bread basket” of Illinois and Iowa.  I sang along with some musicals and listened to the audio book The Nightingale.  The road was lulling me and the work and stress of the last few weeks made my eyes heavy.  At one stop, I asked Jeff to buy something for me I have never had in my life – a bottle of 5 Hour Energy.  It’s like drinking an aspartame-laden Pixie Stick, but I don’t drink coffee or tea, so that seemed like the best option and a couple of sips did the trick.

We stayed at a pet-friendly hotel and made the rest of the trip to Rochester the next day.  As we drove into town, Jeff called my cell.  “It just hit me…  We are driving into Rochester and we aren’t leaving.”  After all of the packing this spring and the traveling this summer, the idea of arriving somewhere and staying…  I let out a contented sigh.

When we arrived at the house, we were met by a friend of the home-owner who showed us the ins and outs of the house.  On the counter there was a basket of  snacks for our family, squirt guns for the boys to play with the in pool, and even Clementine Izzes for me, and some Rainier Cherries.

It was not only an amazing and comfortable place for us to stay, but we felt so welcomed to our new town.

She put out fresh flowers and fresh towels for the pool.

We even had an authentic Kringle waiting for us!  We never knew that was “a thing” in the mid-west, but we can no longer claim ignorance and she may have saved us some real embarrassment if we are asked to bring a Kringle to a party.

And the home is so cute and has been such an inspirational place to spend a few days.  I took some pictures from around the house, but you’ll have to excuse the blurriness.  I didn’t have my tripod and the light was a little low.

We enjoyed the 2 1/2 acres surrounding the house, too, and took Sebastian on little walks and admired the gardens and fruit trees.


The boys took off their shirts and careened down the driveway on the roller racers they discovered in the garage.

And, of course, we all enjoyed the pool.  We swam each day, which ended up being a great way to pass the time as we were all eagerly awaiting our Monday morning closing.

And Sebastian made himself right at home.


We’re venturing out for ice cream tonight and then we will pack up one last time tomorrow morning to go to closing.

Just a few signatures and then we can go home.

I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve…

our welcome to Rochester

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115 Comments on “our welcome to Rochester”

  1. I am so happy for you and your family. I pray that God will richly bless you all throughout this new adventure. Congratulations to your husband on his new job.

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your moving adventure. I was teary eyed reading about how it has all fallen into place. You and your family are where you are supposed to be. God is good, wishing you the best of luck!! Can’t wait to see your new house!!

  3. Welcome to Rochester, MN! You will enjoy your adventures in this part of the country! I was tickled to see a local family from the church reached out to you. That is our way! Wait for the day that you can visit one of us at our lake houses! While I do not live in Rochester, it was my home club for figure skating. And there are so many great places for you to have adventures and the Craig’s list finding can be out of this world. I too was teary eyed reading your post. So heart warming. And to have the opportunity to watch your progress on your house will be a great joy. Now if I only had more space in my lake house to fit some of the furniture I wanted. Sigh…off to the resale shop with it!

  4. I am so overwhelmed (and humbled) with all the kind words and comments! Marian took such beautiful photos! As for having their family stay in our home, it really was pretty much a “no brainer” for my husband and me to offer our home to the Parsons. We’ve been through a couple cross country moves and know how difficult they can be — with the driving alone!

    For those of you who asked, I am on Instagram as “mycottagelife” and have a blog …. if you’d like to follow along …. cherikirk.blogspot.com

    Now that I’m finally commenting … and “going public” I look forward to future interactions with everyone!

  5. I was just at this house today catching up with my good friend Cheri… you really captured the uniqueness and beauty of their home… welcome to Minnesota! Your blog is lovely!

  6. Pingback: Cottage Guests – This Cottage Life

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