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

Related Posts

florence | the 163-year-old pen & paper shop

kittens & crochet

creative frontier

October 2019 Favorites

115 Comments on “our welcome to Rochester”

  1. What a lovely welcome to your new town! This is a beautiful home and I am right there with you….cannot wait to see your new home. 😀 Hope you can sleep tonight lol.

  2. Oh, my goodness.
    Things really DO work out sometimes, don’t they? I’ve been quietly following along from here. I’m so happy for you.

  3. I look at these pictures, and I know it was meant to be. I could have been looking at your house as I scanned these pictures. Best of luck to you and your family. Can’t wait to go on this new adventure with you.

  4. Oh, I’m so happy that you added another part to your moving story. I have so enjoyed them. Have fun in your new home. Can’t wait to see photos!

  5. Wise move to avoid Chicago area! I hope you found the Bloomington area friendly as you stopped there. We left that area several years ago to move to NC. I could identify with each part of your story. I, too, was hoping there was a part four as you just couldn’t leave us in suspension for a week. Good Luck tomorrow as you meet your new home!

  6. Welcome to Rochester! I hope you guys found Flapdoodles for your ice cream. It’s delicious. I like a salted caramel and chocolate combo. What musicals did you listen to?

  7. What a blessing to stay in such a beautiful home, and oh, those zinnias! Will pray for a smooth closing, and can’t wait to see pics of the “new” house! Welcome to MN!

  8. Amazing how God provides for our needs! However, I would have personally been a bit nervous hosting Miss Mustard Seed at my own house. Your style and decorating is so beautiful ! It sounds like you are truly joining a church family…not just a congregation. 😊

  9. How very WONDERFUL is the family who offered your family their home. friends already. Bless them. What a wonderful welcome to your new hometown. Now may you have a pleasant sleep and wake refreshed and find your house to be as lovely as you can possibly hope for. Smiling as I say this.

    1. nope – in the Midwest, it is “kringle”! Live in Wisconsin – Kenosha is home to the “kringle” here. But you can find them all over our fair state.

  10. Awwwwwwwww! Can you even believe how cute and welcoming their house is?! This is just the best story ever… seriously… How sweet was your blog reader to welcome you guys like that…

  11. What a nice gesture that was for members of your new church family to offer their home….and us Southerners thought only we were the most hospitable!

    btw…..is the great uncle you were speaking of the same one that lives down the road from me in Chester?

  12. It has been so inspiring to watch a faith filled couple follow the Lord’s call. The story is just beginning. What an adventure, what a blessing. Thanks for taking us all along!

  13. I live close to Rochester…Winona, MN. How neat to have such a talented person as yourself move so close!

    I hope you enjoy your new town, and grow to love MN 💚

  14. Welcome to Rochester ! I have been following your blog for sometime and was surprised to see that you landed here. I have lived here all my life and raised 2 daughters here who are almost grown. Glad you are enjoying your time here so far ..

  15. If you made it to Bloomington you were in my old college town. 2 of my nieces live there. Pretty much the heart of Illinois! Glad you had a safe trip.

  16. Well now that you are home, you will find that Minnesota is a great state to live in. Our way of life cannot be compared. I too originally came from the east, but consider myself a midwestern girl, as I have been here for about 45 years. Your town of Rochester is a great town , with much to offer. Elko, New Market is a great place to go antique hunting, as is Oronoco, Gold Rush days. You need to learn to dress warm for winter, and until you get through one, you will understand. Hope that each day brings you to the realization that wherever you are , that being together as family under one roof is home.

  17. I know and love the home you are staying in and am chuckling at your host’s description of her home as being “nothing much.” It’s one of the most delight and inviting and comfortable places isn’t it??! And I have loved reading how God has moved though all the details of this huge transition for you and your family. Happy homecoming as you begin settling into your new home this week!!

  18. Best wishes on your exciting new adventure. I’ve enjoyed your moving story and cant wait to see what you do with a whole new house.

  19. Love that poem above the bed, so true and so beautiful!
    What a great place to stay. Thank the Lord for His provision!
    Have a fantastic day, cant wait for all the details!

  20. How nice of the homeowner to open her home to all of you. I love her decor! I can’t wait to see pictures of your new home.

  21. I am teary eyed !! I just love this… once again,,, CANNOT wait till we see your beloved new home.. What kindness these precious people bestowed upon you,, giving you use of their home,,, Amazing grace…….

  22. Marian, Thank you for sharing “part 4” with us!! How wonderful that a reader invited you to her home! Her home is so lovely, and isn’t it a blessing to know that we have “family” in Christ all around the world? Our possessions or “stuff” as you have called them are tools that are given to us for a while, and we are being the body of Christ when we practice hospitality. Many blessings to you as you make your home in Rochester!!

  23. What a wonderful transition weekend! I cannot wait to see pictures of your new home – praying that all goes smoothly for you and Jeff this morning.

    And by the way, congratulations on your two winning rug designs!! They were my favorites!!

  24. Everything fell into place for you and your beautiful family. I can feel the excitement and anticipation of closing on your new home! Enjoy every moment. 🙂

  25. God sure has looked out well for you! The reader who shared her house with you was so kind and thoughtful – beautiful house too!

  26. What a beautiful welcome! Another sign, this new adventure was meant to be! What wonderful people; what a welcoming home and start! Good luck today!

  27. So excited for you. Because I am in Minneapolis, I will be able to buy some of your “projects” now; have had my eye on your re-upholstered chairs for years. You are also in a great antiquing area. Welcome!

  28. I think you’ve made your first friend! I cannot imagine offering my home to Miss Mustard Seed. So intimidating! But the house is so perfect. I like this family already. I’m no prophet but you’re going to love being a part of a congregation with members like this family. Blessings as you move to your new home!

  29. As exciting as it is to move in a new God-driven direction, I would have been a blubbering mess leaving my parents home that morning. I hope it went well.
    Wasn’t The Nightingale terrific? I loved that book.

  30. Isn’t blogging amazing? A reader is a member of your new church home. Love how God connects the dots together! She has the sweetest home and love that area rug. How so special to have had the offer to take up part time residence in such a charming home. Love, love her flowers.

    1. I’m from the south and have no idea either! I read the comments to see if someone explained, but not.
      So, could someone answer this for us? Show a pic maybe?

    1. It is a fabulous round or oval shape pastry that has different varieties of fillings, but usually almond paste or nuts and brown sugar. I have lived in northwest Iowa my whole life and my paternal grandparents were from Denmark. Grandma Ella could back up a storm and this was a family favorite.

  31. What a beautiful welcome for you and your family! Sounds like a great way to relax and enjoy your new town. Best of luck. It all sounds so wonderful.

  32. A kringle is flat, oval shaped pastry with some type of filling and a white frosting glaze. You can mail order then from Wisconsin or get them at Trader Joe’s.

  33. Somehow I missed that you were moving to MN! I live 50 mins N of Rochester and am hoping that eventually you will have workshops that my friends and I can go to!

  34. Such a lovely house! I think I NEED that Let Them Be Little sign, please find out where she found it!
    Good luck today, hopefully it’s all already done.

  35. How exciting! And that temporary “home away from home” looks so cozy. Can’t wait to start seeing the pictures of your new house on the blog!

  36. Delightful, Thanks to your uncle for part 4. Simply Charming: And Oh what a place to stay for a while, it looks just like you!!!! What a wonderful way to get introduced to your new life in MN. God Bless you all……

  37. Thanks for the info on the kringle/kringla. I’m a born and bred Kansan and never heard of it either. Must be where the Scandinavians live. Sound good though.

    It has been so great to see how God led you all through this whole process from way back when you wanted to sell and buy a farm in PA. Also, so glad 2 of your designs will be made into rugs!!

  38. Have so enjoyed your blog over the past several weeks. I’m in the midst of my own penultimate move to a Christian retirement community in Florida. Just now packing with inspection being done tomorrow, the first of movers to take boxes and extras to storage, then the deep cleaning, pics and the actual selling begins. Still trying to decide on one of three villas for my new home, and it goes on and on. Can’t wait until I’m in your position. Originally from the Midwest with college in Wisconsin, so the sites are familiar. Truly anticipating the big reveal!

  39. Guess what?! Its Monday and I’m reading this so I bet you are in your house! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. This story just keeps getting better all the time!!! I would be a nervous wreak having “Miss Mustard Seed” staying at my house!!!……. haha!!! Lovely home.

  41. I saw that you posted a photo on instagram, and said to see the photos on your story. I don’t know instagram well enough, so are we going to have to wait until tomorrow to see the photos here on the blog? I’m dying of suspense.

  42. I live in Hanover, PA – not far at all from where you lived….and my husband and Dad’s family are not far from where you have moved! I’ve driven through your new town several times while traveling from Glencoe and Fairbault MN to Missouri where my parents now live. I’ve also driven from PA to MN both the Chicago route and the Southern route you likely chose a number of times. I feel almost as if I’m taking this journey with you 🙂 ! I am always astounded at how God brings people together from all over the globe in the most amazing ways! I pray God’s blessings on you and your family in this new adventure!

    1. Hey Jill,
      We have friends in Hanover, PA and every time we come we always have to go to the Dutch Kitchen Restaurant to eat so I can get my crab cake fix! OMG….PURE LUMP, NO BREADER! I never expected a small little restaurant in PA would have the most mouth watering crab cakes I have ever tasted. I have been to many of the nicest seafood restaurants on the coast and never got one better than in Hanover PA. Maybe its good I don’t live nearby….ha

  43. Your hosts are worth their weight in gold sprinkled with fairy dust and a halo over their heads.
    So pleased for you and your dear family.

  44. I want to say “God bless you guys!”, buy He certainly has been 😄 May He continue to as you follow His lead. Your story is so wonderful — and so familiar. He is so good to His children, isn’t He? ❤️

  45. I love these stories of people reaching out right when you need it the most! Beautiful home indeed! The cottage house on the property is adorable! Is that a guest house or for the pool? Perfect place after a long trip and before you step into your new home! All the Best !

  46. Marian,
    What a beautiful oasis for you and your family. The pictures exude warmth and hospitality….a perfect rest stop until you settle into your own home. Funny how things work out?
    Looking forward to hearing more about your new home and anxiously awaiting all your personal touches.
    Though we are a few years away from a possible move, you have planted the seed of excitement for me.

    Good luck with the closing.

  47. Not much? Seriously, this home is utterly charming. If she has a blog (seriously hoping she does), I’d love to follow her. Instagram…anything? I need to see more of this dreamy home.
    I couldn’t be happier for you and your family, Marian. Wishing you the very best.

  48. I was completely charmed by the home you stayed in – so comfortable and inviting! Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures with us ! We are all sitting on the edge of our seats !!! It’s been said, but I will say it again. It has been a treat and a delight to be perched on your shoulder as you navigate this amazing change in your life and your family’s life.

  49. Welcome! I grew up in the great state of Minnesota. It’s a wonderful place, and yes, it gets cold, but you won’t breathe fresher air anywhere else. I suppose I can’t be impartial ( we all love our home states don’t we?) , but am so glad you are here. I love your blog and look forward to hearing more about your new life in the midwest. Hope it’s a peaceful and joyful transition!

  50. Congratulations Miriam!!! Even though you left the PA area, I’m very excited for you and your family.
    Your faith through this entire process was so strong and God is blessing greatly for it.
    With prayers and wishful thinking I hope to see you at Lucketts next spring.
    I’m the one who bought your red, White & blue blouse. 🙂
    God Bless,

  51. I’m so glad everything worked out for you. That was such s blessing to be able to stay in that home. Wishing you all the best with your new home and life. Keep us posted. Whenever I think of Minnesota I think of that movie with Renee Zellwiger and Harry Connick Jr. Ha.

  52. The Nicest of Nice Things really do happen to Nice People…what a heartwarming post. And What a beautiful start to a new home and the beginning of a new Life Chapter. 🙂

  53. What a beautiful home! I am not surprised that she is a reader of your blog. I can imagine that your family is all very happy to be settled soon. Moving is very hard work! My husband & I moved 9 times in the first 13 years of our marriage. (He was in the US Navy.) Now we have been in one house for the last 28 1/2 years.

    I am looking forward to “seeing” your new home! So happy for you and your family that everything has worked out! God is so good!!!

  54. I’m so excited for you all I can hardly stand it! I can’t wait to see the house and yard for Sebastian!!!! And the boys of course . . . .

    And how wonderful of that family to offer their home . . . GOD surely provides in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?

    Take some deep breaths and have FUN settting up your new digs!

    Sending much love to you all💚

  55. What a sweet gesture by this family to take the time to make things so nice for you. I know when we go on vacation we are always excited to leave and never worry too much about how house looks until our return. This person went out of her way to make sure your family was comfortable and you had things to do. How very sweet of her. I know you all appreciated it. That’s one great thing about the blog community that you can make friends and feel like you know someone from reading their blog. Best of luck in your new home. Anxious to see what you do with it.

  56. That sounds like the route we take from Va to Wis to visit relatives. 64 to 70 to 74 to 39 to Madison. We’ve spent years fighting through Chicago and have finally wised up to this so much better route. What a beautiful home to stay in and how gracious a welcome. Nice beginning.

  57. Oh how lovely are the ways the Lord uses His people to bless others! How generous and courageous of this sweet lady/family to offer her adorable home to your family. I’ll bet she had so much fun prettying it up for you with cherries and flowers. I love the red and green “Swanky Swigs” on her kitchen shelf, the lovely colorful quilt, her amazing zinnias… and the precious Bible verse on the chalkboard! I predict she will be one of your new BFFs!!

  58. Wish we Minnesotans who don’t even know each other would gather in a park to give you a proper welcome. Anyway, what a great new friend in that homeowner, such a welcome and where you can feel at ease.

  59. Marian, how wonderful that you are “home”! We have been praying for you as you travelled. What a God send to have that wonderful family offer their lovely home to you. And, all those special little touches were so very thoughtful! Our God is so good and knows what is needed. We thank Him for the many answered prayers on your behalf.

    We pray that God will continue to bless you all in your new home place. Your Church family sounds so caring. God has placed you exactly where you were needed. You and your dear husband and family will be a blessing to those around you. You are a very special family and are loved by so many who have not met you but read all your posts. Your love for the Lord ALWAYS shines through! We thank God for you all.

    We pray you will have a wonderful week — filled with His many blessings!

  60. Welcome to the Midwest! You will learn to love it here. The people are so friendly and giving.The home you stayed at is just so very charming. I live 53 miles south of you in NE Iowa. I’m sure once you get settled and want a little escape from the city life you need to take a drive to scenic NE Iowa. The bluffs just a few miles east of me are so pretty. Great camping, fishing and canoeing on the Upper Iowa River from Kendallville to Bluffton Iowa. The boys will love it, if they are the outdoor type. Tom Overlie, a co-anchor on KTTC TV his parents live 5 miles east of me near Bluffton. Decorah is a pretty town as is Cresco. Check out Harmony MN-lots of Amish. Just west of me a few miles are many Amish and Mennonites. They all have such beautiful greenhouses & small quaint shops. {All in the country}. So much fun to go to! Can’t forget Lanesboro, MN for its beauty and biking trails. Just a little bit to get you started. So many say this is God’s country! So much to do with so much beauty! God Bless your family as you start your new journey.

  61. Wow, love the house and the beautiful trees in the neighborhood. Truly blessed!!!!! There are definitely more parts to this story!

  62. Welcome to Minnesota! I have lived here all my life and love it! My so. Just moved back from Rochester and have spent a lot of time there in the past year! It is a great city! Blessings to you and your family and can’t wait to see your adventure here in Minnesota!

  63. These are the best kind of “debts”, a social debt to your very generous hosts. What a great house and generous spirits. However, the most telling thing in the post was “I don’t drink coffee or tea”. What???? Coffee is so good and tea is such a nice civilized break in the afternoon. A time to catch your breath and evaluate. Crazytown!

    1. I know! My husband is a coffee drinker and it always looks so cozy, but I can’t stand it! I hate tea, too. Even the real fruity teas and coffees with chocolate and whipped cream and caramel, etc. I don’t even like coffee ice cream! 🙂

  64. I know Chris, it’s so funny but I was really struck by Marions coffee/tea comment also! So funny… and you think you kind of know a person. Haha. Missing all those antioxidents too! But to each her own.
    Love the story. Sending good thoughts to the kind family who gave you such a sweet respite. And your uncle was right because we are all waiting with baited breath until you share your new home!

  65. I’ve lived in the Midwest since 1999. I don’t know what a Kringle (?) is. Maybe I just don’t hang with the right people. I’m so happy for you and your family. May God’s blessings fill your hearts and new home.

  66. wow-what a great read this has all been-guts and drive you all have!Congrats really!And these strangers
    from ur new church offering you and ur family to stay at their home!I guess there still are great,nice people out therewithank the lord.So glad u could keep ur dog-family member w.all of you. Grateful i am sure u all are,and tired.CLOSING THEN HOME,MAY U POST THE HOME ALL THE WAY THRU..A NEW JOURNEY.
    wishing you all great new life and great health…

  67. Holy Crap….I would be a nervous wreck knowing “Miss Mustard Seed” would be staying in my house. I would probably rent a place and pull if off as my own….Bahaha!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *