Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lanesboro Cottage, Day One and Two.

On Friday we loaded as much as we could in our little Honda, two chairs, a couple of small tables, an inflatable bed we borrowed from our neighbor Penny, one old dog, and a handful of our hard earned cash. We laid down the money and took possession of a second home, a cottage at the top of the hill in the village of Lanesboro, Minnesota, at one time known by the up river folks in Preston as Sewer City. Over the years, ol' Sewer City has done pretty well for itself. Friday afternoon after the legals, we began the cleaning. Somehow other people's dirt always seems more disgusting than our own.

At about 7:00 we went down to Jon Pieper's restaurant, the Old Village Hall. It's a small town, as we walked through the door Jon greeted us with, "I hear you bought the house up on the hill today". The weather was beautiful so we took our meal out on the deck. As has become the custom, Jon waited on us. (Note: If the owner waves off the wait staff and waits on you himself, you are probably tipping too much.) A very good meal - we've never had a bad one there. 

Saturday morning we again attacked the cleaning. After we finished we headed down the hill. It was Rhubarb Days in Lanesboro, one of those hokey made up celebrations which are really just a celebration of community. The festivities were held in Sylvan Park, which lays below our hill to the south. There are supposedly stairs down the steep hillside from the old high school (which are now condos), but we didn't know exactly where they were so we took the back alleys down the west side of the hill.

The Honda in the back yard.

Our neighbor across the alley to the north, a tin covered garage with trees growing in it. The house is long gone. Now the only neighbors are the deer that bed down there - more on that later.

As we walked down the alley Lorna stopped to talk to a neighbor, Sandy Solberg. We had never met her before, but she knew us. She had written up the new abstract on the property. She asked what my favorite kind of pie was. "Banana Cream." She said, "I'll make one for you."  As we continued our trek down the hill, Lorna remarked that it was amazing how much friendly people were now that we were residents, if even part time. We were no longer visitors, we were neighbors.
The condos. And yeah, that's a killer hill.

Because of the hill, all the streets and alleys are asphalt. This is three blocks down  the alley from our cottage.

Kenilworth Avenue.

We cut across Kenilworth to another alley down to Parkway. 

Left on Parkway.

Amish parking.

A line to something free.

A straight forward sign: DESSERT.

There were a lot of people. I get a little "funny" in crowds, so I moved on uptown and left Lorna to manage on her own. 
Stopped for a cherry-nut ice cream cone at the pink shop.  
Lanesboro graffiti. The whole side of a building covered by names and initials. Subtle.

I wandered aimless about until Lorna found me and took me up to the Pastry Shop where Brett made us a salmon and spinach salad. Lorna bought some pastry to lay up in case of emergency. Then we walked back up the hill and sat on our deck.

This afternoon this doe walked up to the deck three times, just checking out her new neighbors. The first time she was about twelve feet away when she finally came into the focus of the blind Pug and he went ballistic. I'm not certain what he thought he could do to a deer, but he was willin' to try.


Mimbres Man said...

You spend enough time there, you'll be outfitting one of your bikes with a triple. Looks like a nice town...something out of the movies.

Gunnar Berg said...

Got one. '86 Peter Mooney: Campy triple crank 30 tooth small ring, 34 tooth rear cluster.

Tom Sanders said...

I;ve got two Peter Mooney bikes. He's perhaps the most under ratee American bike builder. They ride superbly.

George A said...

Nice photo-tour. Kinda minds me of one of those small villages in the foothills of France that the TdF blows through on the way to the mountain stages. Those hills will require many banana cream pies.

It's nice to hear that folks are treating you like neighbors rather than tourists, although sometimes we treat tourists better than people we actually know...

Gunnar Berg said...

Good people. Generally friendly. Over the years we have already accumulated a few friends there.

Tom G. said...


I spent the weekend in the Cannon Valley, and was reminded again just how beautiful south eastern Minnesota is. While not all of the towns are as pretty and artsy as Lanesboro, there are lots of little gems sprinkled around the valleys of SE Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin.

Gunnar Berg said...


Anonymous said...

Had the greatest time showing my hubby the pic of his mom on your blog. I was doing genealogy research for the Solbergs and lo and behold...a pic of our Grandma Solberg!

Suggestion: eat anything she prepares. You'll never be sorry.

Enjoy the village. We miss it dreadfully.

Barb and Greg Solberg

Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks Barb,

We've been a little busy getting the house in livable condition. We should be close and then I'll take Grandma Solberg up on the pie. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, descriptive writing, and beautiful town. Well done!

Just out of curiosity: I've heard Minnesota has a lot of northern Europeans, is this true?

Gunnar Berg said...

Mostly German and Scandinavian.
Lanesboro is about half Norwegian Lutherans and half Irish Catholics, of which I am neither, being a heathen of Danish extraction.