First-person essays about love, family, work, community and culture in Minnesota.

For this homegrown Minnesotan, digital newspaper archives mean binge-reading on family history

The author’s grandmother was featured in a 1956 column.

Digital newspaper archives reveal tragedies, triumphs and a sweet story about Grandma.

Thirty years at Uptown Y: 'The first and only gym I've ever joined'

That cinder-block building has remained a constant in my life.

An injured distance runner reinvents her Twin Cities Marathon tradition

I used to be that runner — someone who squeezed in a run nearly every day to take a break from the rest of life and feel the outdoors. I long for those days.

Gig economy is terrifying – and totally worth it for this Minnesota freelancer

A freelancer weighs the pros and cons of the fast-growing self-employment sector.

I'm a baby boomer lost in the millennial world of a co-working office space

What a 60-year-old learned when she rented a desk at a Minneapolis co-working office for freelancers, start-ups and other entrepreneurs.

An author's 40-year fascination (and theory) about Congdon murders

Double homicide case became a career-long quest for this Twin Cities reporter and writer.

I divorced my husband but forged a lasting bond with his ex-wife

At first I assumed the worst about her. But she proved herself an ally and true friend.

Can the 'No Buy' challenge cure my shopping habit?

I'm practically a fixture at Twin Cities vintage boutiques and bookstores. Could I make it one month without buying anything?

Millennial thanks the 'unofficial mothers' she met in Minnesota

The matriarchs whom this East Coast 20-something found in Minnesota weren't blood-related, weren't teachers, weren't necessarily bosses — but they looked out for a newcomer missing her mother.

Why men like me should talk openly about depression

We're supposed to keep our feelings buried, but I've learned there's a better way.

Minneapolis caterer recalls four unforgettable, regrettable '80s proms

From fashion fails to arranged dates, prom nights were memorable for all the wrong reasons.

How I learned to stop worrying and start loving leggings

They might be America's most hated fashion trend, but I love my leggings anyway.

How the 1987 Minnesota Twins helped me grieve my father

His father died in March 1987. Days later, the Twins embarked upon their championship season.

My job imploded when I tried to juggle motherhood and a conference call

Like "BBC Dad," whose kids interrupted a live TV broadcast, I was a work-from-home parent juggling professional and personal duties.

Born-and-raised Irishman learns to love St. Patrick's Day in St. Paul

American celebrations were initially shocking, but this Irishman learned to embrace the festivities after moving to the Twin Cities.

Minnesotans are loving this mild winter, but I want more cold and snow

A Minnesota transplant longs for more of winter's finest.

In becoming a U.S. citizen, I realized I've been an American all along

I grew up in the U.S., and finally became a citizen last week. The significance is still sinking in.

My secret to making friends in the Twin Cities? Lots of Tinder dates

Part of the reason is the simplicity: Online dating was the easiest way to meet people when I moved to the Twin Cities two years ago. And part of it is just me.

I live in Portugal now – but all I do is long for Minnesota

I live in one of the world's most beautiful cities, the latest in a string of idyllic places where my wife and I have lived for my job. My Minnesota friends and family tell me I'm living a dream. Yet I find myself dreaming of the City of Lakes.