After the hustle and bustle of this year's Design Challenge, my team and I are ready to head into the festivities of the holidays and onto the ﬁnal two amazing issues of 2020!
This month, the Midwest Nest crew was ﬂattered to be a part of Dan Francis' artwork gracing our cover. We had such a had such a blast during its creation! Throwing it back to days gone by, the word ﬂashback gives a whole new meaning, especially as we enter into this new holiday season. With so many of these new changes among us, celebrations and gatherings are not like they use to be, and we are hoping to offer up a bit of sweet nostalgia of simpler times for our readers to enjoy.
Travels & Challenges
While this summer has been historically challenging, it's also given us time to plan and motivation to explore. While nearly all of our favorite events were canceled or postponed, we used the extra free time to travel farther and more often than we ever have; hence, our Gull Lake, Minn., cover this month. We stopped discussing all of the cool places and finally arrived. It's been exhilarating to see so many of our readers doing the same; visiting new lakes, renting campers, exploring national parks, or just simply using their imagination in their own backyard. I hope at least a bit of this creativity stays with us all, even when normalcy returns.
If you're a Midwesterner, chances are, July is your prime time for adventures in lakes country. As someone who's written about this destination for nearly eight years, I can assure you it's never dull. The photographers and I get lost often. We eat the food from the cuisine shoot, ignore the bites from mosquitos, and happily do our job in the midst of white caps, rain, and near 100 degree days. If we have a rare, well-navigated day, with time to spare, we take a detour on the roads less traveled. This is our time to explore the shops and galleries we shot, have a glass of wine at the vineyard we're writing about, then follow the clues to new hidden gems that are destined to inspire a story. The interesting thing about lakes country is, just when you think you've seen it all, you'll be blown away by something new.
You'd think after 33 issues and hundreds of stories, my overt optimism would evaporate into my coffee cup. Despite deadlines, long days, and late nights, I still love the race to print day. Each month is a fresh start; another opportunity to get to know an inspiring person, place or concept within our community. While riding the wave of uncertain times, my role with Midwest Nest has remained a constant, bright light - and a true privilege.
While this pandemic has certainly been challenging, and frightening - it's also been life-changing in the strangest ways. Nearly all of our outside interaction has been virtual, via Zoom, Facetime, Facebook Live and Webex...etc. We've been face-to-face with our kids and spouses more in one month than in a year. Some would say, despite everything, they've grown, and I'm not talking about the "COVID-15", ha. I'm referring to people that have been forced to take a time-out; do all the family things, finally learn to bake bread, go for a walk in the middle of the workday, and the biggest one - teach our kids to use their imagination. If you got to do all these things, consider yourself lucky, for those on the frontline did not.
As we finished writing the April issue, while self-quarantining, I was reminded of how much I love my family, and love(d) my freedom. It is our job to work on a whim, running to and from shoots, driving all over the region, engaging with new people and getting to experience how others live. I'm fondly remembering the days when people would welcome you into their home, offer a warm hug, and not even consider your level of disinfection.
This month, the Midwest Nest family traveled the distance and brought our best ideas home. Starting at the Las Vegas Market, Kari Rasmus and Designingwomen2 recapped the trends, while Lindsey Christie and Donna Block brought us to Grand Forks to see inside their latest project at Blackmore Flats. We also ventured to the lakes area to hear how Helenske Design Group and Lighthouse Construction transformed Alexandria, Minn.'s Lure Lakebar. Closer to home, Monica Hart led us underground for a dramatic basement reveal, fusing rustic appeal with modern design.
Urban lifestyle concepts are a hot topic, and there's no better place to start the conversation than Roberts Alley and Roberts Street in Downtown Fargo. This month, we'll give you a glimpse inside the new Beer & Fish Company, their fitness neighbors at FLY and the new Dillard Apartments above. This is a backroad abode where residents can live, work, and play - without ever leaving the block.
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