Nuts? Call it spontaneous and Jen will agree

Columnist Jen Koski answers FAQs about her pending move to Bemidji.

Jen's World - Jennifer Koski column sig
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Well, whoa.

The outpouring of kindness and encouragement and sadness over last week's column — when I announced that I’d be leaving Rochester and putting Jen's World to bed in a few weeks — has been overwhelming. You, my dear read-friends, you sure know how to make a girl feel loved.

Your humbling words have been accompanied by quite a few questions, as well. And while I've tried my best to answer them all individually, I thought this might be a good place to address them for everyone to see. So here we go:

“Are you nuts?”

Sure, the person asking this question was laughing when he posed it. But I get it! Husband Jay and I decided, within the course of a day, to buy a house 300 miles away that we'd never seen in person. So the question is fair. But I'd like to replace the word "nuts" with "adventurous," "spontaneous" and "excited." And then the answer is yes.


“Why Bemidji?”

There are a lot of reasons. Jay and I actually met in Bemidji. Had our first conversation at the fifth table in on the right in the student union at Bemidji State. So we have a history there. We also have a small handful of friends in Bemidji, so we won't be starting from scratch. And have you been there? It's a town built around a lake and surrounded by parks, so there are lots of great outdoorsy opportunities. And then there's the big draw: Bemidji is pretty centrally located between my family and Jay's family. We’ll be able to drive over to see our parents for an afternoon visit. We haven't been able to do that in 27 years. That feels major.

“Don't most Minnesotans want to move south?”

We're bucking the trend, people! Going rogue! But, yeah, I have a southern vacation on the books as we speak.

“Can't you keep writing Jen’s World from there? They do have internet, you know.”

They do! And really good internet, too. But the Post Bulletin agrees that it doesn't fit to have a local columnist who doesn't live, well, locally. I do plan to spend a lot of time in Rochester — it will always feel like home to me, and we love this community. So I have told PB editor Jeff Pieters to keep me in mind for future Post Bulletin writing. It just won't be this column.

“How can I keep reading your writing?”

After 16-plus years of weekly "letters" to you, I don't think I could stop even if I tried. I plan to continue writing about my adventures (and the adventures of those around me) through a personal blog. You can find it at .


“Where are you going to work now?”

Well, that's the funny thing. While I have to give up writing Jen's World, I am going to be spending enough time in Rochester to be able to continue writing for Rochester Magazine. I'm especially excited to continue my Random Rochesterite column. But what's ultimately allowing Jay and me to make this move are our full-time jobs for Mayo Clinic, which are both remote. We feel pretty lucky about that.

“How often do you think you'll really come back?”

I'm looking at it this way: We've lived in Rochester for 25 years, but during that time, we've driven "up north" to see family A LOT, like up to a dozen times a year. So I expect the reverse to be the same: We'll live "up north," but make the drive to our Rochester family A LOT. So you can still expect to see me at Dunn Bros. on a random Saturday morning. Or dancing at a fundraising event, or walking the Douglas Trail, or dining on a patio with friends.

“Aren't you going to miss it here?”

Oh, reader-friends. So much so that I can't even go there with you right now. I haven't even been able to process it myself, much less share those feelings with you. This town. This town ... see? I can't even finish that sentence without my throat closing and tears filling my eyes. And that's just two words in. So, yes. I'm going to miss it here.

Jennifer Koski is associate editor at Rochester Magazine. Her column appears Tuesdays. Send comments to .

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