Erica Vetsch and the Minnesota Goodbye

I’m so pleased to introduce my friend Erica Vetsch. Her first Love Inspired Historical novel debuted this month, and it’s fabulous.  At the end of the post, stay tuned for a giveaway.

Erica Vetsch: You can take the girl out of Kansas…

Thank you ,Dana, for inviting me to blog here at your online home!

One question I am asked from time to time is “Are you like your heroines?”

The answer is, “I write the heroines I WISH I was. They are prettier, smarter, and braver than I will ever be. But in my latest release, my Love Inspired Historical debut, His Prairie Sweetheart, the heroine, Savannah Cox is probably as close to me as any of the 20+ heroines I’ve written.

No, I was not jilted at the altar, but like Savannah, I am a transplant to the state of Minnesota. I was born and raised in the great state of Kansas, but I met and married a Minnesota boy who brought me to his home state to live. I can tell you, much like Savannah’s experience, that first year was a HARD adjustment!

I was far away from the known and familiar. Everything seemed different. Here were just a few of the things I noticed that first year:

Winter was not over on the first of March. When I brought this up, Minnesotans laughed, since March is actually the snowiest month here, if not the coldest.

The grocery store carts had little license plates on them, which the teller wrote on your receipt. You left your groceries at the checkout counter and got your car, driving up and showing the attendant your receipt, and they found your cart of sacked groceries and loaded them in the car. (No more cart corrals and rolling carts through slush!) Sadly, this practice has gone out of favor in the 20+ years I have lived in MN.

Pickled herring will be on a lot of the salad bars at restaurants. EWWW!

There is no such thing as too much snow gear.

Hockey is close to a religion here.

I also learned about the “Minnesota Goodbye.” Here are the stages:

Visitors look at the clock and say “We really must be getting home.” Host/hostess protests that it is early yet.

Half an hour later, visitors say “We really must be getting home,” and they rise and head for the door, where the host/hostess spend another twenty minutes or so chatting with them as they don coats or gather their belongings.

Just as the visitor puts his hand on the doorknob, the hostess says “You can’t leave without a bite to eat.” Everyone troops into the kitchen where she produces a feast! I am not kidding, my husband’s great aunt used to pull out a roasted turkey and a chocolate cream pie, even though we just casually dropped in with no warning!

Finally, everyone is outside, talking all the way to the car. The host and hostess split up here, going to opposite sides of the car with their visitors. Visitors get in the car, but the host and hostess stand in the open doorway, arm on the roof of the car, foot on the running board, for at least another ten minutes.

Goodbyes are said, and everyone leaves, happy! The whole thing, from the first “Time to go” to pulling out of the driveway can take a couple of hours!!!

There are some words that I was unfamiliar with when I moved here, but now I use them all the time.

Davenport. In Kansas we call this a couch.

Hotdish. In Kansas (and the rest of the world) this is a casserole.

Uff da. This expression can mean anything from “Whew” to “Holy Buckets!” It is not considered swearing, and lots of folk use it, though the more polyglot the state becomes, the less I hear it.

My heroine, Savannah, has a similar, if heightened, culture shock when she leaves her beloved Southern home and family for the wilds of western Minnesota.

Her first job, teaching, and she is expected to haul water, scrub floors, and arrive early to light the stove.

Her students don’t speak English.

The local wildlife is out to get her.

She has to live with strangers who also speak no English.

The food is wildly different from southern cuisine.

The sheriff thinks she won’t last a week.

She is out to prove him wrong in spite of being a fish out of water!

So, my question for you: Have you ever experienced culture shock, moving from one place to another? Is there anything quirky about where you live, like the Minnesota Goodbye?


Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

Erica’s Goodreads
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Erica’s Website

Erica Vetsch – Faith, Love, & History-Ever-After

Thank you so much,  Erica! I love this. And the Minnesota goodbye made me smile.

Erica’s book is now on shelves. Isn’t the cover lovely?  And she’s giving one print copy away to one commenter. So feel free to leave a comment for her.



  1. Gabrielle Meyer on May 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Haha! I read this to my daughter and she said the Minnesota Goodbye is soooo true!! She said when all the cousins are called up from the toy room to get their stuff on to leave, she often says: “Why get your stuff on now? Our parents are going to talk for at least another twenty minutes.” I used to say the EXACT same thing to my cousins and friends when we got that first warning call (as I came to recognize it). After the second call, we’d go to the foyer, get on all that snow gear and then sweat like crazy until my parents were FINALLY ready to leave. 🙂

    As for me, the farthest I’ve lived away from my home state of Minnesota is Iowa. There wasn’t any culture shock, but I was surprised at how many different words we use. Pop vs. soda. Bag vs. sack. Duck, Duck, Gray Duck vs. Duck, Duck, Goose. Funny. Also, the a in bag, flag, wagon, etc. is pronounced differently.

    In all my travels, I’ve also realized that MN is known for being nice (a stranger will pull over in forty-below weather and give you the coat off your back if he sees you in need)–but we’re not overly expressive. When I travel (especially to the south), people are soooo lavish with their compliments and affection. I enjoy it (and I always come home feeling great about myself), but the Minnesota girl in me doesn’t know how to reciprocate without feeling disingenuous. I’m working on that.

    Thanks for sharing, Erica!! It’s fun to see Minnesota from a transplant’s point of view. 😉

    • Gabrielle Meyer on May 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Oh!! In all my ramblings, I forgot to wave hello at Dana!!

      • Dana R. Lynn on May 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm

        Hi back Gabrielle! I love this post.

    • Erica Vetsch on May 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      🙂 Minnesota Nice! 🙂

      I’ve noticed that Minnesotans are a bit more reticent overall, but nice, nice, nice!

  2. Tina~Marie on May 27, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance Erica & Dana! I absolutely loved the blog!

  3. Rhonda Herren Starnes on May 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm


    I really enjoyed reading about the Minnesota culture. The cover on your book is just lovely, and I can’t wait to read it.

    I’ve spent most of my life in Alabama, but I have also lived in Florida (6 years) and Colorado (3 months). I was young when we lived in Florida so I didn’t go through much of an adjustment, but Denver was interesting. The main thing I remember is everyone making me repeat things just because they wanted to hear my southern accent. LOL.

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