We have lived in the city of Edina for 8 years next month. I must confess that when we first moved here I wasn't super excited about it. Our house found us, we didn't go searching for a house in this city nor would we have. But the house found us and it was located in Edina so here we are. Not that Edina is a bad city, quite the opposite. Edina is an upper class city with a reputation for wealth and a bit of an elitist attitude. We moved from a wonderful but firmly middle class community. We loved it and felt like we fit in quite nicely. We are just regular people, not at all elitist. The move to Edina was a little intimidating. I wasn't quite sure how we would fit in.
My husband grew up here so, although he grew up in a middle class family, he already knew how to fit in and be comfortable. I grew up in a very nice community but I have no desire to move back yet he seemed excited about the move.
Everyone who lives here loves it. A lot of our neighbors grew up here and a few even bought the family home when their parents or grandparents moved on. I felt like I had moved to Stepford. Everyone was so happy and in love with this perfect town.
And you should hear them go on and on about the schools. The best in the state, rated nationally in magazines. Best teachers, best students, best, best, best. I wanted to gag, gag, gag.
Yet here I am 8 years later and I have to admit there is something intoxicating about Edina. You really grow to love it.
We love our neighbors. They are friendly, hard working regular people who prioritize family. Yes some have a certain level of financial success but for the most part we are all regular people just doing the best we can. No elitist attitudes at all.
So first I fell in love with my neighborhood.
Then Jake finally started in the community schools. As Jake was finishing up 8th grade at his Charter School I started asking people about the Edina schools and other options. As I talked to friends in the neighborhood I often got a look that said, "why wouldn't you send your child to the Edina school? I don't understand the question." Frankly most people buy houses here to send their kids to the school. Period. Everything that comes with it is bonus.
Our house in any other city would be worth significantly less. You can get more for your dollar almost anywhere else in the twin cities but the people here are willing to make the sacrifice for their children's education.
Once in the school system I have to say I was impressed. While I believe the ultimate success of the schools comes from having a community full of parents who prioritize seeing their children succeed, the teachers really are wonderful, the opportunities these kids have with technology and school projects is beyond anything else I have seen. The cooking class teacher that came in last year as a long term sub commented how in the school district she had been in previously they only had budget to cook once or twice a week but in Edina they would be cooking 4 times a week. If they give that much more to cooking imagine how much they are putting into core classes.
Now that Isabelle is in school I continue to be impressed. The teacher is great, the school is well organized and there are lots of opportunities for parents to be involved. And the technology continues to amaze us. Her classroom has a smart board instead of a chalk or white board. It is quite interesting. You can pull up computer images and use it like a touch screen or you can write on it like a white board. Isabelle comes home and pretends to be writing on the smart board when she teaches me the stuff she learned.
I also love how close to shopping I live. I am spoiled that way. 2 miles to Target, the mall and several coffee shops. I could seriously live the rest of my life without ever going more than 5 miles from home.
On the down side, Edina is an older community which mean the roads are old, lots of cracks and bumps in our street, the homes are older and in constant need of updating and maintenance but even all of that just adds to the charm of the city. We aren't new and flashy, we are well worn and comfortable. We have a history.
There are still plenty of times I roll my eyes while living here. Reading the city's magazine which showcases some of our more famous or financially successful residences. Dealing with the city ordinances which prevent John and I from living like the hillbillies we secretly want to become. And my current frustration with certain residences refusing to let the city put a bike path on city property behind their homes. We need bike paths people!
Over all I must admit I have fallen in love with Edina and find myself smiling each time I drive home. I don't know why but I just felt like sharing that with all of you today. I hope you live in communities you love as well.