Michael Milnes of Rochester, MN has lived in Rochester since graduating from the University of Minnesota with his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree becoming licensed by the State in 1996. But he is a lifelong Minnesotan who was born and raised in the town of Red Wing, a small town along the Mississippi River with a population of about 16,000.
“A lot of my friends don’t understand why I stay here,” he said. “What they really mean is, how can I stand the winters in Minnesota?” The Minnesota winters can be brutal, he admits, but like a lot of things with bad reputations, the legend is worse than the reality.
“From October through April, it can be tough,” Michael Milnes of Rochester, MN says. “And to be honest, there are times when I wonder why I stay – usually when we’re in the midst of a particularly harsh cold spell. But you know what? There is a lot to love about winter in Minnesota; it isn’t nearly as bad as people seem to think. For one thing it can be incredibly beautiful. We almost always have a white Christmas, and you should see the Rochester Historic District then – it’s like something out of a story book.”
He says that Minneapolis and St. Paul are well-designed for the winter months. Most homes have attached and heated garages, they can drive to work and park in a heated parking garage, and walk through skyways that connect most of the downtown buildings. “If you play your cards right, you don’t have to be outside for more than a few minutes every day.”
It’s a different story in Rochester, especially in the Historic District where Michael Milnes of Rochester MN lives and works. “But I have a warm down coat. And anyway I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m used to it!”