New resident Emily finds open arms from welcoming Pelican Rapids
by Emily McIntire, guest blogger
After going to dental school and living in the Twin Cities for four years, I knew that I wanted to live and practice dentistry in a small town.
Growing up in Sartell, Minn., I have always loved the small town feel and close-knit community that rural Minnesota towns provide. Meeting my future husband, Daniel Ditch, in my third year of dental school was a blessing in disguise.
Daniel is originally from Pelican Rapids and had planned to return home to practice dentistry with his father, David. When given the opportunity to also move to Pelican Rapids upon graduation and practice alongside Daniel and David, I knew that this was the right choice for me.
“Pelican Rapids” was a town that I had only first heard of upon meeting Daniel, so the nerves of moving to a new place were high. However, all of my nervousness and anxiety of new change were quickly met with open arms and warm wishes from the Pelican Rapids community.
I was pleasantly surprised with how fast word traveled that I had moved into town and how sweet and inviting the members of the community were. Daniel continually told me that I had nothing to be nervous about and that the people of Pelican Rapids form one of the warmest welcoming communities, but I had only realized that he was right upon moving here.
I’ve enjoyed getting accustomed to the fun activities to do outside in Pelican Rapids at all times of the year as well as learning about the best places to stop in town to grab a bite to eat or a fresh cup of coffee. A burrito from Taqueria Escobar’s, an omelet and coffee at The Muddy Moose, and a donut from the Screaming Eagle all taste better and are more enjoyable experiences when you can walk inside and know the people around you and helping you as compared to a chain restaurant or coffee shop in the cities.
I’ve learned that when you drive past people in town, most wave to one another not only because you know each other, but also because everyone is extremely friendly. Small towns have a kind of warmth to them that draws you in and continues to surpass your expectations which encourages you to stay. Pelican Rapids is no exception to that.
Family, friends, and close relationships with others in my community have always been important to me. Daniel and I knew that Pelican Rapids was where we wanted to settle down and grow old together for all of those reasons.
With every patient that I see at Pelican Dental, I try to make a mental connection in the “family tree” or “web” of residents in my mind to learn about how this community is related. I always joke that it may take me forever, and that this tree is a lot larger than I thought, but that’s what makes learning a new connection so exciting. I love adding a new piece to the puzzle of Pelican Rapids.
If asked five years ago, I never would have known that Pelican Rapids would be the town that I ended up building my life and future in, but now that I am here, I know that this was the path that my life was supposed to follow. I feel so blessed to be welcomed into this incredible community and I know that Pelican Rapids is where Daniel and I will stay to not only live and practice dentistry, but to also build our family.
I’m grateful to now be able to consider myself as a piece of the Pelican Rapids puzzle.