Coffee & books brought Chris & Cedar together
Chris and Cedar Walters have found their home on Lake Alice in Fergus Falls. It’s a great place to raise Hart and Hera, their young children, and just a few brief commute to their jobs in Fergus Falls.
Years before they both worked in the Uptown district of Minneapolis. Cedar was a barista in a coffee shop, Chris was behind the counter in a bookstore.
They worked across the street from each other.
When Chris came in for his daily dose of coffee, Cedar took notice. When Cedar went book shopping, Chris was happy to help.
Yes, they were perfect bookends! This story of romance started “brewing”... and ended up “bound” for marriage! The writing was on the…pages!
OK, we’ll refrain from more puns.
Cedar grew up near Underwood and couldn’t wait to experience the big city. She attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in environmental science, and spent several years after living in Minneapolis. Cedar’s love of learning continued after college graduation by taking a one-year sustainable agriculture program at the M-State campus in her home town.
She discovered that her small-town roots ran deep. Living back home to attend college “reminded me of what this area has to offer,” she admits. “I never felt comfortable (in the city) because everything is so big. How can I have an impact? I feel like here I can really make a difference.”
Husband Chris was raised in a Twin Cities suburb, earned an English degree at the University of Minnesota and followed that up with a master’s in Buffalo, New York. He has been teaching, including online teaching, for years now and teaches English, Film and Literature classes at M-State in Fergus Falls. “The best thing about teaching here is that you wear a lot of hats” and get to teach many different topics, he said.
They agreed that although they met in the city, their life together was more suited to a small town.
So this journey has a happy ending but like a lot of life’s journeys, there were challenges. Cedar commuted to Fargo for three years to get a graduate degree in Biology, and both Chris and Cedar grudgingly contemplated jobs in other towns or states at times. Chris and Cedar feel so thankful that “things fell into place at the 11th hour” for them to feel totally settled with professional jobs here in Fergus Falls. Cedar is the Public Information and Education Officer for the Otter Tail County Solid Waste department while Chris continues to teach.
They admit that the big draw for them to go “small town rural” was finding more open space that they couldn’t get in the big city. The key, they said, is not to focus on what isn’t in a small town, but rather on what someone could bring to a small town.
“There just seems to be less modern life pressures here,” Cedar said. “We may not have as many amenities as the city has, but we do have the ability to shape the community we live in.”
Being near family and a good support system is also a big benefit of living in the area, as Cedar’s parents still live in Maine township.
And while they are looking for opportunities to get involved in the community, there are several bookstores and coffee shops to explore.