The perfect place to stop and ‘smell the roses’: Downtown Northfield



It is easy in life to take things for granted.

We get up each day, help our kids get ready for school and then head off to work ourselves. Eight hours later, we return to our homes and get set to do it all over again.

That’s how the first 20 years of my adult “work life” started. It was a routine. There was nothing wrong with it, but it’s pretty easy to fall into a robotic daily routine.

As the popular saying goes, people need to remember to “stop and smell the roses,” once in a while.

For me, I’ve found a version of my “roses” during what used to be an average workday. It started a few years ago when I was named publisher of the Northfield News.

With my new title came one of the best perks I’ve had during my career – an office in a beautiful building in what I consider the best downtown in Minnesota.

For one, my office has two large windows that provide a ton of natural light and a view of the bustling activity in downtown.

But the best part of my day occurs when I can venture out on a 10-minute walk through the entire area. On a warm, sunny day, a walk to the river, across the bridge and down on the Riverwalk is the perfect way for me to “stop and smell the roses.” I prefer cutting back through the buildings up to Division Street, and the further I walk the more I feel like I’ve been transported back in time. It’s exactly the break that I need to get back into a frame of mind to get through the rest of the day.

If you work in downtown Northfield, or live here and find time to visit the area on a routine basis, it is hard to take for granted what we have in our community. It’s one of the reasons we chose to include a “Long Division” piece in our Northfield Now magazine. I get to see firsthand what drove Maggie Lee to start her “Long Division” column so many years ago. And for that, I am lucky.

Chad Hjellming is publisher of Northfield News and Northfield Now magazine.

©Copyright 2018 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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