Posted in Discernment, Ponderings

Soda or Pop? Signs of Coming Home

As inspired by my friend, Rose Deniz (,  What are the words that tell you you are home?

I’m warning you…I’m not sure there will be any “God-stuff” in this blog….but I will see if I can tie it in.  One never knows!

Minneapolis has always been home to me.   After several years of trying the California thing, my parents decided to return us (me, 4; Theresa infant; Dana on the way) to their ancestral home in 1969.  We lived in Minneapolis until the spring of 1980 and my parents returned again in 1988.  They have been in Minneapolis ever since.  I’m now in Minneapolis helping with my father who is ill and my mother who does not drive.  My siblings have had to shoulder the burden of elder care all summer and with a free calendar, it was my turn – a task I gladly accept.  (And thank you to Scot for taking the parent-duty until I can return). 

Being back in Minneapolis (a city I have never really left), I am reminded of the things that give me comfort and make me feel like I am home:

  • Minneapolis freeways.  I LOVE driving on the freeways.  Fast.  Congested.  Stimulating.  Driving on the freeways I feel sharp, focused, and a little bit like a racecar driver.  I have never had a panic attack on the freeways, and frankly, I’m not sure it is possible for me with the way freeways stimulate my mind. Maybe it is my own little dose of ritalin that keeps me alert, safe, focused. I LOVE IT!
  • Skyscrapers. When I drive into “the cities” (as St. Paul and Minneapolis are affectionately called) my heart is warmed by the sight of downtown on the horizon.  I LOVE DOWNTOWN.
  • Lakes and Parks – Nobody does city planning better than Minneapolis.  If you like lakes, parks, bikepaths, beaches, Minneapolis has them all IN ABUNDANCE!  The chain of lakes in the center of the city is my favorite – Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, Harriet and Cedar.  I AM HOME!
  • Totino Grace High School.  I took a drive by my former high school yesterday. AWWWWW.   It looks exactly the same – only bigger. 
  • Pop

Ok, pop warrants its own paragraph.  In Minnesota, things like Coca-cola, 7-Up, Mountain Dew are called POP.  When I moved to Milwaukee from Minneapolis, I had to learn a new word – SODA.  SODA has always felt foreign to me and everytime I utter this word, I feel as if I am speaking an alien tongue.  SODA hangs out there and I wonder, “Are they going to know what I am asking for….because it is really POP, but here I think they call it SODA?”  It has never felt right to me to use the word SODA. So yesterday, my mom and I went to Champs for dinner after a day of running elder errands and visiting my dad in the hospital.  I was SO excited to see they had Guinness on tap and promptly ordered a pint. My mom, inquired about non-alcoholic drinks and what would qualify for a beverage on her Entertainment Coupon.  The waitress responded, “We have lemonade, iced-tea or pop.”  POP?????   As she uttered this word, my ears perked up, my heart started to beat a little faster and a warm blanket of safety and security wrapped itself around me.  I AM HOME!  They speak POP here!  POP POP POP POP POP!  I am now free to utter my native tongue of Minnesota speak and I can say POP without fear of ridicule or worse, the cold, blank stare of “What the hell are you talking about?”  POP POP POP!

Ah ha….I am going to talk about God afterall……so what do any of these signs of “home” mean anyway?  Our human, spiritual journey is afterall, a journey of self-discovery: 

  • Who Am I? 
  • What is my Source of peace, contentment, compassion, joy (aka God)? 
  • What are my gifts and how am I called to use them?

Connecting with the things that make us feel like home is one of the ways we come to know ourselves more fully.  Freeways.  Downtown.  Lakes and paths.  POP.  These are all things that make my heart sing, give me joy and have become part of who I am.  Coming to know this gives me tools for what I need to include in my life to cultivate contentment and wholeness. 

So, does this mean I will be abandoning my family and friends in Oshkosh and high-tailing it back to Minneapolis to live?   NO!  (Maggie and Wil shall take comfort in that thought)  But, what it might mean is more frequent trips to Minneapolis and, (here’s the fun part), maybe I will reclaim POP and use it freely and boldly…whether or not Wisconsinites have any idea of what I am saying.  😉   (I know, I like to rock the boat…..hee hee hee)

What makes you feel like home?

What gives you comfort, makes your heart sing?

How are you being called to include more of this in your life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth



I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!

5 thoughts on “Soda or Pop? Signs of Coming Home

  1. I too grew up with “pop” as a native from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but when I go home and hear it, I don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling. Along with the other words of Yooper dialect, I smile inwardly at language distinctions with no emotional connection. However, in answer to your question about what gives me comfort and feels like home: heavy, homemade quilts (I hate those fluffy down comforters); trees and lots of them; small towns, spaced far apart; clear night skies where you can see all the stars and the aurora; the clean water of Lake Michigan and the beautiful iron-rich rivers; the scent of wood burning; logging trucks on the highway; and two-rut roads. My mother doesn’t have a computer, a cell phone, voice messaging, or cable tv, and that appeals to me. However, I do like my amenities. How am I being called to include those in my life? I need to get out of my office and workshop and go outside.

  2. Love this, Lauri! And not just because you mentioned my blog post. 🙂

    I grew up saying Pop until we moved to Milwaukee. Same thing with ‘bubbler’ being replaced with ‘drinking fountain’. Soda replaced Pop in my lingo, but now, in Turkey, if I say Soda, it means baking soda. Want a pop/soda/coke? Say Kola, Cola with a K. Or risk being shown the baking aisle.

  3. Pop ROCKS! Ooo that’s awesome candy too. Sometimes it’s those little idiosyncracies that also make us unique, or able to relate to others with a phrase, experience or idiom. I see people do this with tv shows all the time and wonder where they are coming from. My first exposure to soda was in college, and for years continuing to say pop was almost a form of rebellion. But over time I too gave in and assimilated unconsciously. On occasion pop still slips out and I’m reminded I’m not a native to Wisconsin. It usually becomes a discussion of little oddities from family life, and nearly always some laughter follows.

  4. I loved it! The hold idea of related something old with something new is a great way to relate your Spiritual Connection. I’ve been connected with Spirituallity in so many different ways and nothing connects me better than the thought of being connected to the Universe. When I connect my Spiritual energy to the Universe, I feel more so connected to God than anything. The Pop & Soda story is relative. I enjoyed it and your thoughts.

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