August 23rd, 2019

Downtown McMinnville: Relief for the New Linfield Parent

Your Linfield College freshman stands on the steps outside the dormitory that will be home for at least a year. All possessions are in the room and it’s time for you to say your goodbyes. Once you release the hug your student considers interminable, you slow turn to walk away and think “now what?”

You don’t need to be so quick to hit the road. Take a little time to collect your thoughts. Here are five ways to clear your head in downtown McMinnville before you start the long drive home to that empty nest.

Go for a Walk – Head for City Park. It’s easy to find along SE Adams Street between Second and Fourth streets. You can stretch your legs or enjoy a shady park bench. You’ll likely see young families with small children playing. That should trigger 18 years of memories.

Window Shop – Downtown McMinnville is eclectic; it has been for years. Extend your walk from the park and stroll by the local stores. Find everything from local artists’ jewelry and gallery art to fashion, antiques and even home decorations for that room that just came available. Ever ride an electric bike? Discover this great way to get outdoors when you stop by Tommy’s Bicycle Shop.

Raise a Glass – You’ve done a great job raising your child to adulthood. Your student is now attending a very good liberal arts college and you should be proud. This is a perfect time to toast your own efforts as a parent and you can choose where to celebrate. McMinnville is known throughout the world for its wine country and there are several great downtown wine bars where you can taste a few varietals or perhaps enjoy a glass of one wine you really like.

Not interested in wine? There are several breweries within walking distance. Or,  stop into The Bitter Monk taproom for an even larger selection of beers from a variety of Oregon breweries. Either way, lift a glass and congratulate yourself on parenthood well done. Here are some places to consider.

Browse a Book Store – The realization is sinking in. Your student is out of the house. Suddenly you have free time. How are you going to fill it? Start your personal reawakening by lingering in a bookstore. Yes, Third Street Books is a real, touch-the-pages while-you-browse bookstore. You may find a cookbook, travel guides, a new hobby. It’s there on the shelf somewhere.

Eat Something – It will make you feel better. There are plenty of tastes from which to choose. Italian, Spanish, French, Mexican, Central American, Japanese, Thai, brew pub, pizza, and, of course, Northwest cuisine. Not sure where to start? Take a look at these ideas. Perhaps an exotic meal will trigger thoughts of travel. OK, back to the bookstore.

Dan Shryock writes each month about McMinnville and Yamhill County. He and wife Carla dropped off their student at Linfield College in 2007.