One resident, numerous anecdotes
Name: Vicki Loeslie
Occupation: Nurse Practitioner
Where we found her: RYSA soccer game
Are you originally from Rochester? No. I’m from a small town in northwestern Minnesota—Argyle, like the socks.
How’d you get here? My husband [Brent] and I lived in Fargo after we got married, and then we moved to Arizona for an adventure. After a couple of years, we wanted to move to the Midwest to be closer to family. … I was offered a job at Mayo Clinic, and that’s hard to turn down, so we moved here in 1996.
You’re still pretty far from Argyle. It’s ironic, because we saw our family far more often when we lived in Arizona. My parents would come and spend the winter. But being here is nice—if there’s an issue, it’s just a seven-to-eight-hour drive up north.
Tell me about Arizona. We loved it there. We could drive to Phoenix easily, to San Diego, take trips into the mountains. We lived in Yuma, because my husband had a very good friend, an old basketball coach and mentor, who’d moved there. This friend’s parents had moved down there to retire, too, and they were almost adoptive grandparents to our son.
Where did you go to college? At Concordia College in Moorhead. Then I got my masters at Winona, and my doctorate at U of M.
Did you meet your husband at Concordia? Oh, no. We met in 8th grade. It was at a basketball game. He was wearing clogs and he said, “Do you like my clogs?”
That’s hilarious. What did you say? I don’t even know. Probably, “Um, sure, I guess.” I was only 13, 14 years old.
Did you start dating then? Oh, gosh, no. I loved him. I thought he was just great. I wrote him many, many handwritten letters that said nothing, really. I’d put a stamp on it and mail it, and I think I just irritated him. He really wasn’t interested. Later, when I was 15, he paid this guy named Skeeter to drive him to my town where he knew there was a dance. They were from Warren, 10 miles away.
Your letters paid off. Right, but nothing really happened. Then he had a girlfriend for a period of time and I had a boyfriend for a period of time, and long story short we ended up going to the senior prom together.
The rest is history? We dated, but he was serious and ready to get married. I didn’t want to get married, so we broke up many times in college. Finally, we ended up staying together after our senior year. We got married a year after I got done with college.
How many kids do you have? Three boys. I had my oldest son, Nate, when I was still in high school, my junior year. Then we had two more kids, Austin and Peyton.
Was it difficult to be pregnant in high school? It wasn’t easy, but I had very supportive parents. They watched [my son] while I went to school, and they made it possible for me to continue. I also had a great public health nurse, Muriel Roley. She’d visit and come see me at school, ask me questions. That’s a portion of the reason I went into nursing, because of the effect she had on me.
That’s powerful. I think sometimes you’re given things in life that are surprises, but they’re still good… that’s how I looked at it.
Tell me about an adventure? We went whitewater rafting with Brent’s best friend and his wife in Colorado—and our boat capsized. The guide got thrown off the back, the guys got thrown off the front, and Angie and I got trapped underneath the raft. Before you leave on the trip, they tell you: If your boat capsizes, and it’s dark, you’re under the boat. So I knew I was under the boat, moving down the river—and there are rocks, and I’m just clawing my way out. I finally get out, and I’m holding on to the [raft], trying to breathe, floating downstream—and then the raft gets hung up on a rock. I keep going, floating down the river alone.
Wow. The guys are like, where are our wives? They’re freaking out. There were people [from the rafting company] on the shore, videotaping the trip, and they were able to throw me a rope—and I just hung on. They pulled me up to shore. I spent the rest of the afternoon coughing up river water.
OK, now you have to tell a funny story. My next-door neighbor asked if I wanted to go get mosquito bites. I’m thinking, is that an appetizer? A bar? Lingerie? But she wanted to go exercise up at Indian Heights. What kind of friend is she? The other three were better options! We went up to Indian Heights and we’re wandering around with five kids … and we can’t find our way out. We literally got lost in the middle of Rochester. One of the kids said we should call 911. But what are we going to tell them? Send a search and rescue? We finally did make it out.
What advice do you give your kids? Work hard, be resilient. It doesn’t always work out in your favor, but it always works out.