Why I love Albert Lea

Published 2:36 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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Holli Waldemar is a people person who finds an excessive amount of joy in spending time with her family, as well as helping out and being around people in her community in any way she can.

I’ve lived in Albert Lea my whole life. I grew up here in town with a family of six, with me being the fifth. From birth, Albert Lea has been all I’ve known. There was talk about moving away, but family was my “why” to stay. My parents raised our whole family in the same town home, so saying goodbye to my hometown didn’t sit right with my heart.

As a child up through now, I grew into a strong religion. As a family, we have always gone to the same church, Salem Lutheran Church. The church has served me and my family through many milestones. I was baptized, confirmed and married there. I got married in 1991 to Troy Allan Waldemar — the love of my life. Together, we have two amazing girls, Kaley, 28, and Kenzie, 25, who we’ve raised and are now astounding women. They were also baptized and confirmed at that same church. Christian faith has allowed me to get through things — it’s my most important thing to me.

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My girls are my whole world, along with my grandbabies. Kaylee, my oldest, blessed our growing family with three children: one boy (Nolan, 1 1/2) and two girls (Bri, 3, and Ari AKA Snowflake, 2 months). I adore them more than anything. Between them, my kids and my husband, I am full — I couldn’t ask for more. Kaylee is married to Jake and they have a home here in Albert Lea, which makes this town even more home and special to me. Living basically on the same road, I get to see my grandbabies almost everyday —  if their mom doesn’t kick me out. Bri loves to bake — that is our thing. With the three of them, playtime is our favorite time, and grandma (me) tries to encourage play time with learning.

My youngest, Kenzie decided to leave Albert Lea when she embarked on her educational journey in Duluth where she met her husband Tyler. Tyler being from the Cities led them to take their own route and set up in the Cities — a bit away from Albert Lea. I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like to with Kenzie, but when we do see each other it is precious time that doesn’t get taken for granted. Although she is further away than I would like, I support her in every way, but the mom in me wishes for her to be in Albert Lea. No kids yet, but a big hound takes the place of that spot. Walter is the best, most behaved, granddog I could ask for.

Aside from my family, I am involved with Public Health. I work with moms and children (0-5). I educate moms on basic care skills. I like to individualize information I give to moms and make it more personal depending on what their needs are. I have always worked with people in ways where I strive to help and make for a better way of life for them. I’m also a waitress at Applebee’s (10+ years). I love the people and a sense of community there. I love the customers. For 14 years I worked at Fountain Centers. Working there allowed me to see the actuality of what people go through with addiction and alcoholism, and the most rewarding was to see the progress and rejuvenation of the individuals. If I can help one person, that made my job worth it. That was my motto. Giving to people is where my heart is.

Albert Lea is a great town with so many opportunities to serve people, which is rewarding in turn. Once I retire, I know there will be many ways to volunteer and lend a hand to this great town of Albert Lea. My greatest takeaway from this town is the atmosphere of being connected to family and a great community.