Showing posts from April, 2012

Our Travellin' Jones

As I get set for another long trek to the Minnesota Northland, I think about how mobile our family has become.  Because we have family in two different states, we've always had to travel to get home for the holidays and life events. Minnesota is about a 5 hour trip and New York is about 12. We can't always afford to fly, so more often than not, we drive. It's not always the preferred method of travel, but with the way flying has changed in the past 20 years, driving holds more appeal than ever. Getting on a plane is a bit of a cattle call, and now with all the body scanning, disrobing and everything short of a full friskdown, driving is still all us. When I mentioned to my boss yesterday that we were headed 9 hours northwest of here, his jaw kind of dropped. He's not quite sure how we manage it. Donna gets this all the time from her friends. She mentioned a friend yesterday who said that she feared her kids would get too bored on a 4-5 hour trip. As my boss said yest

A Bench, Some Vinyl, and a Busted TV

Lots going on around here lately. We head north to St. Paul on Friday then on to Park Rapids, MN on Saturday. My sister in-law and her family are dedicating a bench in memory of Rob at Courage North, a camp for disabled in the middle of the state. As part of our weekend there, we are helping with the annual Courage North cleanup weekend. From what I remember Rob telling me, this involves everything from putting in the dock to clearing brush and getting stuff out of storage. Most of the family is going to make it up there, so it should be a good time. We don't get the whole family together very often anymore, but when 4 or 5 of us and our respective kids get together, it's always good times. I got Ben a bike last weekend. Got quite a deal on it. So far, he's liking his freedom. When I was a kid we took our bikes everywhere, near and far. I'm working on a chapter of the Portland Ave. House book specifically about bike trips we took, as well as some other antics. Whe

The Art In All Of Us

Last night was the start of a new AllWriters ' Wednesday Semester. I call them semesters, but they're really 10 week sessions. It was a night of new personalities. There were four new students in this particular class. It looks like there's all levels of expertise as well. There are brand new writers who are taking their first formal class, established writers who have been published, a memoirist who is doing journalling in the hopes of turning it into a book, and a poet who's just looking to get involved in a new group. As much as I am an introvert, I find it fascinating to meet people who share interests that I do. My wife says I'm scaring her as I get older, the way I engage people who I don't know very well. It's very unlike me, actually, and frankly it's scaring me as well. I just have a hard time not talking to people about the whole writing process, their experiences, my experiences, etc. I think it's just a phase and I'll fall back into

Someday's Disguise

Most people spend their lives looking forward to "someday." A nebulous place to be sure, but one that evidently has more going for it than today, since that's what most people are gunning for; someday. Someday I'll retire to Florida and golf a lot. Someday I'll work less and spend more time with the kids. Someday I'll travel more. Someday I'll get a better job. Someday I'll go on a diet and exercise more. Someday I'll go back to school or take that class. Someday I'll get back to church/my faith. Someday I'll forgive my Mom/Dad/Brother/Relative/Friend. Someday I'll win the lottery. I'm as guilty as anyone of being a Somedayist. I used to think that someday I'll have a laptop and I'll be set. Of course now that I have one I look forward to someday when I have an iPad. Before that it was someday I'll have a phone that has texting and a camera on it, then I'll be set. Again, now that I have that I look for

How Deep is the Gene Pool?

This is a picture of my dad's side to the family. It is a classic old photo, one that tells a hundred stories just at  first glance. I'd seen it at my brother Tom's house and asked if I could get a copy. It is one that is far too precious to let slip away. Like much of my dad's side of the family, I don't know all the details behind the photo. I'll tell what I do know and let the family correct the errors as they read it. I believe the picture was taken in my grandparents' house on Pine St.? in St. Cloud, MN. In trying to judge the age of my dad (Far Left) I'm guessing he was about 13 years old, which would put the date of the photo to about 1938. The names of the aunts and uncles in the picture as best I can recall from the faces are: (Left to Right: Roy (Dad),  Tom (Dad's twin), Harry, Dan, Mariette, Jim, Magdalena (Grandma), Will, Jack It's interesting that my grandfather is not in the picture. I don't know if that was by choice,