June 2014

Just Write {141}

June 24, 2014

In small towns the retired men come to diners or coffee shops every single day, at the same time. If someone misses a day, the conversation is about what they might be doing. And today they’re talking a lot about the ceaseless rain, how high the dam water is, how the lakes are up to the point where docks are drowning. They’ve never seen it like this before. The server knows all of their names, or I should say, their nicknames, because almost all of them have one. Nicknames are as common as gossip here. I kind of want one. One of the old boys talks more than the rest. Some of them don’t say a word other than hello and goodbye. They are all weathered and gray-haired. The Talker laughs at his own jokes and isn’t afraid to admit that he tried to charge his cell phone with his razor cord. He […]

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Just Write {140}

June 17, 2014

It’s been raining a lot here, but when it isn’t, the sun shines hard but it never gets extra super hot like Austin. I saw a picture of some Austin friends on Facebook and they were at a baseball game with sweat dripping, their hair all wet with it. I can feel it through the screen, but then through my window screen at home I feel a soft breeze and remember all there is to love about Minnesota. Until winter, when I will remember all there is to love about Austin. It’s strange to look at these photos and think of our Texas home and friends because it’s been not just a whirlwind but more like a hurricane, bringing us back Home and to a New Life. New Lives. More and more I realize that as much as this family will always be a whole, we’ll always be separate, just as we were […]

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Just Write {139}

June 10, 2014

I heard the horn, over and over, the crunch of the tires on the driveway. My boys were home, and let me tell you this: I may never let them go more than a 20 mile radius away from me. I missed them so much. During this transition, they were in Texas with their Daddy, and Nanny and Auntie K and Uncle K. Elsie and I were here, in Minnesota, and it felt like months, it really did. The side of the van opened to them and Asher fell into me and we were down, kneeling on the driveway, and he was making this sound I’ve never heard. A laugh while crying sound. I’ll never forget it. I pulled Miles in too, and I cried because of relief and sadness and joy. It’s over, I told them again and again. That part is over. And they seem so much older, the way kids […]

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Just Write {138}

June 3, 2014

I am sitting in the back of a coffee shop, on a love seat. There is a table of men at the front of the place, and a table of women nearby, the wives. One of the ladies turned to me as I was getting settled and told me they have room for me at their table. Oh how nice, I said, hearing my thick Minnahhsooohtan accent lining up with theirs. I turned them down only because I have work to do, over here on the love seat, where I’m writing this instead of doing the work because coffee shops always make me want to write about them. Small town coffee shops buzz differently. The customer’s faces stay the same, but are peppered with new ones–people from all over, here for the lakes and the trees and the very very green everything. We do hang onto our vowels here, long and thick. Those […]

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