Home for the Weekend

Typical Saturday at home, complete with:

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1. Spotting Fabio at Whole Foods.

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2. Generally drooling at Whole Foods.  How I love this place.  I would have taken a better photo of the salad bar or the fresh meats, but people were starting to eye me with suspicion.

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3. Lunch at Cossetta’s, where I hid from the parking lot attendants, hoping they wouldn’t remember the time I took up two parking spots with my massive truck, and then ate/talked for two hours with friends while remaining blissfully aware that “the girl with the massive truck” was being paged over the speakers.

4. Dessert at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books, which I evidently frequent.  Just kidding about the dessert.  Not kidding about this book, which I giggled over, but couldn’t actually justify buying, mostly because it’s a ‘show’ book more than a ‘read from cover to cover’ book.  What I did buy was Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times, because I love Good Poems, American Places so much.  I’ll admit that I’m a little afraid of poetry.  Have been for years.  It’s getting better slowly, but I still appreciate a good anthology, because someone else has already claimed that the poems inside are respectable and worth reading.  I feel free, then, to go around quoting this Robert Bly, or that Walt Whitman, confident that what I’m quoting is profound and beautiful.  Or, at least Garrison Keillor says it is.  And who’s going to argue with that?

5. Walk across the frozen lake with Mom and Dad.  And Ruby, of course, who galloped about, sometimes taking a rest to walk in the snowmobile tracks behind Dad, sometimes veering to sniff at an abandoned fishing hole cut in the ice or a piece of log jutting above the surface.

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In other news, I hiked smugly after taking this shot, convinced I had captured something pure and lovely and perfectly lit.  And then I saw the smudge of finger in the corner.

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Good Poems, American Places

I’ve been reading a few poems from this book every night before bed.

I read the poems aloud, as poetry should always be read, although in a hushed voice that befits the often hushed state of my house past midnight.

This was the second poem in the collection, and it continues to be my favorite.  In fact, I’m becoming a large Robert Bly fan; Mr. Keillor took care to include several of his poems.

“In a Train”, by Robert Bly

There has been a light snow.

Dark car tracks move in out of the darkness.

I stare at the train window marked with soft dust.

I have awakened in Missoula, Montana, utterly happy.

Not Missoula, but University of Minnesota Morris. And with more than a light snow. But this place makes me utterly happy.

Searching for F. Scott (and other adventures)

I’ll keep this brief, as I have an awful lot of story writing to do tonight.  I’m at seven pages, which has seemed like a huge accomplishment these past few weeks, but not anymore; I’ve just done my math and realized that seven pages is not even halfway to fifteen pages.  And fifteen pages is what I need.  I also need them quickly so that I can edit and make more drafts before actually turning the thing in.

My day, although only briefly mentioned here, was wonderful.  Mom and I took our show on the road at 11:30, and returned at 5.  Here’s what we did (in and around St. Paul):

1.  Ate at The Nook, a bar/burger joint that has been featured on everyone’s favorite show, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  We both ordered the Juicy Lucy with sweet potato fries.  Deliciously messy, let me tell you; I had to dive under the table a few times to hide the fact that there were gobs of hot cheese clinging to my chin.

2.  Hunted down Garrison Keillor’s bookstore Common Good Books.  The first thing I appreciated was that the poetry section was front and center.  The second thing I appreciated was the framed photo of F. Scott and family.  The third thing I appreciated was that the place looked like this:

The fourth thing I appreciated was finding a copy of Mr. Keillor’s “Good Poems, American Places,” signed by the man himself (which I bought, obviously).

3.  Got ice cream at Grand Old Creamery.  Half a scoop of chocolate peanut butter, half a scoop of raspberry lemon sorbet, and I was a happy camper.

4.  Hiked from Grand Avenue to Summit Avenue.  Summit Avenue is the street I want to live on some day, when I’m a grown-up lady English professor with enough books to fill a proper library.  Summit is lined with old, frosted Victorian mansions.  It used to be (and still is, I suspect) the classiest address you can have in the Twin Cities.  James J. Hill’s house-turned-museum (which I drag my family to once every few years) is there, and the Catholic Cathedral, and the Governor’s Mansion.  F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in a few different houses on Summit.  Having learned this, I may or may not have jumped out of a moving van in order to take a few pictures of his former residence.  I may or may not have followed up with a James Bond roll into the bushes.

I’m not a stalker.  I’m just a fan.  Really.