Monday, August 28, 2006

Orlinda Frances Hesch - 7.4.1915-8.29.1996

Ten years ago today Gram died. The official report says that she passed on August 29th, but I was there, and to my mind, she arrived at the hospital the morning of the 28th, was sick all day, and was gone by midnight. Quickly, with a maximum of dignity and a minimum of pain. Not a bad way to go.

It seems so amazing sometimes to realize that all our lives have kept moving forward in her absence, that so many important mile-markers have happened since she's been gone. Nanny, Bid, and I have all graduated from college (Nanny even has her Master's!) She would have been so pleased: she had an unwavering faith in education. I adopted a dog (which perhaps doesn't seem like a major mile-marker, but if you think that, you haven't heard the story of how Wiley has been the author of much of my fate! [Gram would have called Wiley a "good bow" and let him lick her feet through her ankle-stockings]), bought a house, ran some marathons, met a wonderful man... Nanny, J Mike, and I have all gotten married. Jobs and addresses have come and gone, we've traveled and returned home, the first great-grandchild has been born.

Sometimes I dream that she's still alive, grown older, as she would have. These dreams hold surprise and happiness, even the ones where I am her care-taker, bathing and feeding her, (inexplicably) carrying her around as if she weighed no more than a child. When I wake up I'm a little sad to have to let her go again, but then, she's not, really. We invoke her often, through memories and by association, planting Bleeding Hearts and Peonies, making potato soup and pot roast and rhubarb crisp, singing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and "Stille Nacht." We carry her with us—the knowledge that she would be proud of our accomplishments, happy for our happiness, approving of a tidy haircut or the elegant cut of a new coat. I have only to bring to mind her soft, paper-skinned hand stroking my hair, my head leaned against her knee, to feel a sense of peace curl around me, comforting as her gray yard-wool blanket. I have no doubt that she is watching out for all of us, and I am grateful.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Reared on the Teat of Public Radio

Yesterday as Scooby and I were driving around running errands and listening to Mojo's Womenfolk (the special Winnipeg Folk Festival wrap up!) show on KFAI, Scoob remarked that from what he's heard of my radio persona on KVSC, and Mojo and our dear friend Luvbaby Driver on KFAI, we employ special "non-commercial radio" voices when on air. You know the voice I'm talking about: soothing, serious, and precise. He seemed to find it pretty amusing. Says we're much girly-er in person. Whatever.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tourists in Our Own Town

Several things have kept me busy lately, including longer hours at work, and more pleasingly, an afternoon on the placid waters of Lake Minnetonka (no rapids!) with Dilly, Shugie, Madilly, and a couple of our cousins and their sweeties.
Madilly and Dilly cooling off in Lake Minnetonka.

Our boating outing was followed immediately by a stream of beloved out-of-town visitors: My vibrant and fabulous college roommate K Dub, who stayed with us on the Minneapolis leg of her epic midwestern road trip, occasioning a soiree on an evening so hot and steamy that we forsook the backyard in favor of the air-conditioned splendor to be found in our cramped living room. The pups were delighted to have a house guest who loved on them as much as their Noona does.
Kisses for K Dub

K Dub's visit was followed immediately by a convergence of Scooby's Mom (our Little Mama, as opposed to Tall Mama Birdie) and B'Lou, sister of my heart, who, thanks to her most recent haircut, is looking more like my sibling than my actual sisters do! (Unfortunately, I was slow on the photography ball and didn't document this phenomenon. Suffice it to say that when I arrived at her parent's house to whisk her away for a catch-up breakfast a deux, we took in each other's hair [boy-short, blackish, and silvering more and more as we venture into our mid-30's,] black short-sleeved t-shirts, capri pants, and sensible shoes and chortled with glee.)

Little Mama, Scooby, and I spent Friday touristing around,
A happy family on the Guthrie's Bridge to Nowhere

visiting the newly completed Guthrie Theater, which is a stunning tribute to clever architecture, full of unexpected reflective surfaces, projected images, and endless escalators.
The Bridge to Nowhere's railing catches the sky.

After we had our fill of the theater building, we walked down the street to the Mill City Museum, sister of the Minnesota History Center, which details the history of flour milling in Minneapolis. Built within the masonry remains of the Washburn Flour Mill's A building, which burned to a shell in February of 1991, the architecture is fully as interesting as the exhibits housed inside.
A juxtaposition of the new and old structures in the courtyard of the museum.

Sunday we went to the Powderhorn Art Fair with a representative sampling of the River Falls contingent of Scooby's family: AB, Chano, and Dimples. The art fair featured some really marvelous work, including incredibly beautiful woodcuts by fellow Minnesota Center for Arts Education alumni, Nick Wroblewski.

Good times, good times.
Scooby and Dimples at the Powderhorn Art Fair.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

You know you work at an interesting place when:

1. You notice that your customer in footwear has no toes, (they appear to have been amputated), and is also missing the very ends of their fingers.

2. When you relate this story to a co-worker, she immediately says "Did the person look like an ice climber? I bet it was frostbite."

That was so not my first guess.