Who are we? We are our stories.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Raking Leaves Into the Wind

We are separated from our neighbors to the east by the narrow alley that passes for Oakwood Drive. A couple of days ago I looked from my kitchen window and saw Doug Herr's 20 year-old number two son from his first marriage, leaning on a rake, watching his four-year old half-brother riding a green toy tractor on the driveway. The past few days have been windier that all hell and the Bur Oak leaves are just burying Oakwood. The young man would occasionally stab listlessly at the shrinking leaf pile, raking a few leaves into the wind and watch them blow back past him toward the park to the east. Mostly he just stood quietly with his rake and looked at the ground. 

There has been a lot of company at the Herr's the past couple of weeks - parents, friends and relatives, Doug's two boys from the first marriage in town to watch over their three young half-siblings. A lot of family coming and going.

From yesterday's A.L. Tribune: 
Douglas R. Herr, 47, of Albert Lea, died at his home surrounded by his family today, Oct. 25, 2013.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

50th H.S. Class Reunion

We went.

It started out wonderfully. Friday afternoon our guests started filtering in. Some of them would be staying with us for a couple of nights, others at motels. When our appetites reached a critical mass, nine of us headed to a restaurant for a nice meal, then back to 1410 for drinks and talk far into the night - some old tales, but more about how we were spending our free years, and how our children and grandchildren are coping with life. A couple of friends are lawyers and they continue to work, taking only cases that strike their fancy. Another is a college English professor. Fate has left him as the single parent of a 14 year old son, and he has to keep grinding away beneath the wheel, teaching Lit 101 to his grave, so his child can go to school too. The rest of us are just general layabouts, obsolete designers, teachers and computer nerds, reduced to living off the fat of the land. 

After breakfast on Saturday we split into smaller groups and continued drinking strong coffee, running a few errands, and simply talking to each other.

Saturday evening was the actual formal reunion. I found it agonizing. What did I learn? Most 68 year-old people are not old and wise, they are just old. Physically, health-wise, I have been very lucky and compared to most, my wife is damned hot. I realized that high school was not the high point of my life like it apparently was for some others. For me high school was unpleasant, something that had to be endured so I could move on with my life. I found I didn't care about stories of John Bailey's high school parties, Bill Emstad's Northside friends, clever tricks played on teachers, or climbing water towers in the middle of the night. I found that the cliques still existed and the young people who were asses in high school, still were. Only older. Shortly after the meal and program I went home and listened to music until our guests returned with my wife .........who is obviously far more sociable than I am. 

This morning, Sunday, one last breakfast together and our guests all hit the road for the four corners of the country. I love them all, but it is a relief to be alone again.

Reunions? I will welcome the pilgrims, I will open my home to the travelers, but I don't think I'm going to go to another reunion myself.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cell Phone Camera

I've never had a phone with a camera. I have tended to inherit family member's phones and my old one predated cameras. First picture with the new phone was the selfie to the right. The second round is these of the living room at the Church Hill Cottage. Gotta a lot of flare from the windows and the top of the pictures tend to have some vertical doubling, but overall I think this may work well enough to generally irritate all the people I plan on ambushing. And of course I will be recording every meal I ever eat and posting those too, as I assume everyone in the world is fascinated by what I eat. And puppies and kittens. Family babies. Old bicycles. Etc.

Dogfish Head 120

This may not be the best beer in the world, but it is the best beer I have ever tasted. This video is for The Judge, who argues that it cannot actually be as strong as the label indicates because the alcohol would kill the yeast before it got there. I do not know enough about brewing to know that; all I know is that it is a marvelous brew, and whatever the alcohol content it is, there is no clue while you drinking the beer, only when you try to stand up from the table afterwards.

Nothin' & Lungs

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NOS Galmozzi

What do you say about a bicycle that is this great? New old stock. It just fell out of a time capsule into the lap of a friend. He has asked to remain anonymous. ;-)