I love Places. Almost all Places. Right now I am feeling especially sentimental about a place called Minnesota because my annual visit is nearly over. Until another year then…lefse walleye lakes 3.2 beer hay shocks marshmallow malts DFL Lutheran snow salad-of-lime-Jell-O pineapple-grated-carrots-cottage-cheese-sweetened-mayo sour cream pie sour cream raisin bars trees trees trees sandwiches with butter hunters “the old place” swamp lady slippers tamaracks blue flags cat tails goldfinches robins bluebirds Baltimore orioles tufted titmouse cinnamon rolls crusts of homemade white bread spread thickly with butter browned in the oven served with hot cocoa after school first whiff of rich black soil with the advent of spring thaw Milacs Lake Island Lake Lake Bemidji Red Lake cosmos moss rose sweet peas poppies evening stock moss mud blog blueberries June berries chokecherries gooseberries Rainy River Deer River Mississippi River Chippewa Falls International Falls Big Fork Littlefork Grand Rapids Park Rapids Blackduck suckers bear Norwegians Swedes Finlanders Chippewa/Ojibwe Paul Wellstone Paul Bunyan Margie Gunderson Gurney’s seed catalogue cream check pulpwood lumberjack purple martin houses small smelly beer joints creeks Ike’s creek Orth road Louie and Helen Knute and Agnes Ole and Matea Shorty Tula Cherry Pal Shep Laddie 47°below blizzard drift yellow snow clover dandelions goldenrod Ovidia Mathilda Floren Sven Neset
Dad was a lumberjack and Mom was a farmer. We lived at the end of a gravel road. Now our house is crumbling sinking staggering resignedly into the ground…the walls and roof still stand but the floor is done down decayed declining…but I like being there. I try to come at least once a year to say hello to the ghosts.
Here it is…the old place we call it.
My bedroom was a lovely safe place where I dreamed that the books I wanted would be right there on my pillow when I awoke.
This field was alfalfa…if the sheep got loose in it they would eat too much, get bloated bellies and literally tip over onto their backs…had to be rescued or they would die.
Things get left behind.
The front room this was called. And that couch was always very ugly.
Robert and Marsha. Marsha grew up about 30 miles away in comparable rural splendor.
Old windows, bright thistles. The beauty of old and prickly!
That would be an outhouse…a real one. With the mosquitos waiting hungrily for bare butts to bite.
When I stayed here one summer 15 years or more ago with my border collie Max she watched for deer on this field. When she saw one she raced wildly toward it and then came to a dead halt about halfway…looking puzzled…like “what on earth would I do with that big thing if I caught it?” Max was a city dog.
Milacs Lake. A grand wild lake in the summer and an ice fishing village in the winter.
Visit with the folks.