TIME AND PLACE

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The epic-travel year of 2019 is more than half over in numbers of trips taken—if not in miles to go. San Diego and the Bay Area; Grand Rapids, International Falls, St. Paul, Minnesota; Montreal, Quebec Canada; Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Done. The more exotic destinations (Samarkand, Uzbekistan and Dover, Delaware for example) still to go. Remember this was the year of ‘sentimental journeys’. So how am I doing so far, I ask… Read More

  When I was a kid we went visiting. Over to the neighbors, over to the friends, maybe further away to visit the cousins. Visiting consisted firstly of serious amounts of coffee and ‘lunch.’ Usually the latter included sandwiches (white bread, luncheon meat, cheese, butter, jam), sauce (home canned fruits of many kinds), cookies, and cake (the cake having been quickly put together and into the oven after the company arrived) and… Read More

Made it. Hike. Didn’t Die. Borscht. Now real life can begin again…and, darn, it turns out NOT to be all about me. However holiday actually does continue just a few more days and, next up, two of my favorite subjects, Jordan and the beach. So nice after many years to catch up with presenter friend Jordan. Also known as Travel Friend Jordan. We met at conferences and festivals over the years when… Read More

And therefore I must have a birthday. This is a hard one…so I’ve stopped writing book or blog. Stopped thinking generally. I’ve just been Marie Kondo-ing my past. This compulsion to ‘tidy up’ closets, bookshelves, desks, drawers, bins, and cupboards; to rid my life of what doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ elicit a tear, of that which no son or grandchild will want, is powerful. It has become very nearly an obsession and I’m… Read More

It’s Day 27 of being a Norwegian and I’m almost feeling it. But then I touch on-line reality and remember I’m an American with a President Sleazy-T. I’m sad this evening. It usually happens a little sooner on these epic journeys but being in Norway has kept the inevitable down-day during any given month at bay. It’s not exactly depression or anxiety or physical-offness—more like I need a pajama day with eight… Read More

I’m traveling on a different kind of quest this summer. To Norway to find…me? India and Greenland were physical challenges. Russia and South Africa literary, historical, and artistic adventures. Vietnam last year and Norway this year feel more like major life searches. In the case of Vietnam to see with my own eyes (and to offer mostly unspoken apologies) a place we Americans nearly destroyed in the name of false pride. In… Read More

Sunday out at the “Old Place.” Our oldest (in both friendship and age time) friends and a walk in the woods. It’s the first time Michele has seen the kids’ Minnesota land; Steven’s is the eastern 40, Scott’s the western part where the broken house is returning to the land. THE FRIENDS The ever-amazing Helen Week, age 95, is the last of my folks’ generation. She still mows her lawn and bakes… Read More

Home means very different things to different people. Now that’s a trite statement if ever there was one—but important to say before I launch into what that seemingly innocuous but really heavy-laden four-letter word means to me. I’ve declared my spiritual, home as everyone who’s ever seen this blog knows, to be Neset Camping in Setesdal Valley, Norway. My birth and forever-after—my history and geography—Northern Minnesota. My son Steven went up to… Read More

Teresa and I were invited for treats, both the little girls playing and the fresh buns and berries kind, at my friend Adrienne’s house in what is the most charming of villages out on the city’s edge. Adrienne is married to a handsome IT guy whose kids greet him with screams of joy when he arrives home from work. She is engaged in her foodie cookerywriting passions and being an obviously great mom… Read More

Facing west from California’s shores, Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound, I, a child, very old, over the waves, towards the house of maternity, The land of migrations, look afar, Look off the shores of my Western sea, the circle almost circles; For starting westward from Hindustan, from the vales of Kashmere, From Asia, from the north, from the God, the sage, and the hero, From the south, from the flowery… Read More