TIME AND PLACE

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Cousin Audrey’s youngest daughter, Terri, is the lure that will always bring me back to MInnesota…even if Robert and Marsha permanently decamp to Florida some day.  Terri seems to be a center around which the extended family of Hahns, Nesets, Tacks and more can revolve. Audrey is nearby in a nursing home but  no longer able to be active physically or very present mentally. The eldest son Randy died some years ago,… Read More

The Old Place is the 80 acres of woods and swamp and fields where I was born: actually I was born ten miles down the road in Blackduck but Robert was born on this very land. It is, for reasons I cannot exactly explain, the most important place in my life. I was a very happy young child there, free to roam the woods with book in hand, or walk up and… Read More

That time of year thou mayst in me beholdWhen yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hangUpon those boughs which shake against the cold,Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.In me thou see’st the twilight of such dayAs after sunset fadeth in the west;Which by and by black night doth take away,Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest … Said Shakespeare, just in time for the birthday party. … Read More

It was May 3, 2021 and we were emerging from the pandemic—when last I wrote. Now it is August 1, 2021 and we are…what? I am as confused by life as everyone one else right now. So here’s a back-to-blog-world post about my very own pandemic-free month…kind of like ‘what I did on my summer vacation’ but with the expectation that I’m returning to the new-normal…you know, the socially-distanced, when can-I-take-another-trip normal…. Read More

My friend Bob and I were going to be at the Other Bob’s concert last night. Damn virus. Since we’re all playing ‘Shelter From the Storm’ these days as a wishful-thinking exercise…here it is. Shelter From the Storm ‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form Come in, she… Read More

Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake. (Dean Koontz) So when I was a kid growing up in a tiny farm at the end of a gravel road in the north woods of Minnesota, I was terribly uninteresting. I didn’t care much for serious farm work or even riding my horse or playing with other kids (well…there was only one other kid within six-seven miles besides my… Read More

I’m lonely often these days. Not really a deeply depressive or even particularly sad loneliness. Just that feeling of wishing to see a person or place that’s not here… or go to time that’s not now. Sometimes wishing intensifies into longing…sometimes it’s just okay to think fondly of the missing piece. For today I’m thinking Minnesota. Last summer. Home. Water. Rivers. Lakes. It’s still cold up there, been snowing this week…. My… Read More

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

  MACROSTIE ART CENTER, GRAND RAPIDS MN   BOB DYLAN HOUSE AND SCHOOL, HIBBING MN (where he grew up…although he almost never admits it) If you’re travelin’ in the north country fair Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline Remember me to one who lives there She once was a true love of mine   GREYHOUND BUS MUSEUM, HIBBING MN Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together I’ve got… 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