Scottie my terrier/poodle mix dog

untitledScottie went with me everywhere. I had a convertible and I had a bowls of water and food for him on the floor of the passenger side, up front.

One day at a red light I was zoning out and I happened to look in my rear view mirror, Scottie was all the way in the back on the boot, panting and smiling at the people in the car behind us. Their heads were thrown back, they were laughing so hard. I always kept him on 6′ leather leash that was looped over the gear shift.

Wish I had a photograph of that.  Here’s a photograph of the breed I found on the internet. Very smart, happy dogs.

Morning Glories

imagesOn the day I got married, I planted a pack of deep purple morning glories in the back of a four-plex I lived in, in St. Paul, MN. In a few weeks they were climbing up to the railing of my porch on the strings I had nailed up for them. I went upstairs and asked the neighbors if they minded if I ran the string up to them. They said it was ok.

By August those morning glories had grown to two stories high and started growing back down. The sun had changed enough that they didn’t close during the day. So, that one time and one time only, There was a massive, two story curtain of deep purple morning glories growing, facing an alley in St.Paul. Alley users WERE impressed. No photograph, just the memory

Farm Kitchens

imagesGI6CS8QPI would help the neighbor lady, Mrs. Vinkemeier when they were butchering. It was really something being in a busy, busy working farm kitchen. Everyone came in at noon and ate “dinner”. It was a huge meal.

I helped with sausage making, cleaning windows with vinegar and newspapers and whatever else she needed me for. It was a lot of fun. I remember how disgusted I was when I found out what sausage casings were.

Oh wow listen, I talk just like you.

My son had a friend named John (pronounced the French way). John’s parents encouraged their friendship because they were new to the country from Switzerland. The dad was an executive for Toro and they lived in a mansion on Mount Curve a ritzy neighborhood in Minneapolis. I lived in an equally ritzy neighborhood, it just wasn’t one then and my apartment was a daylight basement apartment.

One day I came to pick up Shaun from John’s house.  Ann Wagoniere, John’s mother and I stood out on their veranda while Shaun got his things together. She had a French accent and was an extremely elegant woman, I felt intimidated and awkward around her. We stood  for a few minutes talking. Just before Shaun came out, the family dog came running past us and into the yard. In a French accent that I could not control myself from speaking, I said, “Oh, is that your little doggie?” I hope to God she didn’t notice.   I’ve always picked up anyone’s accent I’m around. So, if you’re from Texas and we hang out, I’ll be talking like y’all by the end of the day.

I went to a garden party.

untitledMy boyfriend Vern taught himself violin. When he picked up the violin, I picked up my car keys and left the house. He eventually became fairly proficient at playing the thing.

We were at a garden party on Mount Curve (a fancy neighborhood in Minneapolis) and Vern was jamming with the band on his violin. He had it electrified by then.

A distinguished man stood next to me and told me how he admired Vern for being able to jam. I told him he was self-taught. The man told me he was classically trained. So I pried it out of him that he was in the Minnesota Orchestra.

As soon as the guys took a break, I grabbed my boyfriend and the man and we went in the house. I introduced the man to Vern and he immediately offered his violin to the man. We were pretty far into the house in a sun room. Very soon, the entire party made their way into the house to listen. The man played beautifully and for many of us, it was the highlight of the party.

Christmas Eve in Akeley, Minnesota

imagesNKJE6EH0 We always have pizza on Christmas Eve when I’m home. I started the tradition. My parents lived in a town that sold drinks 2 for 1 and then shut down at 4:30 until the day after Christmas.

So, everybody’s at the liquor store (that’s what they call the municipal liquor store and bar). My parents are sitting with their friends and us kids are all sitting with out friends. I was drinking vodka gimlets two at a time. Then later, people were over as I’m drunkenly making pizzas. My mom is saying to her friends, “Did you see so and so? They were drinking drinks two at a time instead of just paying half price!”

Then my oldest brother walks in, takes one look at me and starts laughing. I guess we all get glassy-eyed when we’ve even had just one drink. Ahhhh, beautiful Christmas memories. Merry Christmas everybody who reads this blog, which is probably no one. :)

Our Cedar Closet

When I was a kid growing up at the house on Medicine Lake, we went through our clothes twice a year. We had a great big walk-in cedar closet that even had a window with a little door. We could open it and peek out to the front yard and lake. We always changed out our clothes from winter to summer and back again and stored what we weren’t using in there.

I haven’t stored my off-season clothes in years. While doing laundry close to Christmas, I was trying to stuff all my t-shirts into one drawer when I suddenly remembered what we did when I was a kid. I am enjoying a lot more room in the dresser and the memory of that long ago tradition.