Thursday, October 18, 2018

Top Ten Weather Day


It has not been a lovely fall, typically my favorite time of the year; this year has been a cold and soggy mess. The trees even seem confused on turning colors or just dropping to the ground in defeat.

Our farming families are struggling to get the crops out of the fields, the rain taking away their livelihood late in the season.
Today however, the weather sign on the local TV station is flashing gold, we don’t see this often. It will be a top 10 weather day in Minnesota. Early in the morning, before the sun comes up over downtown Minneapolis I plot my day. Early to the office, a walk at noon, an early exit from work to get one last bicycle ride in. This means I have to log in later to finish my work. It could very well be our last opportunity to get outside before the gales of November come whipping in.

In Minnesota we don’t just talk about the weather, we plan our adventures around it. We worry about planned travel and an impending snowstorm. We relish in shorts as late into October as possible.  We willingly sit in the outdoor seating at the cafes in April to breath in the fresh brisk air of 45 degrees. Many of us complain about the inaccuracies of the weather teams, unable to really let us know how many inches of snow are headed our way. We are a fickle group, but we all know full well the importance of a top 10 weather day in mid-October. Time to get outside to enjoy it! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Week 2 of 52 Weeks of Adventure #lefse


Thanks to an alignment problem I found my way to south Minneapolis for a chiropractic visit Monday after work. Nearby is the iconic gift and deli/meat all things Norwegian and Swedish and probably Danish store, Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace. It was as if the car knew I needed an adventure for the week. As I pulled into a parking spot I looked down the street to see the Taquaria’s and Supermercados. In this neighborhood full of ethnic diversity sits the establishment of my people. As you step into the gift shop every sense hits you, the smells of the deli, the bright red, blue and yellow colors, the feeling of warmth, or maybe that feeling comes from the big sweaters that will protect the Norske through the coming months.

I head to the deli side of the building, it’s about 15 steps; this is not a large store. I find the lefse and grab two packages. Cash and check only here folks, don’t bring your debit cards to the deli. The place is filled with men and women, clearly from the same place I come from. Some with rosemaling designs on their jean jackets. Two women playfully argue about who is going to get the last peppered salmon and who will get the plain one. The meat counter is filled with Swedish sausage, ham hocks and dried meats, steaks, pork and an assortment of fish.

A women points at the sauerkraut and makes eye contact with me, “I am going home to make sauerkraut this weekend. I am getting the cabbage from Louise; she has the best and biggest cabbage.”
I smile and ask how long it will take, she tells me 12 weeks and goes on about her love for the kraut, reminds her of her mother and grandmother making it.
“Number 42!” the deli counter person yells. That’s me, the sauerkraut lady moves on to the next person in line to tell her of her adventure to come. I pay $15.98 for my two packages of lefse and head out the door.

As I think of my year of 52 weeks of adventure I can’t help but enjoy this little stop at Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace; the wooden floors, the old fashioned butcher case, counter and the feeling of being home. Sometimes an adventure into the past is just what you need to propel you forward, reminding you to step back, relax and enjoy before you move on. Take a moment, smell the sauerkraut, taste the crackers and enjoy the day.

Put it on your list of things to do, you will find it, and my people at 1601 E Lake St. Minneapolis.
By the way, the lefse is good, but not as good as my Mom’s. (That’s tough to beat)

As always, I wish you peace!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Week One of Fifty-two Weeks of Adventure


As I started this week I declared I would find some adventure or discovery, some ah-ha moment each week. This week I expected to find it in Washington DC when I was there for work, somewhere around the beauty of the National monuments or on the National Mall. I did not find it the once again closed Washington Monument, at the Lincoln Monument, or at the National Mall. Instead as I waited for my hotel room to be cleaned I wandered around the neighborhood. As I walked by a protest, and some construction I could see the park in front of the White House, and just across the street on a small corner lot sat a small very old looking Church. The sign out front announced the service that started five minutes ago. I find a seat, not hard considering there were four other people there including the pastor. I learn from the brochure this is St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, known as “The Church of the Presidents” because beginning with James Madison, every person who has held the office of President of the US has attended a service at the church.

As I listened and observed I thought of the men who have “run” our country and their thoughts as they sat in this same room. What did Abraham Lincoln think about? Did Theodore Roosevelt ponder the state of the country here? Were they here because they were told everyone else was or did George H Bush, Clinton, Reagan and the rest come here to worship? Were they humble, open minded? Did they pray for peace for this nation? Democrats and Republicans, some powerful in their position, some weak all sat in this room at one time over the years.

I am sure without a doubt that all of these men were facing trials; some of them with personal hidden demons. I couldn’t help but think of the quiet inside of this old church and the chaos that was boiling throughout the city and country. It was a respite among the storm.

This adventure reminds me of the need for civility and peace. That is my wish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

52 Adventures in 52 Weeks

I am ready for my journey to the end of my 50’s. I am not afraid of 60, but I am going to relish the last of my 50’s for the next fifty-two weeks. I have many goals and dreams, I am excited about the year AND the decade to come. During this year I plan to live with intention, while planning ahead, I want to take advantage of every moment to discover new things, try new things and live life full speed ahead.

My goal over the next fifty-two weeks is to find fun, joy and adventure every week. I intend to go places, meet people and leave fear behind. I have made a list of 52 things to attempt, look for, discover and do. This list may grow and a few things may be removed, but it will give me a blueprint of things to come.

With mindfulness I intend to Bloom. I will grow, explore and certainly love along the way. This is my last year in my 50’s, but it is the first day of the rest of my life!!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

That's a Wrap on 58 Years


This is the last day of my 58th year. As years go, this was a good one. I feel like they are all good from here on out. I know I will face some sad or what I want to call bad days in the years to come. It is hard for me to imagine it as all bad. Even in the very tough years, the years of my first marriage, my divorce, losing my dad and then Mark’s dad three months later, all very difficult times. But there was also joy. My children were born, raised and became responsible adults. I was even blessed with four bonus kids that are delightful as well.  I have been lucky to have lived in several places. I have had the pleasure of making new friends along the way. I have met many interesting people through the Churches I have attended, the neighborhoods I have lived in. Some of the years were filled with anger, regret, sadness and frankly crappy situations. I have been disappointed when not hired for positions I thought I would be good at, but always been fortunate to have a job. I have struggled with financial woes, but I have never gone hungry. I have been injured from running but never had any serious health issues. I have been lucky enough to travel around the US, to Europe several times and even China this last year.

When I need to find bad, I certainly can dig it up. The crime and homelessness in the city, the hate that seems to seep in everywhere. The struggles of the American farmer. The blaming and overwhelming sense of unhappiness in our political mess. I could go on, but there is no point in that.

My Mom celebrated her 82nd birthday earlier this week. One of our sons will celebrate his 31st birthday in a few days. We are awaiting the arrival of our 17th grandchild in the spring. I am lucky enough to have a partner who snores quietly at night. We don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but he is my rock. He always brings me back to center. I talk to or text with one or more of the 7 kids every day. I might have the cutest bunch of grandkids anywhere. This is the good stuff; this is where I can find the joy in life.

It’s been a pretty good year. I will enjoy today, I will spend my last day at 58 volunteering at a Women Build site for Habitat for Humanity. God willing my 59th year will be another filled with simple joy, some traveling and many adventurous days.

I have been blessed. I wish you joy, peace and love every day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Do the Hard Things- Make a List


We can do hard things. Today getting out of bed felt like a hard thing to do.
It really wasn’t. My legs worked just fine, my back and arms propelled me right out of bed. The hard part was in my mind. It’s the Tuesday after Labor Day and I would prefer to sleep. But I won’t, I have a day and evening full of meetings, projects that need to be taken care of and life. I have a run that should be done. But my mind would like to take the easy route. Drink coffee, surf the net, play a game of solitaire, yes that is a thing, I play one game every morning as I drink my coffee.

Sometimes I have to trick my mind into getting things done. Get out of bed. Move forward with the day, I have to lay out my running clothes so I will slip into them in the morning. Bargain with myself on a project, if I do the hard thing, I can play, or sit to read.

So many dreams are left undone because we think they are too hard. The list of to do’s are long. It’s easier to tick off the simplest things. Admittedly I even put things on the list that I completed earlier because I need the feeling of accomplishment to move me forward.

I go way back as a list maker, I am not sure if I started it in High School, certainly shortly after. I keep a list to stay on task, so I don’t forget the little things that need to be done. I keep a list because it keeps me moving forward with tasks. I even put the fun stuff on my list. I guess I just like a good list. These days I use my IPad and my Apple pencil to make the list.

I really make the list because I need to do the hard stuff. Within my list I label the to do’s as ABC items. A’s must be done today; B’s should be done today. C’s are just things I would like to get to this week. If I have time to tick one off each day, great.

The A’s are usually the hard stuff. We can do hard things, get them on the A list and get them done. Go make your list. BTW, last thing on the list...make tomorrow’s list.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Free Labor Day


I like to use Labor Day to rest from the usual Monday routine but to spend some time laboring on the things I like to do. I will also use this day to be thankful for all of those that worked so hard to get a day of rest. We deserved a “free” day!

I know this didn’t come easy, so I will remember to be grateful throughout the day, to acknowledge the labor unions that worked for fair wages, reasonable working environments and a working day that makes sense.

I also acknowledge those that work in industries that shun the unions, call them thugs. I feel for those workers that seem to think they don’t need the unions, yet are not paid equitably, are not granted breaks as they should get them and certainly don’t receive the benefits they should be entitled to. YES, entitled. I will not begrudge an owner of business big profits, but I contend if you are not taking care of your people, one day you will pay.

Why someone is not happy that another is doing better than they are is beyond me. Why do we not want to do better?

One of my favorite sayings is from Paul Wellstone. He often said…”when we all do better, we all do better.”

Enjoy this Labor Day.

Top Ten Weather Day

It has not been a lovely fall, typically my favorite time of the year; this year has been a cold and soggy mess. The trees even seem confu...