Ohhhhhh man. I am behind on this stuff. Well! Let's dive right in then, shall we? Last I recall, I was still in Minnesota...*cue dream sequence*
Sunday, July 11: Had dinner with the parents and some family friends in Dorset, MN.
Dorset is a funny little town that my family has visited every couple of years since I was little. It's full of restaurants and shops that span the length of about two blocks or so...they print an Onion-like newspaper every year and elect a "mayor" by having the people who visit Dorset pay a dollar to put their name in the running. Their website has an article about last year's mayor that had me giggling a few times, which you can find here (scroll down to the heading "Dorset Mayor Race"). Again, as you read it, keep in mind that Dorset is super small and, in fact, unincorporated. Gotta love rural Minnesota. Anyway, a bunch of us piled in a few cars and drove to Dorset to eat at the best Mexican restaurant ever (Compañeros) before heading over to Dorset House for the most delicious ice cream cones in all the world. It was a blast!
Monday, July 12: Visited Grampa in International Falls.
My Grampa is one old dude. I'm pretty sure he'll be something like 94 next month, so as you can imagine, things are starting to wind down for him. His memory is slipping a bit, he's losing motivation, that kind of thing. Every time I'm in Minnesota I make sure to take a day and drive up to the Falls to see him, which usually involves Bingo, a game of cribbage, and a cookie or two from my Gramma's super special cookie jar. Grampa brought it with him when he moved out of the house and into the assisted living place, and now has it in his room at the nursing home. My Gramma died when I was a sophomore in high school, but Grampa always keeps a good assortment of cookies in the jar...which we grandkids just love! I also like hearing his stories about the different jobs he had growing up--working in the logging camps when he was seventeen, or climbing towers to change lightbulbs as an electrician...my Grampa is quite possibly the most hardcore person ever. I'm glad that I get to hear about his life, even if he doesn't quite remember who I am.
Tuesday, July 13: Spent the day in the hospital.
This was the big day of my mom's surgery. For those who might not be aware, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009 and has been dealing with the aftermath ever since: a right-side mastectomy followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation, and a few other preventative procedures...but all with a smile on her face, which is astounding. Anyway, the purpose of this surgery was to do a left-side mastectomy and to begin the reconstructive process. Sooo we piled in the car at 7:00am and arrived at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in the Cities a little before noon, checked Mom in, waited for a couple of hours until her surgery started, and then sat around for about ten hours while Mom had her surgery and spent time in recovery. Dad and I finished a puzzle in the waiting room and watched a couple of documentaries on PBS (one about two jumbo jets that crashed into each other, and one about two ships that crashed into each other...I'm sensing a theme here). And around midnight, we got to a family friend's house and spent the night there. Mom did great, and so did her surgeons!
Wednesday, July 14: Had lunch with an old friend.
I spent Wednesday visiting my college...ahhhhh nostalgia! I hung around my orchestra director's office for a bit and heard about all of his adventures, and then I headed over to the other campus to visit with my academic advisor and to see how things are going at my former place of employment (the School of Theology, where I was an office assistant). While I was at the SOT, one of my college friends (who is now doing grad school work there) stopped by unexpectedly and we went over to the fancy new Refectory to have some lunch. All in all, it was a wonderful conversation. We were on quite opposite ends of the theological spectrum in college, but lots of things have changed for both of us these last few years, and it was great to have a civil, meaningful discussion about theology and whatnot. I also had dinner with another college friend in St. Cloud, which is about fifteen minutes from campus. So much good conversation that day!
Thursday, July 15: Went to a Bastille Day party.
One thing that you can bet on when my close group of friends and I get together is that the making and eating of food will be involved. So since Bastille Day was on Wednesday, we decided to celebrate with a party at Robert's house! Lots of good food, good friends, and late night conversation was to be had, since many of us have been spread across the globe this year and hadn't seen each other since last summer. So we had quiche, Niçoise salad, yummy bread, and some super amazing chocolate mousse, and just enjoyed each other's company while we could! I spent the night at Robert's house and then woke up bright and early on Friday to go visit a fellow youth minister/college friend at her parish in Monticello.
Friday, July 16: Had dinner with friends at Pizza Luce in Minneapolis.
After returning form Monticello, I went to Minneapolis with Christa where my friends Jo, Karen, and Laura live. (Well, Laura got a place closer to campus with Madeline since then, so technically it's just Jo and Karen now, but WHO CARES?! You get the idea!) Anyway, we went to dinner and had a grand old time. Pizza Luce is a really cool place, but GOODNESS ME, THE HIPSTERS! All we could do was laugh...I mean, look at them--trying so hard to look like they aren't trying hard to be the coolest thing since the refrigerator. Slouchy hats, flannel, ironic t-shirts, skinny jeans, choppy haircuts, scarves galore, thick-rimmed glasses, obscure musical taste...need I go on?! There's a reason that Pizza Luce was voted "Best Place to People Watch" in 2008.
Saturday, July 17: Navigated the flight home with EASE!
I'd say that's pretty self-explanatory. No bad weather, no near misses, no screaming babies, nothing. It was great. I actually really like flying alone. Don't know why...I just do.
Phew! One more week down, and...so many more to go. AHHHHH! Stay tuned!
Love you, miss you, blah blah blahhhhh...
18 hours ago