Ah Bugger

The vapid utterings of a neurotic mind.

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Location: DC, United States

I ain't too proud to bug.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hello again

I got to Colorado on the 8th. I have been busily helping my sister and her family live their lives and have been thusly ignoring you, though I can hear your cries through the airwaves and other magical ways. It's been hectic!

So far I have celebrated a birthday with homemade ice cream cake that was quite delicious, as evidenced from my ingesting 6 slices...I got attacked by a dog. (And bared my glowing legs for all the world to see. Jeepers. But pale is the new tan, right?)
I turned the violence around and attacked some vicious deer that were sent by the WLM to get me.
I had a latte with a leaf in the milk made just for me.
I saw lard. Lots of lard...in big blue tubs... gross.
I roasted marshmallows over a fire while basking in a beautiful sunset (that I won't show here because you've already gotten two of them...though if you want it, just have to ask), under the protective gaze of the Rocky Mountains.
My sister volunteers for both Meals on Wheels and a pregnancy crisis center. I went along to the center and helped sort baby clothes for a couple of hours. Then today I went along on the MOW route. I really ought to volunteer more. MOW is really neat because the people you deliver meals to are very interesting. One lady we visited lived in a home that was piled high with junk. She had several cats with extra toes (somehow I managed to pull poly dactyl out of my rear) and we got to talking. She seemed so with it and pretty cool. It made me so sad to think she had to live in that kind of squalor. Another man we visited is 83 years old and he still tools all around the country, visiting his family. He was great to talk to.
Later we went to the sculpture garden and met a lady who takes her two cockatiels with her every where she goes. Weird.
My bedroom is my nephews room. I have to climb a ladder to get into bed because his bed is a top bunk with a desk underneath. Last night I dreamed I was trapped in a black box and I woke up sitting straight up in bed, full of panic. I am glad I have not yet fallen out. I dream weird stuff at my sister's house every night.
It's going to be hard to leave here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The children of the corn did not get me (yet).

I did not leave South Dakota until after 5:00pm yesterday, so I did not have the energy to tell my stories last night. Besides, I learned so much that I really need time to sit down and tell you all about it.

I went to the home of another of my mother's friend's yesterday at 10am and they could not get rid of me until I left again after 5PM.
First, when I drove into South Dakota, I have to admit to a bit of a sense of superiority. After all, I am from the Nation's Capital and I am sooo great. Better than you. Chatting with friend #1 on Sunday, then with the couple from yesterday, I realized how woefully off-base I am. These people have their fingers firmly on the pulse of the nation. Probably more so than me because they are not in the midst of it and can see the big picture.

We went for lunch at a place called Papa's where everyone knew everyone elses name and the fact that some stranger was sitting at the table caused a few people's eyes to wander over. I was treated to something called Chislik. This is mutton on a stick. It was rather tasty and apparently only available in Freeman. (Or thereabouts). I looked it up on line and the only mentions I could find were in people's blogs. Then I got to try what is called Grave Witching. We went out into the yard and I held two metal rods straight out in front of me. If you walk over water or a grave, the rods will cross. I was skeptical (can you imagine?) and wanted to see it demonstrated first. He walked and at one point the rods began to cross. They stayed crossed for about 2 meters and the uncrossed. I tried it and the same thing happened at the same spots. So I turned around and walked back and it happened again! Cool. Here's a video of someone doing it.

Then I learned that to make marbles prettier, people used to fry them. I think I may try this with my nephew. It cracks the glass within the marble, making a beautiful prism.

Then I got a lesson on the Hutterites. The people who live in Freeman are mostly Hutterites or Mennonites. The history is fascinating, yet too in depth for me to merely briefly touch upon, so I will post on that separately.

I had a great time in Freeman. I always wanted to live in a small town, and that was reinforced strongly this trip. I am so grateful for the generosity of my mother's friends.

The drive from SD to NE was boring and slow. I managed to get behind every single Semi on the road. The worst part is that the roads were single lane. It is rather scary to pass when you don't know if someone is going to come barrelling over the hill at 90 mph which would mean we would collide at 150-180 mph. Scary. (more maybe? I don't have a strong grasp of physics). But it seems like everyone was out baling hay. This was so pretty, the row of baled hay.

This is a Nebraska sunset. It was so beautiful.

Now I am in Kearney, NE. There is a fort museum here filled with ridiculous things like the first license plate issued in NE; bottle of wine purchased the day before prohibition, unopened (well, that may be interesting, though it would not remain unopened and who would get me out of jail?); prehistoric elephant teeth extracted from the lake behind the museum... I am sad I will miss it.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Time warp into my mother's youth.

I hate to admit it, but the homesickness faded quickly. Once I was safely ensconced in my room, I had time to write and finally enter in all the receipts that had piled up in Ottawa and Chicago. I think I was feeling disorganized and it was bringing me down, man. Also, dropping people off at the airport has a terrible effect on me.

Today I woke up and went to have breakfast. I invited two people to sit with me as the breakfast nook was packed. (The hotel was host to two kiddie baseball championship teams and two weddings). We chatted for a while. The woman was from the area and the fella from N. Carolina. Apparently they are dating and have been for years and years. I wonder why he was staying in a hotel. She told me she did not want to leave her job. But what about him? These are questions that are not truly appropriate to ask, though they burned. However, I did comment that it was cool that they stayed friends through such a distance and over this span of time. They giggled and said they were more than friends. (Ew). So, maybe the questions were not inappropriate.

I drove through Minnesota (at high speeds. Don't tell). I called a college friend of my mother's and he met me in Sioux Falls for lunner (Lunch/dinner). Then I followed him back to the farm he grew up on and now runs. I had been there before when I was seven. He has a llama and 50 sheep. We drove to Freeman, SD where he and my mother had gone to school. It's so different now. We talked for a long time and it was really great to get to hear stories about my grandparents and relatives, all of whom had passed through this area, or had been visited on one of this friend's many trips through Germany. (Please to notice the irremovable Canada Day Tattoo on me. I have been branded by the Canadians!)
He showed me the Studebaker he had bought new back in 1957 (I think). This is an alleged date mobile that had once carted my mummy around. He is going to rebuild it next summer.

Tomorrow I will meet with several others of my mother's friends. I hope they have some good stories. I am sure they won't disappoint. While making plans with one lady, I got to hear about how her husband had a crush on my mum in school and though this woman was then in high school, she approached my mother and told her to back off of her man. Apparently my mother was absolutely flabbergasted at her nerve! And, she also admitted, that my mother was probably not as interested in him as he was in her. She was adorable in the telling of that story. There have got to be more. After all, a beautiful German girl is going to make some waves when she comes to a new school.

This is where I am now. How beautiful the sunset is.