If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting once again in my local coffee shop. It’s busy for a Sunday–but, then again, Sundays have been more and more busy lately. Don’t worry about finding me–I’m the girl by the window with the laptop.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined in the coffee share. I’ve been neglecting WordPress lately… I don’t think I’ve even opened the site in over a week. How is everyone doing?
This weekend is our annual summer festival in Lindstrom, one of my hometowns. Karl Oscar Days is one of the highlights of the warm months. The festival is named for the protagonist of a book series about Swedish immigrants by the author Vilhelm Moberg, who stayed in our area while writing the book. The community is obsessed with its Scandinavian heritage. Downtown Lindstrom is peppered with Swedish flags and dala horses. I’m half Scandinavian, so I find it quirky and charming.
Anyways, I had a friend come up from the cities and we joined in the festivities. We wandered all around town, exploring the vendor booths, and chatting with people. The town is perched between two lakes, so we borrowed some kayaks from a family friend and spent a few hours going around the lake. In the evening, we lined up for the annual parade. We ended up walking away with an enormous mound of candy, courtesy of our screaming at every float that came by.
If we were having coffee, you would find me curled up in a cozy sweatshirt staring absentmindedly out the window. The weather is dreary and wet–perfect for staying indoors. (Of course… this picture is a wishful fantasy. In reality, I got up before dawn to go to work.)
I’ve been away from the coffee share for a while again… it’s been a busy month! Thankfully, things will be setting down a bit soon.
It’s Easter this weekend and I do not feel at all prepared. Because it’s so late, the holiday really snuck up on me this year. I feel bad, because Easter is the most important Christian holiday of the year, and I haven’t been paying attention. My brothers are home for the weekend and my parents are getting home from their road trip at some point. We all plan on going to church together tomorrow… but that’s the extent of our celebrations. Continue reading →
There is something about a road trip that gets my heart racing. When I’m having a bad day, thinking about an open highway is the perfect escape. Growing up, my parents loaded my brothers and I in our minivan and drove us around the country–from Maine to Alabama to national parks out west.
It’s been about a year since I’ve properly traveled. Last April, I did a month-long trek across Europe on my own. Upon returning, my bank account was dangerously empty and I’ve been focusing on my librarian career ever since.
Still, it was high time for a road trip.
This past weekend, I took a few days off and made the trek with a friend from Minnesota to Nashville, Tennessee. Round-trip, we drove 1,500 miles and spent about 24 hours in the car. Our only mishap was a speeding ticket in Iowa.
The further south we went, the world came alive. It was as if we pressed fast-forward on Spring. Grass and flowers emerged, the temperature dropped, and leaves sprouted from trees. By the time we arrived in Nashville, we had stripped down to t-shirts and shorts for a few days of summery warmth. Continue reading →
If we were having coffee, we’d be at the Caribou Coffee by Target on the edge of the Minneapolis suburbs–you know the one? You’d take a seat opposite me and I’d scramble to make room for you. You see, my laptop and lunch are taking up the whole table. I’d offer to share my cucumbers and carrots while messily trying to keep my chicken caesar wrap from falling to bits.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined in the coffee share. How have you been lately? I’ve missed you. I’ve been suffering from writer’s block and even the thought of drafting a casual post was was enough to send me scrambling away from my computer. But I’m back! Continue reading →
If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting at a table by the window in the sun, basking in it’s warmth like cats. I’d be drinking my usual mocha–what would you have?
It’s been a really weirdly paced week. I didn’t work have to be at work on Monday and Tuesday, then was offsite all day Wednesday. It feels strange for the weekend to be here already, but I’m not complaining.
This afternoon, I’m going shopping with a college friend. We’ll be visiting thrift stores to see what kind of bargains are to be found. While I’ll certainly see if I can find any nice clothes, I’m mostly looking forward to seeing what books are out there. Yes, I work at a library and can get everything free. Yes, I just bought a bunch of secondhand books on Amazon. Yes, I own more books than my shelves can handle. But still… more books please!
On Wednesday, I got to be part of the Minnesota Library Association’s annual lobby day at the Minnesota State Capitol. With a group from work, I spent the day meeting with legislators in St. Paul about library funding. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do much talking–my bosses handled that part. By the end of the day, after hearing the speech six times, I could summarize our legislative platform to the point of sounding really, really smart.
If we were having coffee, we’d be lounging in the sunshine with our drinks of choice. I’d be in a light flannel and we’d be watching the crusty piles of snow turn slowly to puddles. We’re in a remarkably warm stretch of weather–unusual for Minnesota this time of year.
Good weather like this reminds me of a scene in the film Lars and the Real Girl. After going bowling, Lars and Margo linger outside chatting about the weather like good Midwesterners. Lars comments that it’s been warm lately and spring is on the way. Margo replies, “It’s just a thaw. Spring doesn’t come until Easter.”
So, while the sunshine and warmth is amazing, I’m not getting my hopes up. It’s just a thaw. We’ll probably have a new foot of snow by next week. Continue reading →
If we were having coffee, I would start out by sharing my big news:
I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL!!!
My acceptance letter came via email on Tuesday. This means that, next fall, I’ll be pursuing my Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Thankfully, I opted for the online option and I can continue working as a small-town librarian. If all goes according to plan, the program will take two years to complete.
I’m really looking forward to getting my next degree. It feels weird getting a Masters for a job that I already have… but I know that it will equip me in so many ways for my career ahead. I have never taken online classes before, but I’m a self-motivated learner, so don’t anticipate it being too much of a problem. The thing I dread most is that I won’t have time to read for fun anymore! Continue reading →
She was working late on Christmas Eve and again all day on Christmas Day. It was the third year that she had no family to keep her away from work and so she had volunteered to take the shifts that no one wanted so that others could be with their families. She considered it a gift to both her co-workers and herself. Her co-workers could stay home and celebrate their traditions with their families. She could spend the time at work and be distracted from the fact that she had nowhere else to be.
In previous years, she would not have missed family Christmas. She would not have given up the spirit of family being together, laughing and loving, even teasing and rolling their eyes at the words coming from the black sheep. She loved being with everyone else, in a house too full for stretching out one’s elbows but full enough to lock the warmth, both outer and inner, inside each person.
Christmas Eve wasn’t bad. A lot of people came into the coffee shop to relax after getting the last of their errands finished. Feeling accomplished, they would sit and enjoy that venti hot drink before moving on. There were smiles and holiday wishes. Other people would pop in to get that last minute Christmas gift that they had forgotten, or the one they would have on hand in case they needed one more gift. She sold a lot of gift cards that night and by closing time, she had all but forgotten that she was closing up alone and that she’d go back to her empty house to put on Christmas carols and have a cup of hot chocolate so she could sleep well and pop back into work at seven o’clock the next morning. It would be busy even though it was a holiday. She wouldn’t let her mind wander to the past. That was all over. Continue reading →
If we were having coffee, I’d begin by telling you how much I’ve missed you. The past couple of weeks have been busy and and blogging has been the last thing on my mind. For the past few days, I my body has been fighting off a cold. I’ve been storing away post ideas, but haven’t had the energy to write them yet.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I got to see a fantastic production of Sense & Sensibility at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis a few weeks ago. Although I’ve read all her works multiple times, seen all the adaptations, and even visited Jane Austen’s house in England, S&S is the only one of her works that I had the opportunity to actually study while in college. Because of what I gleaned in class, Elinor Dashwood has become one of my favorite Austen heroines. Continue reading →